In its first year of creation, the Arnold Sports Film Festival will showcase the talents of both high school students and international filmmakers at the 2011 Arnold Sports Festival this weekend.
“The inspiration and how it started was a film that was sent in to Jim Lorimer that showed the internal struggle of an athlete, asking why do they do what they do and how they do it,” said Jim Hern, film festival chairman. “What is the reward?”
Hern said that Lorimer, one of the co-founders of the Arnold Sports Festival, thought a film festival would be a great way to showcase stories of all the athletes.
Each short film is no more than 15 minutes and will tell the stories of athletes and show the struggles they go through.
“On the side of the athletes, there are plenty of stories to be told,” Hern said. “And for the filmmakers’ side, there are a lot of stories for them to make into a film.
Every story should be told.”
Film festival co-chair Amber Mikesell said they hoped to get many student filmmakers involved.
“This year primary marketing was targeted toward students in Ohio,” she said. “We do expect that the high school portion of the film festival will grow well beyond Ohio next year.”
High schools the student filmmakers come from include Dublin Scioto, Upper Arlington, Dublin Coffman and Gahanna Lincoln.
“The purpose for having a specific high school division is to work specifically with schools and students to assist in educating along the way,” Mikesell said.
Films were pre-screened to make sure they complied with the contest’s rules. Mikesell said they were then packaged for judging and given to an independent panel of industry experts and evaluated for four qualities: creativity, structure, quality and impact.
“Basically there’s a high school competition for U.S. students and then there’s a second competition that’s open to anybody anywhere in the world,” said Aaron Azpiazu, project manager at Campus MovieFest. Campus MovieFest is working with the Arnold Sports Festival to put on the film festival.
Some other events at the festival include a screening of “Win Win,” a comedy starring Paul Giamatti and Amy Ryan, about a lawyer who coaches a high school wrestling team. The movie is in between screenings at the Sundance Film Festival and South by Southwest.
The international portion of the film contest will be shown Saturday.
Among the jurors is former Calif. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who will also present awards to the winners at the end of the film festival. Eddie George will be the award ceremony’s host.
“You have Schwarzenegger, the biggest athlete-turn-movie star, and then you have (OSU Heisman winning running back) Eddie George who is encouraging people to do more than just one thing,” Hern said.
The prizes include visiting a Hollywood movie set with Schwarzenegger, among other things.