Enter the 2012 CIFVF

Our 2012 Call For Entries is now open. Entry Deadline is July 1. Please go to our submit page to enter.

New prizes! In addition to the prestigious Chris Awards, $20,000 in prizes from SHOWBIZ SOFTWARE, a $1,500 GREATER COLUMBUS ARTS COUNCIL travel award, and a $1,000 STONEWALL COLUMBUS travel award, we now have an award of a special one year download membership to VideoBlocks.com worth almost $1000. In addition all of our film festival entrants will receive a free digital copy of The Showbiz Labor Guide. We also will be giving away $10,221 worth of stock footage from footagefirm.com to the filmmakers who attend our Festival in person.


Last Day In May Party

Watch This! Fundraiser
Watch This! The Best Local Films + The Best Local Food + Drink on The Last Day in May.
Columbus Film Council Spring Fundraiser Screening
May 31st
8 pm – 11pm
Brothers Drake Meadery & Bar
25 E. 5th Ave
Columbus, Ohio

Columbus Film Council is gaining momentum for this year’s 60th Columbus International Film + Video Festival! The CIF+VF is the longest running film festival in the USA and is located right here in Columbus, Ohio. Help us make it the best event yet by attending and contributing. This is your VIP access to supporting local artists and film in Columbus!

Join the recipients of the 2011 Greater Columbus Arts Council’s Individual Fellowship for an up close and personal look at their award winning work. The evening will be an exciting look inside the filmmaking process of Columbus’ top filmmakers. Enjoy an evening with fellow film buffs at Brothers Drake Meadery & Bar, proud sponsors of the 2012 Columbus International Film + Video Festival. Hear the inside scoop on the artists’ creative process, engage in question and answer sessions. Enjoy local mead and nosh on mini black bean burgers and pasta from Mojoe Lounge, fabulous cupcakes from pattycake bakery, three tasty dips with chips from Explorers Club, burgundy mushroom perogi bites from Yogi Perogi, vegan sushi from Taste By Design, dolmas, hummus, pita, and falafel from King Gyros and pizza from Yellow Brick Pizza. And this just in- We’ll have Watershed Distillery‘s Greg Lehman on hand for pre-movie samplings of their locally crafted spirits!
Your tickets are all inclusive- that’s right, once you are in the door it is all free.

$50 (Meadite) donation level – An evening of mead from Brothers Drake, and dinner from local restaurants. And of course an evening of film from Columbus’ finest local filmmakers.
Plus a CIFVF Producer level Membership – $25 value
And free entry to our film festival party (on November 17) at the Columbus College of Art & Design- $15 value

$100 donation level (Meadmaster) – Enjoy the fabulous event and receive
Two free tour tickets to Brothers Drake Meadery to use at your leisure – $40 value
A CIFVF Director level Membership – $50 value
and free entry to our film festival party (on November 17) at the Columbus College of Art & Design- $15 value

Attendance is limited to 50! Hurry and reserve your spot!

We will email you a numbered .pdf ticket for you to print and bring to the fabulous Watch This! Last Day In May Party.

Tom Hayes will be screening a 10 minute clip from a work in progress “Two Blue Lines” , a documentary about the Israeli peace movement.
Matt Meindl will offer a sneak preview screening of his work-in-progress Don’t Break Down.
John Whitney will be screening excerpts from his award winning works “Measured Sacrifice”, “Eroded” and a few clips from his new film in progess, the Rockumentary, “Meet The Phantods”.

Tom Hayes has been making films since he was a kid. Working his way through college in the 70’s with stints on cargo ships he developed an interest in documentary production. Since then Hayes has worked on dozens of documentaries in different capacities; as cinematographer, editor, producer and director. His personal documentary interest is in creating conduits for unheard voices. Among other things, Hayes has been documenting the human and political rights situation of the Palestinian people for the past thirty years. Throughout that time he freelanced in the commercial film and televisions industries. Along the way Hayes has garnered multiple regional Emmy Awards and film festival honors. The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee created the Tom Hayes Award for Outstanding Contribution in 2002. He currently teaches in the School of Film at Ohio University.

Matt Meindl
Matt Meindl is a filmmaker and musician from Columbus, Ohio. He shoots primarily on small-gauge film formats and records his own soundtracks with twangy strings and virtual theremins. His work has screened at festivals throughout North America and Europe including the Chicago Underground Film Festival, Winnipeg’s Festival of Film + Video Art and Cucalorus Film Festival. He is the recipient of a 2011 Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council and is a 2011-12 Media Artist in Residence at the Wexner Center for the Arts.

