Lights, Camera, Action

By Cass Freeland | 28 Mar, 2017

Columbus College of Art and Design presents the 65th Columbus International Film + Video Festival, which opens April 19. It’s the oldest film festival in the United States, so how cool is it that it all happens just up the street?

The majority of the festival takes place on the CCAD campus, but the event kicks off at Wexner Center for the Arts with Signature Move, a film that debuted at SXSW earlier this month and was named one of the 50 most anticipated films of the year by Filmmaker Magazine.

Columbus native Jennifer Reeder, an alumna of The Ohio State University and recipient of a Wex Artist residency award, directed Signature Move.

“It’s a very culturally important movie,” said Jeremy Henthorn, executive director of the Columbus International Film + Video Festival. “It tackles a lot of subjects that are in the American consciousness right now. But at the same time, it is a really fun, really energetic film. It doesn’t deal in stereotypes. It deals in life, and it deals in struggle, and it tells a love story about a Muslim-American lawyer who not only finds love for another person but also finds a passion for lucha wrestling.”

The central Ohio connection is no coincidence.

“We wanted to take a look at Columbus as a creative city,” said Henthorn. “Central Ohio has become a real hub for incredibly talented artists and filmmakers. For our 65th year, we wanted to celebrate the films and filmmakers who have a deep connection with our city.”

Aside from Signature Move, CIF+VF features a variety of films exploring subjects such as rural life, job loss and heroin addiction. It also includes blocks sponsored by the Columbus Black International Film Festival, Columbus Jewish Film Festival and LGBT Fest.

Other films with an Ohio connection include Strad Style, a Slamdance award-winning documentary about a rural Ohio man who convinces a famous European concert violinist that he can make a copy of one of the most famous and valuable violins in the world, and The JJ Project, a documentary about an Ohio boy born with brittle bone disease who unites a community while reaching his dream of directing a musical.

Finally, the festival wouldn’t be complete without Saturday Morning Cartoons from Around the World on Saturday, April 22.
The CIF + VF runs April 19 – 23 at CCAD (60 Cleveland Ave.), the Drexel Theatre (2254 E. Main St.), and Wexner Center for the Arts (1871 N. High St.). Tickets for the opening night reception and screening of Signature Move cost $8, tickets for all other screenings cost $6, and festival passes cost $60. Click here for tickets and more information.