New film fest set for October
Jason Clayton and John Daugherty are tired of seeing Columbus' rugged skyline and pastoral scenery being passed over.
So they're about to roll out the red carpet -- Hollywood style.
The partners of Vital Companies, a video, audio and independent film production company located in the Grandview Heights area, have organized the Film Festival of Columbus, or FFOCOL, a three-day affair in October that will feature national talent.
"We're huge Columbus fans," Clayton said. "And Columbus gets overlooked a lot."
There will be screenings of shorts and feature-length films and documentaries from national directors and producers. Confirmed films include Gayby, Richard's Wedding, Valley of Saints, Somewhere Between and Detropia. All will be Midwest premieres. Screenings will take place from Oct. 3-5 at the Gateway Film Center near the Ohio State University campus.
An opening party will be held Oct. 2.
There are other film festivals in central Ohio, including two held at the nearby Wexner Center for the Arts: the Ohio Shorts, a short video and film showcase held in the spring, and Zoom Family Film Festival, a four-day event usually held the first weekend in December.
"I think there's room for what they're doing," Karen Simonian, spokeswoman for Wexner Center, said of the FFOCOL. "I think there's a lot of interest in film in this city and I think that these shorter, smaller film festivals generate more interest in films in general."
Clayton said it was not their intention to compete with other festivals but instead to help raise awareness of the city and share experiences with the national filmmaking community.
At present in Ohio, filmmakers have turned their attention almost exclusively to Cleveland and Cincinnati. And those big productions are financial windfalls for the cities.
Columbus has a lot to offer: It's affordable, accessible and picturesque, whether in the city or more rustic outlying communities, they said.
"You have that great urban community," Daugherty said. "But if you drive outside of the city, you have other great locations."
Not to mention talent.
"There's a great creative community in Columbus," Clayton said
The festival is operating in conjunction with idUS, the yearlong celebration of the city's bicentennial.
Thomas McClure, executive director of the Greater Columbus Film Commission, said the FFOCOL is another important step in marketing the city to the filmmaking community.
"I think the film festival is something Columbus needs," he said. "The lineup is impressive."