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Filmmakers have chance to shine with Ohio Shorts at the Wexner Center for the Arts

Courtesy of the Wexner Center

When it comes to film, quality is important, but so are the creativity and originality of the content. Some filmmakers aim to show off all three qualities right here in Ohio.

The Wexner Center for the Arts announced last week via its website that it will accept submissions from Ohio filmmakers, and the best pieces will be selected from a panel of judges to be showcased in the 18th annual film festival called Ohio Shorts.

The entry form can be found on the Wexner Center’s website starting Monday, and the deadline to submit content is March 22.

The festival has one goal: to promote Ohio filmmakers and their work, said Jennifer Lange, curator of the Film/Video Studio Program at the Wexner Center and organizer of the event, who also said the idea sprang from her predecessor who wanted to showcase Ohio’s talented artists.

“There are a lot of artists in Columbus, (in) Franklin County,” Lange said. “There are (also) great film schools here in Ohio: OU (Ohio University), BGSU (Bowling Green State University) and Cleveland State (University). It’s pretty tremendous and you wouldn’t know about it if this thing didn’t exist.”

Lange said the films vary in artistic content, where nothing is off limits.

“We’ll get a one-minute performance piece, or a 20-minute documentary,” she said. “We get narratives, experimental work, animation and a dance on camera.”

All entries must be “independently produced, no longer than 20 minutes, and produced in Ohio within the last 18 months,” according to a press release.

There is no age limit for applicants, but artists under 18 years old must enter the Ohio Shorts Youth Division. The only different rule for that division is that entries must not exceed 10 minutes.

While there is open submission, it remains competitive, Lange said.

“Seventy to 100 works are submitted, on average, (and) about 15 are shown,” she said.

There will be two categories of film showings, adult and youth. There will be cash prizes awarded to the two best films – a jury prize worth $300 and an audience award worth $200.

Ohio State alumnus Corey Aumiller was a high school student when he first entered the competition for a comedic short film he made on kids who are addicted to mashed potatoes.

He has participated in every Ohio Shorts festival and remembers the excitement of seeing his first film on the big screen.

“At the time, it was the coolest experience ever because my film was showing alongside adult work,” Aumiller said. “It was very validating.”

Aumiller has produced several dramatic films, such as a documentary about different generations in his family and how their lives differed.

As a result of the experiences, his network has grown.

“The coolest thing is that people from all over the state come to see it. At the end, people sit in the lobby, and you talk to people you wouldn’t have otherwise met.”

Participants can submit content through DVD, thumb drive, video or via a YouTube link. If submitting entries online, Lange said to post the video to YouTube and email the link to them directly, and must be submitted with an entry form.

Ohio Shorts is slated for April 15 for the Youth Division and the Adult Division is scheduled to screen on April 20 in the Wexner Center’s Film/Video Theater.

Tickets will be available at the Wexner Center, the Wexner Center’s website or by phone. In the past, the admission price has been around $3 but no price has been set for this year’s showcase.

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