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Individual Tickets
Available 30 minutes before the shows$5.50 for all shows at the Athena Cinema$3.00 for all shows at the Ridges Auditorium

Passes
$25.00 passes good for any six screenings available at the College of Fine Arts Ticket Office, Kantner Hall, First Floor. 740-593-4800. Monday-Friday, Noon-4 p.m.

Passes are also available at Film Festival information tables located at the College Gate, the Athena Cinema and the Ridges Auditorium.

 

April 28, 2003
Competition films celebrate the independent spirit of the filmmaker
By Susan Green

While many Athenian film fanatics look forward to the feature films the International Film + Video Festival brings to Athens, the heart and soul of the festival are the competition films.

"The film festival is a good opportunity to see what young and emerging filmmakers are doing - for many Athens residents it's their one and only chance to see the filmmakers' work," says festival director Ruth Bradley. "This year's films range from serious and challenging documentaries to short, fun comedies."

Video - Click to PlayMany of these independent, art and experimental filmmakers appear at the festival as guest artists along with their films. Depending on their mood, they either introduce their films or follow the screening with a question and answer period. Some do both.

This year's guest artists - just like the festival itself - present an eclectic mix:

Ohio University graduate Kevin Jerome Everson's work is recognized around the world; the 2003 Rotterdam International Film Festival held a solo screening of his work. Everson, a filmmaker, photographer and performance artist, is presenting a wide selection of his films in Athens, including a film interpretation of a poem by Mark Halliday. Many of Everson's films are intense vignettes that explore work, family and African American culture. Last year he received the School of Art Alumni of the Year award from the College of Fine Arts.

Another Ohio University graduate, Jeffrey C. Wray, co-founder and partner in Jazzy Tam Films, is presenting "China." An original drama, it is the inspiring story about the endless adventures in marriage and in life. The adventure begins for Rudolph and Evelyn Jackson, comfortably married for over 30 years, when Rudolph decides to learn martial arts.

Experimental filmmaker Pat O'Neill is presenting "The Decay of Fiction," an intersection of fact and hallucination in an abandoned Hollywood luxury hotel. The film was shot entirely in Los Angeles' historic Ambassador Hotel. An icon of experimental film for 40 years, O'Neill's lyrical short films are difficult to classify. He is interested in exploring the boundaries of believability and likes to work within the gaps between reality and the story. O'Neill uses light, abstraction, movement and artifice to create visually elegant films.

"Coal Bucket Outlaw," a new film from Appalshop by documentary filmmaker Tom Hansell - another Ohio University graduate - offers an unflinching look at two Kentucky coal truck drivers as they chase their version of the American dream. The film gives us a look at where our energy comes from, and examines the connection between coal haulers and the system that produces America's electricity.

"We're all outlaw truckers... I don't know of one that don't break the law on a daily basis, on an hourly basis, most of us on an every load basis," says Herb Adams, owner/operator of a coal truck in Letcher County, Ky., who appears in the film. Appalshop, in the heart of Kentucky's coal-mining country, began as a program to train disadvantaged Appalachian young people and is dedicated to creating opportunities for regional self-expression.

Robert Banks, who also is participating in the Black Cinema Aesthetics symposium, is presenting a selection of his short films. He's created award-winning shorts on shoestring budgets, mostly funded by his day jobs as a janitor and an art school figure model. His three-minute film "Autopilot," received four stars from film critics when it appeared during last year's New York Underground Film Festival. The short, using "air force take-offs, hand-scribbled stars, and a hard rockin' angry man's version of the national anthem, creates a rousing examination of young manhood and prescribed, factory-line machismo."

Competition works are shown continuously in the 1954 Lounge in Baker Center during the festival, at scheduled times in the afternoon and evenings in the Ridges Auditorium and an outdoor screening billed as "shorts and other presentations of luminous beauty and fresh air poetics," will be shown outside the Ridges Auditorium. Admission is free.

The Ohio University African Studies Program honors the filmmakers of global Africa with Beti Ellerson presenting, Sisters of the Screen: Women of Africa on Film, Video and Television. A panel discussion with Ellerson and African and African-American filmmakers Siphiwe Ndlovu, Firdoze Bulbulia, Desire Sampson and Traci Curie follows the presentation.

For a complete schedule of screenings and presentations visit the Athens International Film and Video Festival Web site: http://www.athensfest.org.

Susan Green is a media specialist for University Communications and Marketing

 

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