Author Archives: mechem

Why the 2009 CALL FOR ENTRIES Might Steal Your Boy/Girlfriend

cifvf571As thousands of our filmmaker and producer friends around the world have recently heard, the CIF+VF has released its Call for Entries for 2009. The press releases and pdf’s have traveled from Columbus to the farthest reaches of the globe, as they do every year. But we thought our local friends and audiences might like to see the C.F.E., as well.

Our new C.F.E. introduces a revised slate of divisions, including a couple groundbreaking new ones. As this organization did 57 years ago, the CIF+VF is yet again planting its flag on the cutting edge of the film world. Our new divisions like Basement Film and Animation Film will collect work from the hottest areas of production today. A new Broadcast Journalism division breaks out work that previously landed in other documentary divisions and treats that work as its own form. Meanwhile, our older, venerable divisions honor the century-tested features of traditional documentary and fiction film.

Perhaps most novel in all this is a philosophy we are making more and more articulate that all of these genres of film are aesthetically (and perhaps formally, over time) inseparable. Cross-pollination has always existed across art forms, but today digital production and new media platforms are speeding its pace. Our new divisions are eleven slices of cinema that contain some of the film world’s most exciting works and energy, and only by honoring and supporting each can we begin to see how they all connect.

We’re not here to figure out or summarize the new order, we’re here to fuel its fires. And, with everyone’s help and passion, Columbus and the CIF+VF can continue to be the progressive force dreamed up nearly six decades ago. So peak behind the curtain and check out the new C.F.E. by clicking HERE.


MINI-REVIEW: “Meat the Truth” (screening on 3/24, 7:30pm, Drexel Bexley)

mttFormerly used as a joke that global warming deniers liked to tell, the idea that cows create the bulk of greenhouse gasses is aptly demonstrated in the Dutch film Meat The Truth. Yes, cows. Not just their flatulence, but also the entire livestock-raising process, from growing the grain used in their feed to the distribution processes used to sell the meat. Meat The Truth starts where An Inconvenient Truth leaves off, that the American way of life, right down to what we eat, creates a larger carbon footprint than anywhere else in the world. We are just 5 percent of the world’s population yet we grow and kill nearly 10 billion animals a year, more than 15 percent of the world’s total. Americans consume on average 8 ounces of meat a day, nearly twice the global average. Data used in the film come from and have been validated by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the UN (FAO), the World Watch Institute, the Institute for Environmental Studies of the Free University Amsterdam, and numerous other sources. This green take on American agribusiness is sobering and compelling. There is disturbing footage from factory farms and an incredible amount of information on the destructive effects they have on the environment. Dutch politician and animal rights activist Marianne Thieme travels to America where she interviews scientists, PETA members, and, most interestingly, a former factory farmer turned vegan. Even Al Gore doesn’t escape criticism (apparently he’s a cattle farmer). Anyone who cares about climate change or how our daily habits affect the planet should see this film. (to see a trailer, scroll down to the blog post below.)

Columbus International Film + Video Festival Near Monthly Screening Series presents:

Meat the Truth: The Massive Impact of Livestock Farming on Climate Change Tuesday, March 24, 2009 7:30pm – 9:00pm Drexel East 2254 E Main St Bexley, OH Admission is free.

SCREENING: “Meat the Truth,” Tues., 3/24, @ Drexel East, 7:30pm

filmposter“A vegetarian in a Hummer is better than a meat eater in a Prius,” say the makers of Meat the Truth. The fact that industrial meat production accounts for around 18% of the planet’s greenhouse gas emissions usually goes unreported. SUVs and coal plants are easy targets in environmental talk, but if we’re going to be serious about cutting emissions, we will need to take a closer look at our habits and consider their true costs.

Join us at the Drexel Theater in Bexley next week to watch Meat the Truth. The screening is free and will be followed by a guest speaker from Mercy for Animals, with the conversation spilling into the Radio Cafe afterwards.  Sponsored by the Free Press, Drexel Theater, Central Ohio Green Education Fund, and your friendly CIF+VF.