John Whitney
Originally from Dayton, John moved to Columbus to study film at The Ohio State University. For the past 20 years he has been working in production for corporate as well as agency clients, all the while never giving up in his pursuit of a career as a filmmaker. John has produced and directed films that have screened at film festivals across the country as well as the Independent Film Channel. His latest film, Eroded, recently won best film at the 2011 Harmony Ridge Film Festival and took home multiple awards at the 2011 Underneath Cincinnati Film Festival. John, with Arbor Avenue Films, is developing the feature film, “Star and the Snowman.” John lives with his wife Jennifer and son Kirk in Columbus.

Brothers Drake is proud to partner with the Columbus Film Council to promote local artists. We strive to create the most local and sustainable business we can – along with the tastiest meads! We source our raw honey, fruits and spices as close to Columbus as possible and ONLY sell in the greater Columbus area.
We care about the strength of our communities and believe that the arts are an integral part to the quality of life in our city. We appreciate your participation in this and all the CFC events!

59th CIFVF Roundup

The 59th CIFVF was an amazing! And all of 2011 was equally as exciting for the Columbus Film Council. We have grown tremendously, with more screenings, more great films, workshops, a huge audience, fans and friends and members, and an amazing bunch of filmmakers from all over that joined us for the CIFVF in November.

2011 saw an great collection of films that the CFC was fortunate enough to screen. Here’s a list of the screenings in 2011:

What’s The Economy For, Anyway?
The Edge Of Joy
This Land is Your Land
Gasland (3 screenings)
Ain’t I a Person: A film about being poor in America
Making the Boys
Plunder: The Crime of Our Time
Killer Coke
The Battle of Chernobyl
Mother: Caring For 7 Billion
Locked Out: A documentary about a fight to save the middle class
Shorts at Brothers Drake
Dirty Business
Filmmakers Forum: An Evening of LGBT Works
Award Winning Student Works
Barbershop Punk (Best of Festival)
Saturday Morning Cartoons From Around The World
Movies+Mead, Animation And More 4 Adults
Vegucated- with director Marisa Miller Wolfson
First Night Columbus Saturday Morning Cartoons Redux

And in 2011 the CFC also offered a fabulous array of workshops:

WordPress Workshop for Beginners
WordPress Workshop for Advanced Users
Three-Acts to Successful Screenwriting
Digital Storytelling Workshop (in three parts)
Early Bird Event -Audio Workshop

The CFC was also chosen to administer the 2011 Greater Columbus Arts Council Fellowships in Media. It was a blast to be able to award Franklin County filmmakers $5,000 in fellowship monies.

For the Main Festival week we had 40+ filmmakers attending and five screenings where the filmmaker was present when their work screened. We love when filmmakers attend our festival.

We had 36 filmmakers attend our Producers Roundtable. NYC Filmmaker Riayn Fergins said “I enjoyed every minute of it, but particularly found The Producers’ Roundtable to be so beneficial. Film festivals shouldn’t just involve awards, screenings and networking, they should also host a gathering of minds bouncing innovative and helpful ideas off each other. I am so happy you believe this too, and are dedicated to carving a space for artists to engage with each other. The session taught me a lot and offered new perspectives and approaches I can’t wait to implement in my next project.”

The Movies + Mead event sold out, with over 400 people attending. Andrew Samis said “That was the most fun ever…can’t wait for the next one.”

The LGBT Filmmakers Forum on Wednesday, November 16 kicked off the Main Festival Week with over 200 in attendance with filmmakers Kaveh Nabatain, Lee Percy, Praq Rado, Chris Moto, and Kailyn R. Waters presenting their films.

Vegucated on Sunday, November 20 was presented by director Marisa Miller Wolfson to a completely full house at the Gateway Film Center.

Our presentation of Saturday Morning Cartoons From Around The World was first presented on Saturday morning on November 19 to a crowd of close to 300 kids and then re screened to a crowd of 10,000 at First Night Columbus on December 31.

2012 is our 60th year so look out for amazing events all year long leading up to a huge CIFVF in November!

