Q: What do dead people (as in zombies), pornography, mortgage foreclosures, genetically modified food, and strawberry jam have in common?
A: The longest running film festival in the US, the 57th Columbus International Film + Video Festival. Beginning with three “Early Bird” screenings in October the festival kicks off an amazingly diverse spread of films “you can’t see anywhere else”.
On October 15th at 6.30 pm at Studio 35 the Festival starts off with a bang with a screening co sponsored by Population Connection and the Ohio Sierra Club. Not Yet Rain is a powerful film about women’s access to family planning services and the recent legalization (but not necessarily available) of abortion procedures. Director Lisa Russell will be there to chat with at a reception after the film. On October 20th at 7 pm, also at Studio 35 the Festival presents Strong Coffee: The Story of Café Feminino. Shot mostly in Peru, Strong Coffee tells the amazing story of the women farmers who grow this high quality, certified organic, fair trade coffee. Closer to home is the October 27th 7.30 pm screening of We All Fall Down shot Ohio covers the American mortgage crises and its effect on the poor to middle-class sectors of the United States.
In November, from the 10th to the 15th the festival is showing Scientists Under Attack a German film about genetically modified food and corporate sponsored research (at Germania 11/10 at 8 pm), My Son, The Pornographer a film about a father’s visit to Prague, where his son directs porn movies (Arena Grand 11/11 at 7 pm), and on Thursday November 12 an evening of Award Winning Student Works (CCAD Canzani Center at 8pm). Friday the 13th means zombies of course, with Zombies: When the Dead Walk (CCAD Canzani Center at 8pm). Dress as a zombie and get in free! Saturday morning is for kids of all ages with Saturday Morning Cartoons From Around The World (CCAD Canzani Center at 10am). Children get in free.
Saturday evening is for grown ups with An Evening of Movies + Mead with Animation 4 Adults 2, cartoons for adults that includes hometown’s Jennifer Deafenbaugh’s Strawberry Jam. Stay for the award ceremony after the films and get a chance to meet the filmmakers. The festival wraps on Sunday with two very different screenings, The Magistical, a feature length animated film for kids (Drexel 1 pm) and closes with the Best of Festival winner One Water, (CCAD Canzani Center at 7pm), a stunning documentary that highlights a world where water is exquisitely abundant in some places and dangerously lacking in others, where taps flowing with fresh, clean water are contrasted with toxic, polluted waterways that have turned the blue arteries of our planet murky.
Most screenings are $5, some are free, CCAD screenings are free for CCAD students. For more information go to www.chrisawards.org.