Monday, April 28, 2008

International filmfest takes over Athens for 35th year

Brooks Jarosz

Since 1974, the Athens International Film & Video Festival has proven to be very popular. Now in its 35th year, the festival continues to present independent films from around the world. The festival is a big undertaking for the College of Fine Arts at Ohio University.

The grueling film selection process

A prescreening committee made up of artists, students and community members watches the films and videos to decide which will be in. This year, more than 1,000 films and videos were entered. Assistant director of the film festival Chris Iacofano said, "We start our pre-screening in the beginning of winter quarter and we have a committee of 7 or 8 people every year and we just watch for 4 or 5 hours every night, Monday through Thursday and then some weekends we come in to catch up." After all the films are screened, each gets voted on. A majority vote is needed to get a film into the public screenings.

Assistant festival director Chris Iacofano talks about the screening process for the 1000+ entries this year

Festival continues to expand

This year, four locations will be showing films selected for the festival. One of the main venues is the Athena located on Court Street. Also, the Athena Grand near the University Mall and Stewart's Opera House in Nelsonville. The newest addition is the Baker University Center Theater, allowing for even more screenings. All shows run from now until Thursday, May 1st.

RAW VIDEO: Festival Director Ruth Bradley talks about the uniqueness of the Athens festival

The films pay off for some

Guest jurors award cash prizes for top films in four categories. One winner will be selected from the categories of documentary, experimental, narrative, and animation. Also, the festival has initiated the Black Bear Award to honor OU Film professor John Butler. This $500 prize goes to the film or video that has the best use of sound.

Director Giovanny Blanco talks about his entry "Cornelius - the Movie"

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