The Canal Winchester Times

Festival showcases city's filmmaking talents

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

The Film Festival of Columbus will have a bit of a Hollywood vibe: red carpets, VIP receptions and after-hours parties.

But more importantly, co-founder Jason Clayton said, it's another way to showcase the city and bring the work of talented filmmakers to Columbus.

"We want people to look at Columbus and say, 'Hey, there are great things happening here,' " said Clayton, managing partner of Vital Companies, which is putting on the festival. "We want people to support a movement that the city really needs, and we want to make this an annual event. Hopefully next year we can make it a week-long event."

The debut event will be held Oct. 2-4 at the Gateway Film Center, 1550 N. High St. in the Ohio State University campus area.

Advance tickets, available at ffocol.com, are $10 each, $12.50 the day of show; three-day passes are $75 in advance, $100 the day of the event. Student discounts are available.

A portion of festival proceeds will go to the Greater Columbus Film Commission.

Clayton said 15 full-length features, many of them new to the market, will be screened over three days. The festival kicks off at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 2, with a screening of The Collaborator, starring Martin Donovan (The Opposite of Sex, Boss, Weeds) and Olivia Williams (Rushmore).

The festival is part of idUS, an 11-day celebration of Columbus' bicentennial. In addition to movies, there will be several workshops, exhibits, collaborative events and speakers

One festival highlight, he said, is a short-film program, featuring the works of Ohio filmmakers. It will be held from 8 to 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 3. All films will be 10 minutes or less. A question-and-answer session with the filmmakers will follow.

"I think it's going to be a huge draw because a lot of the filmmakers don't have an outlet to show their movies," he said.

Another festival attraction is a series involving local teens who helped to direct four short films about their neighborhoods. It will be held at 7 p.m. Oct. 3. Vital Companies helped produce those four films.

The final day of activities will run from 1:30 to 10 p.m. Oct. 4. The closing film, to be held at 8 p.m., is Nobody Walks, from John Krasinski of The Office. A party will be held at Skully's following the last movie.

On a related note, the 60th Columbus International Film and Video Festival, the longest-running film festival in the United States, will be held Nov. 11-18.

Gail Mezey, who runs the Ohio Film Office, said film festivals can help raise the profile of host cities and also provide greater networking opportunities for those involved in the industry or aspiring to become part of it.

"It helps filmmakers navigate the industry," she said. "It helps create new audiences for films and encourages interaction among the creative class."

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