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Wexner Film festival captures state of Ohio

This spring the Wexner Center for the Arts will be giving Ohio filmmakers an opportunity to showcase their work. The film festival is in its 15th year, but significant changes have been made for the 2010 showcase.

“We just decided that we were ready for a face-lift,” said Jennifer Lange, associate curator of media arts for the Wexner Center. The former name “was a really long name for a festival … and we wanted to do something that was a little snappier and more contemporary and fun.”

Changing the name from the Ohio Short Film and Video Showcase to Ohio Shorts was part of an entire redirection of the festival, including a focus on a broader range of participants. Lange said that they hope to have artists who work with video enter the festival as well as filmmakers.

“It’s really any artist in Ohio,” Lange said. “We always make a big push for Ohio State students … but we’re really trying to get as many entries as possible. There are so many people making such great work. We want to show a slice of talent that really showcases the state.”

Participants range across all ages since the inception of a youth division for the festival several years ago. In 2009, a video was submitted from an 8-year-old girl, Lange said.

Videos that are submitted only have a few restrictions: the work has to be under 20 minutes long and it has to be made in the last 18 months by an Ohio resident, Lange said. During a typical year, close to 100 entries are submitted.

Three jurors, “one outside juror and two from the film and video department at the Wexner” judge the event, Lange said. The judges for the 2010 exhibit have not yet been selected.

Once films are judged, the finalists are shown in a program at the Wexner Center, which will be held on May 8.

“There are people that make experimental videos and some people make 20-minute long dramatic narratives,” Lange said. “We really want to get the best of all the styles.”

Anyone looking to apply for the festival can download an entry form at wexarts.org/fv/ohioshorts/. They will be taking applications until March 21.

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