Screening at the AMC Ward Parkway Theater on April 27 as part of the Shorts #7 Don’t Look Away block, the nine-minute narrative short stars Cleaver and Robert Gibby Brand. Cleaver also directed and co-produced the film with Bety Le, with cinematography by Marcus Guider, editing by Stephen Deave, and music by Colton Jackson.
The film’s logline:
“Kody alters the way he speaks based on who he’s talking to. Either it’s a survival technique or he’s clinically insane.”
“Producing Kody Switch was an incredible experience,” Cleaver said. “Although I got my MFA in Acting and primarily created the short as an acting vehicle, it taught me so much about the filmmaking process. Now I have a panoramic view of what it takes to make a movie. Hopefully [Kody Switch] gets in even more festivals and continues to generate energy.”
Later this summer, Cleaver performs in the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival, an outdoor Shakespeare festival, also in Kansas City. He’s taking on the co-leading role of Romeo in Romeo and Juliet. The production runs from June 14 through July 3 at Southmoreland Park, a historic park in Kansas City.
A native of Kansas City, Missouri, Cleaver attended Dillard University of New Orleans before pursuing his MFA in Acting at CalArts.
“CalArts instilled an entrepreneurial spirit in me so I’m hungry to make more movies,” Cleaver said.
Along with Kody Switch, he has also produced a short called Love on Speed and acted in Andrew Niccol’s movie The Host which stars Saoirse Ronan. Cleaver is also the author of How to Make Sure He Will Be Into You, a book described as the “ultimate companion for the modern single woman.” Based on interviews on many women, the book serves as a guide through the questions and situations of singlehood.
—by Ishika Muchhal