It started with two local film makers wanting to paint a picture of Syracuse in its defining moment. Now the film "King Lee" is coming to the Palace theater for a private premiere.
Lee Alexander was Mayor of Syracuse for four terms through the 1970's and 1980's. In 1988 he plead guilty to racketeering for accepting more than one million dollars in kickbacks. Film makers say he wanted to make Syracuse a great U.S. city, but ultimately let money and power get in the way.
Co-Writer and Co-Director Timothy Ferlito wanted to make a fictional dark comedy about Alexander's downfall to send a message to his audience. "We wanted to do something in Syracuse for a while. We shot some short films in other cities, but then when we shot one in Syracuse we got such an amazing level of cooperation. We wanted to do something that was set entirely in Syracuse, but also about Syracuse," says Ferlito. "Good attentions aside. You really only hurt the things you care about. Lee Alexander had a lot of people that he cared about that he hurt. He had a city that he cared a bout that he hurt."
Albert Marshall plays the president of the Common Council in "King Lee" and his hope is for Albany and other politicians to hear this message. "There's a lot of things going on in New York State when it comes to the Assembly, with all the politicians (and) greed. You can have it today and it can be gone tomorrow," says Marshall.
The movie will be available to the public for one night on Thursday May 9th at the Palace Theater. Afterwards, it will tour throughout film festivals across the country.