Details:  Tues., Mar.24, 7:30pm, Drexel East Theater, Bexley, OH  2254 E. Main St., admission free, donations gratefully accepted.

COMING SOON: new website! new Call for Entries!

We’re only days away from our first major news of 2009!  Next week our new website will go live, and we will release our new Call for Entries.  The Columbus International Film + Video Festival is going to have a big 2009. We’ll be breaking new ground and stirring things up in the film world. Meanwhile, we’ll be building ever stronger networks and communities, connecting filmmakers and audiences to the outside world and to each other.

Ah, but if that all sounds a bit catch-phrase-y, fear not:  2009 will be full of film, fun, talk, action, learning, argument, opportunity, and camaraderie. Stay tuned over the next few weeks for news and provocations.

Pecha Kucha Night in Columbus, 2/19/09

We know this is last minute, but we know you hipsters turn on a dime, so grab a few dimes and go to the Gateway Landmark theater on Thursday night for Columbus’s Pecha Kucha Night. If you’re not familiar with this night, word:  14 presenters talk about their creative pursuits for 7 minutes each, or maybe it’s 20 images for 20 sec. each. Okay, so it’s actually a bit flexible—e.g., presenters come from many different creative fields, from filmmaking to chocolate making—, but the point is to put a dozen+ interesting people from your community in front of an audience. And we can’t think of a better recession-time amusement: the suggested donation is $2. I suppose there are pragmatic, networking-related benefits of the events, too, but you can’t beat the purity of this model for creative sharing.

Thursday night will feature at least two friends of the CIF+VF. Come see Matt Meindl—friend, juror, and muse of the Festival—talk about his short films and show samples of 20 of his works (yes, 20). Also check out Walker Evans, friend of the CIF+VF and intrepid creator of, discussing our interactive future.

The official Pecha Kucha listing.

The PK Wikipedia page.

“Get yourself a freakin’ video camera…”

This year at Sundance the director Lee Daniels won both the Audience and Grand Jury awards with his film Push. This excerpt from his acceptance speech resonated with everyone in the office:

(from Entertainment Weekly)
“We don’t have no money. We got $2 to make some s— happen. We’re doing this story about this fat black girl who doesn’t have a voice. They’re all in it for the craft.” When asked to look at the bigger picture for his film — which still lacks distribution — he explained, “I think [this win] means there’s hope for people of color. Just because Obama’s president doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to translate down to our world of cinema. And I think what it does is reiterate and strengthen this power of, Get yourself a freakin’ video camera. And you go out and tell your truth. That’s what I started doing as a kid, and I think inevitably, it led to this. It’s just so much hope.”

By now it appears that the film has gotten distribution (go Oprah!), but it’s still inspiring.

Read the full story here.

Local Film Contest

This winter is giving us all extra time to sit in front of our iMovie and FCE and whatnot, so think about making an entry for the contest below.

*   *   *

From: J. Michael Lewis
Subject: [ColumbusMovieClub] Ohio Film Office Contest

Ohio Film Office Contest

The Ohio Film Office is holding a contest! The goal is to get
residential filmmakers of Ohio some recognition for their talents and

The contest will begin February 18th and run for three weeks. The idea
is to get Ohio filmmakers to pair with bands and make a music video.
The video, once submitted, will be posted to a website (as yet to be
set up) which will actually be hosted up on YouTube. From there people
can vote for the videos for two weeks in order to narrow down the
field. Top entries will then be judged by a panel (members yet to be

As this is all about Ohio the videos will need to include “Ohio” as a
visual somewhere in it, be it a sign, sports team, or something else
cast in a positive light. The filmmakers MUST LIVE IN OHIO and this is
all about the INDIE.

The prize package for this is going to be pretty substantial and very
exciting. (That’s all I can say right now).

Further information, rules, prize info, eligibility, etc. is pending
and will be coming shortly. Be alert and stay tuned to hear more about
this exciting event!

– J