Still image from Heart of Sky, Heart of Earth
With its presence and attendance continuing to climb, the country’s longest-running film festival is receiving the stretch treatment. The 61st Columbus International Film & Video Festival (CIF&VF) will run for two weeks next month. Assorted screenings, manifesting throughout Columbus at different times, will play from November 3rd through November 17th. “Entries have been pouring in from every part of the planet. It’s always a very multicultural event,” said Susan Halpern, executive director of the Columbus Film Council, which puts on the festival. “The variety of films playing includes award-winning features, documentaries, short films and even unique animations.” Founded in 1950 by a group of progressive educators, the Columbus Film Council, through the Columbus International Film & Video Festival, continues their legacy, honoring and screening the work of makers whose creations of vision, beauty and power help us understand the complexities of our world by using their committed artistry to touch our minds and hearts. Following several “Early Bird” events, the festival officially kicks off at the Gateway Film Center on November 7th to screen “Beny: Back to the Wild.” Set in the Congo, the French film follows an orphan bonobo, rescued by a conservationist. The event is co-sponsored by the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. Zoo representatives will bring animal friends to the opening reception. A portion of ticket sales will be donated to Bonobo Paradise. Among the highlights of the festival is an exceptional film: “Heart of Sky, Heart of Earth.” The film introduces audiences to six young Maya in Guatemala and Chiapas and circles around the foretold ending of the present world once 5,125 years pass – with a new cycle beginning after. As corporations bleed value and resources from these innocent populations, these six individuals help share a memorable perspective … without the use of narration. Each story illustrates an important aspect of this current catastrophe. Film goers are encouraged to be part of the experience. “Heart of Sky, Heart of Earth” hits the screen at 8:00 p.m. on Friday, November 15th at the Canzani Center at the Columbus College of Art & Design (CCAD). Admission is $5 and free for students and CIF&VF members. Parking is free in the CCAD lots. “Another event we’re really proud to host honors our LBGT friends,” Halpern said. Beginning the week of November 10th, the CIF&VF will present the Stonewall Columbus LBGT Fest. Over three evenings, these specially-themed films will be screened to inform and move audiences. “We encourage everyone to come to Studio 35 on November 10th, Wild Goose on November 12th, and the Canzani Center on November 13th,” she said. “This is definitely something you don’t want to miss.” The festival begin its wrap-up with “Movies & Mead” on November 16th, which includes the annual award ceremony and after-party. Guests will be treated to local food, live music and the Best Of Festival film, Tokyo Waka – along with the filmmakers themselves. Everyone is encouraged to show up at the Canzani Center. For the complete event schedule, membership and ticket information, visit CUTLINES