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31st Athens International Film and Video Festival begins April 23

ATHENS, Ohio (April 16, 2004) -- Sixteen feature films and over 150 shorts and documentaries comprise this year's edition of the venerable Athens International Film and Video Festival, running April 23-29.

Among the feature films headlining this year's festival are: "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," the latest Charlie Kaufman film starring Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet, and Fog of War, the Errol Morris Oscar-winning documentary about Robert McNamara and his involvement in the Vietnam War. Other features include "Touching the Void," "The Return" and "The Dreamers," the newest film by legendary filmmaker Bernardo Bertolucci.

Over 150 shorts and documentaries representing the latest work in independent media will be screened in competition. Many of these works will screen at Baker Center, at the intersection of Union and College Streets on the Ohio University campus. These screenings run the gamut from informational documentaries about global issues to works of local interest, including "An Appalachian Memoir" by Ora Anderson and "The Cheshire Transaction," an examination of the Gallia County town of Cheshire and its problems with the electric company.

Among the guest artists appearing at the festival are David Collins, executive producer and creator of the runaway television hit "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy." Collins will appear with "Fog of War," a production his partner at Scout Production co-produced with Morris. Collins will appear at the Athena Cinema, 20 S. Court St., at the 7 p.m. screening of "Fog of War" on Saturday, April 24.

Herb E. Smith, a documentarian from Whitesburg, Ky., will present his latest work, "Thoughts on the Presence of Fear," a contemplative essay about rural and global issues in the post 9/11 world based on an essay by Wendell Berry. Smith will appear to discuss the film at the Athena Cinema on Tuesday, April 27, at 7 p.m.

Also presenting work about global issues is Big Noise Film, a media activist collective whose latest work, "The Fourth World War," considers world politics and the human condition. The Big Noise Film presentation is Friday, April 23, at 7 p.m., at the Athena Cinema.

In association with the festival, the Kennedy Museum of Art is presenting "Gregory Barsamian: Time and Tribulations," an exhibition of recent kinetic sculpture by the renowned New York artist. Utilizing his knowledge of proto-cinematic devices and the concept of persistence of vision, the artist creates fascinating kinetic sculptures that transform three-dimensional objects into visual narratives that evolve in real time. Call (740) 593-1304 or visit www.ohio.edu/outlook/283n-034.cfm or www.ohio.edu/museum for details.

The Athens International Film and Video Festival is sponsored by the Athens Center for Film and Video, a project of the College of Fine Arts at Ohio University. The festival receives generous support from the Ohio Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Athens County Convention and Visitor's Bureau and many individual donors.

Detailed program schedules are available at many locations around town. Tickets for screenings at the Athena Cinema are $5.50 for shows starting after 6 p.m.; $3.50 for shows starting prior to 6 p.m. A $25 pass is available, good for any five screenings. All shows at Baker Center are free admission.

Tickets are available beginning April 21 at the College of Fine Arts Ticket Office on the first floor of Kantner Hall, Monday through Friday from noon to 4 p.m., and at the Athena Cinema Box Office, 20 S. Court St.

Complete festival information is available at www.Athensfest.org.  

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Media Contact: Athens Center for Film and Video Director Ruth Bradley, (740) 593-1330 or bradley@ohiou.edu

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