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Ohio Shorts adds homegrown talent to long history of cinematic greatness

Courtesy of Monte Patterson

Hollywood may be the epicenter of the American film industry, but there is no need to drive to the Pacific to find great works. The Wexner Center for the Arts 2012 Ohio Shorts contest won’t have you drive more than a few hours to see work that filmmakers statewide produced.  

The Ohio Shorts contest isn’t really so much a contest as a venue for local filmmakers to show off their work.

The Wexner Center encourages everyone to submit entries. There are two divisions: youth (ages 18 and under) and adult (ages 19 and over). The youth division awards first through third prize and honorable mention, as well as an Audience Choice Award presneted at the April screening. The adult division is strictly about putting the films on display.

The Wexner Center put the call out Ohio-wide, said Jennifer Lange, a curator for the film and video program at the Wexner Center.

Adult submissions must be no longer than 20 minutes and youth submissions must be no longer than 10 minutes.

The contest allows for a variety of pieces to be viewed and judged. Submissions vary from animation to performance to stop-motion and include many non-linear experimental pieces. Submissions are due March 23.

“We’re really looking for original voices and original narratives,” Lange said.

The contest has been going on for over a decade and many filmmakers make a submission annually.

Corey Aumiller, a filmmaker and media arts teacher at Hilliard-Davidson High School, submits about every other year and has done so since his senior year of high school, he said.

There are a number of reasons filmmakers ought to submit their work to showcases such as this, Aumiller said.

“I think just getting exposure — having people see your work (is important),” Aumiller said. “(It’s) equally important to see what people in your neck of the woods are doing.”

Lange said the exposure can be just as good for the artists themselves.

“It was 10 years ago and (Aumiller) cites this and that first work, ‘Mashed Potatoes,’ showing at the Wexner on the big screen as this moment of ‘I can do this, I can actually do this for a living in some way’ … which I think does kind of speak to the importance of this type of event, this type of program,” Lange said.

The showcase will be open to the filmmakers’ guests and the public. Aumiller encourages his students and others to come see the collection of shorts.

“I don’t think there is a film venue that is quite as diverse,” Aumiller said. “(It’s a) goodie bag of really weird and wonderful short movies.”

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