And of course we want to thank all of our amazing sponsors that made 2011 possible:

National Endowment for The Arts
Ohio Arts Council
Greater Columbus Arts Council
Brothers Drake Meadery
Stella Artois
Central Ohio Green Education Fund
Short North Foundation
The Free Press
Video The Vote
The Other Paper
Showbiz Software
Formation Studio
Succeding Steps
Stonewall Columbus
Pattycake Bakery
Cabot Cheese
Columbus Brewing Company
So Delicious
Hal & Als
Loving Hut
Hot Pita
Sweet ’n Good Bakeshop
Wellness Forum Foods
Johnny Buccelli’s
Four Points By Sheraton
Springhill Suites Marriott


Movie Review
By Chris Alexis

**** (out of 5 stars)

Many immigrants come to the United States seeking a better life. Countless people believe in the “American Dream” and have faith that success is practically guaranteed … with a little hard work, of course.

This eye-opening film from director Lee Percy illustrates the agonizing struggle for Zef, an Albanian immigrant. Actor Praq Rado plays Zef in the film based upon his own true story, which makes the tale all that more heartbreaking.

In the film, Zef has entered the United States illegally, but is seeking lawful means to remain in our borders. In order to make ends meet, Zef finds himself dancing at a gay nightclub while pursuing an acting career.

“Dreaming American” puts a spotlight on the immigration debate within our country. The audience is given Zef’s perspective, adding a new angle to the discussion. The film poses a very powerful question to the audience: “If you were in Zef’s shoes … what would you do?”

That question is harder to answer that one might think. And that’s what makes a great film.

One that makes the audience look inside themselves. And wonder.

Barbershop Punk

“Barbershop Punk”
Movie Review
By Chris Alexis

(**** 1/2) out of 5 stars

Directed by Georgia Sugimura and Kristin Armfield

There’s an ever-growing discussion in our country concerning our personal freedoms. The news is inundated with debate over what should be controlled and what should be left free. A lot of this discussion is centered around the First Amendment. What should be protected in what we communicate to others or want to hear? Or read? What should be censored?

These conversations normally gravitate toward large issues including pornography and extremist groups.

But what about … barbershop quartet music?

This unusual yet simple question is explored after one man discovers some up his uploads are being blocked by his internet service provider … and proceeds to investigate.

“Barbershop Punk” is a documentary that follows Robb Topolski as he learns that Comcast, his ISP, is seemingly making judgment calls about what they’re willing to transmit … and what they’re not. Topolski’s findings launch a set of metaphorical dominoes that lead to Comcast being hauled into court and larger questions being debated among a variety of people and political groups.

This well-paced film engages its audience with lively discussions and a surprising emotional edge as well. Not only do we follow Topolski’s sudden crusade, but we also watch an unrelated and much scarier personal battle he has to face simultaneously.

Watching this movie is definitely an education, with information on internet neutrality, a brief history on censorship in the media and more. However, the most powerful aspect of this documentary is it makes you want to examine your own situation at home. Are any of your own uploads or downloads being tampered with? What can you prove?

The movie runs quick, a mere 77 minutes, but those minutes are packed with a powerful punch. For anyone who wants a look into a battle that affects every single person using the Internet, this is a must-see movie.

Barbershop Punk screens at the CIFVF on Friday, November 18 at 8PM at Canzani Center at the Columbus College of Art & Design at the corners of Cleveland and Gay St. Parking is free in CCAD lots. Admission is $5, free for students and CIFVF members.

We are extending our entry deadline to July 15

Due to the recent postal strike in Canada (where a lot of our entrants live) the CIFVF has decided to extend its entry deadline to July 15. In the interest of fairness this extended deadline (without late fees) will be open to all, whether or not they live in Canada. Here’s the deal:

You must (after July 1) enter via post and with our entry form. We cannot offer late fee waivers through WithoutaBox.

We will need your dvd at our office by July 15. That address is:
Film Council
1021 E Broad St
Columbus, Ohio 43205

We prefer that you ship via post as that there isn’t always someone available to sign for courier sent packages. If you must ship via Fed Ex, UPS, etc. please email us with expected delivery dates.

Plunder: The Crime of Our Time

Plunder: The Crime of Our Time

Tuesday, June 28 · 7:30pm – 9:00pm
Drexel Theatres
2254 E Main St
Bexley, Ohio

Plunder: The Crime of Our Time is a hard-hitting investigative film by Danny Schechter. The “News Dissector” explores how the financial crisis was built on a foundation of criminal activity uncovering the connection between the collapse of the housing market and the economic catastrophe that followed.

Admission is free.

This screening is presented by the Free Press, the CIFVF, and the Central Ohio Green Education Fund.