Tag Archives: film

2011 GCAC Media Fellowship Program

The Columbus Film Council is pleased to announce that they have been chosen to administer the 2011 GCAC Media Fellowships. This program strengthens and enhances the support of local media artists in Franklin County. The call for applicants will commence in July of 2011, with final adjudication to be held in November 2011. The fellowship recipients will receive their fellowships at the Chris Awards Ceremony for the 59th Columbus International Film + Video Festival on November 19, 2011 at the Canzani Center at the Columbus College of Art & Design. The Columbus Film Council produces the Columbus International Film + Video Festival, the longest running film festival in the United States.


Digital Storytelling Workshop (in three parts)

Film Council Offices, upstairs
1021 E. Broad St (carriage house in the back)
Columbus, OH

Digital Storytelling Workshop Series

Do you have a personal story to tell? Or are you a non profit that does important work and want to spread the word? Learn how to create a short (3 minute or less) video. This 3 part series will teach you how to script, storyboard, shoot, create, and edit a short digital story.

May 28 1pm-5pm Session 1:
Learn how to write and storyboard a short digital story. Decide what images to use and how to obtain/create them.

June 4 1pm-5pm Session 2:
Learn how to shoot video, scan still photos, record audio v/o for the digital story.

June 11 1pm-5pm Session 3:
Learn how to use imovie to create and finish your digital stories.

This workshop meets on 3 successive Saturday afternoons. The finished works will be screened at ComFest in the Solar tent and posted on youtube. Participants must attend all three sessions. The total cost for all three sessions is $50. Scholarship spots are available to low income/unemployed folks sponsored by a Comfest grant (send requests to info@chrisawards.org ).

Please send a one or two paragraph “story” to info@chrisawards.org that you wish to tell as your workshop project when registering for this workshop series. A maximum of 10 people will be accepted for this series. Also bring any still photos, digital video, or other images that you might want to use on the first workshop day.

Parking is free in the Red Cross parking lot.

To register:

Strong Coffee: Fair Trade and Feminism in the World of Coffee


Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2009
7:00pm – 8:30pm
Studio 35 Cinema & Draft House (here)
3055 Indianola Ave, Columbus, OH

Film Review By Roger Landes

As with millions of Americans, my day begins with a large, piping hot cup of coffee. No cream, no sugar. Or, on days when I wake up late, I’ll throw in a couple of ice cubes so that I might slide it down my gullet while running out the door. I tend to buy the second-least-expensive bulk coffee I can find at the grocery store and only in the most basic flavor available. Even in coffee shops I usually just go with the most basic flavor, mainly for fear of lacking some sort of lingo necessary to order without the baristas rolling their eyes at me. In short, my coffee purchases have been based upon the ease of the transaction and not having to think about my choice whatsoever.

And that, I have learned, has been a mistake.

It’s not that I didn’t understand what organic food was. It implies that the food was held to a higher standard of production and quality. It also means it is more expensive. So my confusion was not in what was organic, but why choose organic.


And here we find the most important message of Strong Coffee. Coffee is second only to oil as a traded commodity, and is primarily produced in Africa and South and Central America. The average coffee farmer makes about $2 a day, while big business brings in billions of dollars through imports and exports. The documentary chronicles the creation and management of Café Femenino, a coffee co-op that aims to redirect the balance of money towards the farmers of the actual coffee.

For over 40 years, Isabel Latorre and her husband Victor Rojas have been working to aid female coffee farmers in Peru who were being abused by a chauvinistic society and economy. Abuse of women was climbing to the rate of 70%, and a machismo attitude kept women from having an education or being able to make any real money. Latorre began educating the female farmers to improve their production to organic standards. She got into contact with Garth Smith, an organic coffee importer from Washington. With the help of his wife Gaylene, they started Café Femenino, made up of exclusively female farmers and administrators. At the heart of the group were two ideals: fair trade and feminism.

Café Femenino demonstrates all of the best aspects of both of these concepts. The farmers must meet strict criteria to be classified as organic, which sells at a much higher price on the international market. In order to make sure that these proceeds are indeed coming from the women farmers, the farm land that the farming is occurring must be owned by a woman. This helps restructure the family economic model; by bringing in more capital, the women have more pull within the family structure. Also, the roasters must to sell the beans with 2% of profits must be donated to women’s crisis centers. The film shows several different locations in Washington where women’s shelters have been sustained solely because of the sale of Café Femenino coffee in their area.
The film displays the painstaking process that these women go through in order to provide for their families, as well as showing the incredible benefits of their hard work. The film also shows the dedication of the administrators and the roasters have for supplying great coffee to the public, while still holding the integrity of the company. And this is where the message truly resonated for me. I find the commitment to making a better life for people, and the sacrifices made to be very moving.

Why organic? I don’t know. Maybe because going to Stauf’s and buying Café Femenino instead of Folgers isn’t really that much of a sacrifice for me to make. And neither is paying the extra coin. But the result can be tremendous.

CIF+VF 2008 Winner on HD Net

Rebel Media Ventures International, out of Canada, producers of  Unmasking the Pagan Christ, the CIF+VF 2008 Bronze Plaque Winner in the Religion Category, announces that their film is currently airing in the US on HD Net. Check your local listings for Unmasking the Pagan Christ! And congratulations to Rebel Media Ventures.

