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Cleveland talent is a big part of new film 'Judas and the Black Messiah'

The movie, a Sundance Film Festival favorite, is hitting theaters and streaming on Friday.

CLEVELAND — "Judas and the Black Messiah" has plenty of Hollywood star power, but local talent proved pivotal in bringing the movie to life. 

Picture it: 1960s Chicago. A petty criminal-turned-FBI informant tries to take down one of the big wigs of the Black Panthers. It all portrays the betrayal of Fred Hampton at the hands of William O'Neal. 

With heavy hitters like Daniel Kaluuya and Martin Sheen starring, not only the screenplay, but the musical score better be on point. Out of dozens of hopefuls, Warner Bros. chose Cleveland jazz artist Elijah Gilmore to contribute his signature sound to the film. 

"I'm very grateful they chose me," Gilmore told 3News. 

Many of the scenes from "Black Messiah" were shot right here in Cleveland. You'll see places like the Zverina Building in the Broadway Avenue Historic District, Lane Metropolitan Church, and Hampton Residence on the corner of West 65th and Pear.

Cleveland residents make appearances in the film, too: Local casting director Lillian Pyles cast hundreds of area folks as extras in the film, which was no small feat. 

It's a big deal for Lillian and Elijah, and an even bigger deal for Cleveland. Watch the trailer for 'Judas and the Black Messiah' in the player below:

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