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Richmond Hill diner scene of independent film shoot

Taping at the Olympic Diner on 117-33 Myrtle Ave. began Monday and will extend through Thursday with overnight crews filming at the diner from April 22 to April 30."The Choking Man" is a dark drama about a bashful twenty-something dishwasher who falls in love with an attractive waitress working at the diner, but is unable to approach her because of his shyness. Meanwhile, a co-worker who constantly bullies him, hits on the waitress. The movie explores the shy man's hatred towards his co-worker, according to Ollie Barron, co-creator and production assistant for the film. Barron's father, Steve Barron, is directing the film. A subplot of the film involves a poster with instructions on how to perform the Heimlich maneuver, which is how the film received its title, according to Ollie Barron."I don't want to give too much away," he said in describing the subplot. Ollie Barron said he and his father got the idea for the movie while eating at a diner. The Olympic Diner was specifically chosen for the film because it is conveniently located near a subway line and a carpet store, which will also be featured in the movie."I hope the movie brings in business and attention to the neighborhood and to the community," said Irene Koutros, who owns the diner with her husband Gus.Irene Koutros said that many customers asked her how they could land a role in the film. Some will play customers in the movie. Gus Koutros will be a customer and Irene will play a stand-in waitress. The Koutroses said they were asked permission to use the diner for the film because the establishment was once used for a film years ago when it was the Junction Diner. Irene Koutros said stage fright will not be a problem once the camera starts rolling. "I'm used to helping out customers."Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 173.

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