Ten years after running for mayor of Bexley, filmmaker and comedian Travis Irvine will return to his hometown for a screening of his documentary, “American Mayor,” at the Drexel Theater on Main Street in Bexley Monday evening.
Irvine grew up in Bexley, graduated from Ohio University in 2006, and ran for mayor the next year, in 2007. He said in an interview last week that after graduating, he had moved home and was unsure what to do next.
“I moved back home with my parents in the suburb city of Bexley,” he said. “My neighbors in Bexley had been dealing with the local university trying to buy up their properties to knock them down and build more dorms. I realized that our corner of Bexley had no representation in City Hall.”
When the news broke that the mayor of 30 years was retiring, Irvine decided that “sometimes you just have to run for mayor.
“I ran to voice my neighbors’ issue about the local university, and also make a documentary about it to show other young people how to run for office,” he said.
Facing a crowded field of seven other candidates, Irvine didn’t win, but he did finish the documentary. The film got into the Cannes Film Festival in France, as well as the Palm Springs Short Film Festival and the Atlanta International Docufest. A jingle from the campaign, “A New Face for a Special Place,” was also featured on NBC’s “The Jay Leno Show.”
Irvine’s production company, Overbites Pictures, signed a deal with a company called Indie Media Entertainment, which distributed the film on Amazon for four years but never shared any of the profits with Overbites.
Now that technology has improved, Irvine said Overbites hired a lawyer to deal with IME, took back control over the film, and is now launching “American Mayor” on Amazon as a streaming movie for the 10th anniversary of the race. The movie will be re-released on Tuesday, Sept. 19.
“The mayoral run and the documentary itself are both testaments to persevering and pushing forward to find success in your failures,” Irvine said. “And if millennials want to know how to run, or not run, for office, they’ll love ‘American Mayor.’”
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the screening starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $5 and will be available for purchase from the Drexel website at http://www.drexel.net/