Take a seat and kick back, documentary fans. The Wexner Center for the Arts is preparing for its first-ever all-documentary film festival Oct. 19-21.
The festival, “Unorthodocs.,” will offer a diverse collection of 11 documentaries, portraying a wide range of themes and filmmaking styles.
“Unorthodocs.” features an eclectic mix of films with various themes by filmmakers both well-known and new to the documentary genre.
Chris Stults, associate curator of film and video at the Wexner Center, said besides an adventurous cinematic experience, attendees also have the chance to meet seven filmmakers who will be on hand to present their films and take part in a Q&A.
Documentary newcomer Jonathan Olshefski’s “Quest” follows a struggling couple from a poor Philadelphia neighborhood for about 10 years.
Olfsheski, who will be in Columbus for the screening, said he believes documentaries allow viewers to experience life in depth alongside readily identifiable real-life characters.
“Viewers from any kind of place and viewers in Columbus, Ohio, are going to be able to connect to the emotional resonances in the film,” he said. “You will be able to see yourself in them.”
A variety of other films will be shown across three days, including “The Road Movie,” by Dmitri Kalashnikov, which is shot strictly from dashboard cameras from cars in Russia.
Another film in the festival, “Faces Places,” sees legendary French director Agnes Varda, now nearly 90 years old, hit the road in France with 34-year-old graffiti-artist-turned-street-photographer JR, an unidentified artist who is described as a sort of French Banksy.
“Cousin Bobby” will also be featured, which is a film by the late Jonathan Demme, who won an Oscar for the fictional classic “Silence of the Lambs.”
The driving forces behind the festival are Stults and David Filipi, director of film and video at the Wexner Center. Stults traveled to Columbia, Missouri, last year for the True/False Film Festival, which featured all documentaries, and discovered that the once-unadventurous genre is exploding in popularity with new found creativity and unique storytelling.
Growing up, Stults equated documentaries to eating your vegetables –– something that’s good for you to see, but not at all entertaining. Now, however, he recognizes the growing importance and popularity of the genre.
“Documentary has become one of the most vital and exciting forms of filmmaking that’s happening right now,” Stults says. “There’s more of an audience than ever for documentaries. It doesn’t have that stigma that it used to.”
With the documentary genre currently experiencing a golden age, Stults hopes the festival will attract a varied audience especially, he said, “anybody who is curious about the world, especially about the world right now.”
Tickets for each movie are also sold separately. For more information about “Unorthodocs.” including the film schedule, please visit https://wexarts.org/film-video/series/unorthodocs.