Tag Archives: Events

PREVIEW: 57th Season Arrives Early

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”.

Check out our updated events page!

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.

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Review: Children of Armageddon

Children of Armageddon:  Or how I learned to hate the bomb again!

By Roger Landes

One of the most difficult aspects of making a good political documentary is finding a subject matter interesting enough in order to not only captivate an audience, but also to persuade them to believe in the position taken by the film. In other words, it better make people care.  And at first glance, Children of Armageddon is in a very difficult position.

coaPeople seem to have made their choices for what are the most important issues in the contemporary world, and activism in anything else seems to be trite.  Global warming, the war in the Middle East, health care, and genocide in Darfur take up the upper hierarchy of pertinence, and everything else is considered to be of a lesser need.  These issues are clearly the most crucial problems in our world today.
Right?

Children of Armageddon digs up an argument that has been stewing for over half a century.  The so-called “nuclear issue” has been pushed to the back burner to make room for the aforementioned other causes.  Children of Armageddon brings the conversation back to pertinence by raising the question: “Who are the real victims of nuclear war?”  It begins showing us the obvious answer.  The Hibakusha, survivors of the Atomic Bomb droppings on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, fight to keep their tragedy relevant in a Japanese culture that is trying to forget their own history due to their reliance on America’s nuclear deterrence umbrella.  Maki, a third generation Hibakusha, works to bring the fear of nuclear weaponry back into the youth of Hiroshima to raise awareness.  She is faced with a resistant populous who would simply rather forget than accept a tremendous situation.

The effects of nuclear warfare effect areas outside of Japan as well.  The U.S., France, and Great Britain have been testing nuclear warheads for decades.  The test detonations for these warheads contaminate the land and cause horrible side effects to the surrounding peoples.  The Marshall Islands, an American colony located between Hawaii and Guam, was host to nuclear tests for American bombs in the 1950s.  In 1954, a bomb was detonated to close to the coast of Rongelap, a village near the coast.  The entire town was contaminated with radioactive powder.  This caused gene mutations in the women of Rongelap.  These mutations have caused massive amounts of miscarriages and infant deformities.  The mutations have transgenetic effects, so even 55 years after the testing, young women are still being affected by the bombings.

These lingering effects can be seen in other parts of the world.  France did its nuclear testing in French Polynesia, but claimed there would be no repercussions because it was done underground. What they failed to realize is the movement of the radioactive materials through the soil into the water and soil.  Due to this, French Polynesia has an incredibly high rate of leukemia, as well as thyroid and kidney cancer.  Maurea, a young Tahitian woman, fights to end nuclear testing in order to raise her family in a healthy atmosphere.  In the 1995, French President Jacques Chirac ignored protests by locals like Maurea as well as environmental groups and claimed that he would resume the nuclear testing at French Polynesia.  He was met with such an opposition from the people that he almost immediately recanted his comments and disposed of a massive amount of nuclear warheads.

Children of Armageddon attempts to tackle an incredibly complex and difficult topic.  Nations like the U.S. and France claim that their nuclear arsenal is a deterrent against other nations to use their weapons against them.  The film states that even this is an inappropriate use of their power.  The mere existence of a single nuclear warhead is too dangerous to the survival of the human species.  Even its use as a deterrent is merely one country threatening all others.  The films most interesting contribution is from the issues oldest and loudest opposition, Noam Chomsky.  He states that at the very essence of the nuclear issue is that it is “the only threat to the species that can be immediately solved.”  The message of Children of Armageddon is very much idealistic, but it is exactly what is needed in order to wake the public up to the importance of the topic.

Children of Armageddon is screening Tuesday September 22 at 7.30 PM at the Drexel. Admission is free, donations accepted.

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A Powerful Noise – Drexel Screening Tuesday August 25th!

A Powerful Noise at the Drexel tomorrow, Tuesday the 25th at 7:30pm

The sun has come out for a momentary “good afternoon,” and August in Ohio seems inordinately cool & comfortable. Its been a few months since the last Festival/Free Press event, so we are all looking forward seeing you at the Drexel Theater, Tuesday evening, for this late summer shindig.

The drexel is blocks away from fresh sushi, an irish pub, and the spectacular Jeni’s ice cream in Bexley! Call it the last screening of summer vacation, mothers bring your daughters! Fathers, sons, brother’s and sisters make an evening of it.

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Many films emphasize the glaring differences between developing and developed nations, creating an “us/them” perspective that minimizes the relevance to Western audiences. However, this documentary captivates viewers because it speaks to the common aspirations, the common abilities that all women share. “A Powerful Noise” is a meditation on the inherent potential of women to change the world. “A Powerful Noise”. The impact of one voice. The power of many.

Please consider joining us tomorrow evening for a powerful film, with powerful consequences.

Film reviewed by Roger Landes, here.

Plus… whats not to love when Admission is free!

Documentary on Columbus Homeless

Join us at the Drexel Theater, Tuesday, May 26th at 7:30pm

Join us at the Drexel Theater, Tuesday, May 26th at 7:30pm

“Swept Out”

A Film By Mary Howard

— With filmmaker Q & A!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Time: 7:30pm – 9:30pm (73 minutes).
Location: Drexel East
(2254 E Main St. Bexley, OH)

The Columbus International Film + Video Festival is pleased to announce they will be re-screening Mary Howard’s “Swept Out”, on May 26, 2009 at 7:30 PM at the Drexel East, 2254 E. Main Street in Bexley, Ohio. (map)

Filmed and edited by sociology/anthropology professor Mary Howard, Ph.D., “Swept Out” takes viewers behind the scenes into several tent and shanty communities in downtown Columbus. The documentary was shot over four seasons in 2006.  The filmmaker will do Q & A after the film. The screening is sponsored by the Free Press, Drexel Theater and the Central Ohio Green Education Fund Film. Admission is free, donations accepted.

Contact: 253-2571, truth@freepress.org.