Final Screening in the Cow Town Film Series!

The final screening for the COWTOWN FILM SERIES is a double feature of HORRORS OF WAR: THE DIRECTORS’ CUT (7:PM) and a subsequent documentary IN THE TRENCHES OF AN INDIE FILM (9:PM). This is the world premiere of the feature length documentary IN THE TRENCHES OF AN INDIE FILM on the making of the movie. This is the last chance to see HORRORS OF WAR on the big screen with the Directors’ Cut that is radically different from the version released on DVD (and available for rent at Blockbuster Video nationwide).

Thursday December 4th, 2008 starting at 7:PM. It’s $3 for the double feature at:

THE SCREENS at the Continent
Rt. 161 and I-71
6360 Busch Blvd.
Columbus OH 43229

There’s also a FREE networking after party, walking distance from the theater @ RUSH CREEK also at the Continent!

My Columbus Film Beat: John Whitney

Today we bring you another installment of My Columbus Film Beat wherein area film types introduce themselves.

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John Whitney

Born in Texas, John moved to Dayton, Ohio, in the late 60’s when his father obtained a job as a reporter at CBS affiliate, WHIO.  Growing up around television production, it was only natural that John would follow that path.  After attending the Ohio State University where he studied film, he started to freelance in the Columbus market where he began as a PA and worked his way through the ranks to an Avid editor and a Director/DP. During that period of apprenticeship, John worked on over 400 television commercials and a number of independent feature films. Currently John is working for American Signature Inc. where he is a staff AVID editor and DP.

As an independent filmmaker, John has been at the helm of music videos as well as short films including “Solve for X,” which was nominated for best drama at the 2001 Ohio Independent Film Festival in Cleveland. It also won for best short subject at the 2005 Nebula Film Festival.  “A Passion for Filmmaking” was the winner of the 2004 Sixty Second film competition. This film also appeared on the Independent Film Channel’s original series, Media Lab. It also is available as pre-loaded video content in all Microsoft Zunes. “Horrors of War,” won a Chris Award at the 2006 Columbus International Film Festival. “Horrors of War” is currently available on home video worldwide and in current release in North America by Maverick Entertainment..

His current project, “Measured Sacrifice,” is set in a dystopian future America. This low-tech science fiction/drama follows the story of Terry, a young woman in trouble. As the war on terror rages and with the public’s distaste for the draft, the Government enlists all women in their child baring years to volunteer for “The Program”. Pregnant and unemployed, Terry stands at a crossroads. She struggles between honoring her mother and the memory of her father, who died 20 years earlier serving in Iraq, or to do what she thinks is right for the country.  “Measured Sacrifice” is currently making the festival rounds.

John lives with his wife, Jen and son, Kirk in Columbus, Ohio.

5 Questions with Filmmaker Steven Sebring

Marilyn Jaye Lewis interviews Steven Sebring, the director of Dream of Life, a documentary on the poet /singer/artist, Patti Smith.

Dream of Life was 12 years in the making, and has now shown at a multitude of international film festivals. It was awarded an Excellence in Cinematography prize at Sundance in 2008. Dream of Life is currently showing in limited release in the United States and will be available on DVD in 2009.

MJL: I realize this is a totally subjective thing to say, but up until I saw your film Dream of Life, Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams was the most beautiful film that I had ever seen. In terms of its cinematography, Dream of Life is now up there, in my mind, right next to that classic. I can’t help but notice that the word “dream” features in both titles. I know that Dream of Life is the title of Patti’s album from 1996, but at what point did it also become the title of your film? And at what point did you realize the footage you were choosing to include in the film had a very dream-like quality to it?

SS: We titled the film during the middle of the edit. It was decided upon, due to the realization that [Patti’s late husband, musician Fred Sonic Smith’s] spirit was so much a part of the film’s spirit; it seemed only natural to both Patti and me. Both the film’s feeling and look have a lot to do with the quality of 16 mm film — and the fact that I always shot in whatever natural light there was.

MJL: While watching the film, I couldn’t help but feel that your heart, eye, and camera were inextricably connected.  How do you make editing choices under those circumstances — especially when the editing felt as much a part of the poetry of the film as the subject herself. (Not to mention, that you were making the movie for 12 years & must have had a ton of footage to sort through.)

SS: I was able to make those choices with the help of a very experienced, talented and creative editor Angelo Corrao.

MJL: Since you are primarily a photographer, at what points in the editing process did you decide to insert photographs? And did you use them more to advance the story or to expand the story?

SS: I chose during the editing process — using photographs to tell a story of a time, or of moments when I was not personally there.

MJL: Patti’s voice-over is another inextricable element of this film. What was that process like? Did you both view footage together? Or did you choose the footage that resonated most for you as an observer, and then get her input on that aspect of her life?

SS: I chose the footage that resonated most for me and then I got her perspective on that aspect of her life [in voice-overs].

MJL: I believe this is your first feature film. I think it is less a “documentary” and more a life portrait of a vibrant and powerful artist captured on film over the course of 12 years. Considering that, do you see yourself making any more films in the near future? Or do you simply wait to see what inspires you most?

SS: I do see myself making more films in the future. I would like to have my next project be a fiction film, or perhaps another life portraiture, we shall see…