May 6, 2005
Sowing the seeds of a film festival
New event includes five GLBT-interest films
With the last lion’s roar of April fading into a lamb-like exit for the month, more than flowers are blossoming in the state capital.
It’s high time that a city of Columbus’ size and status had a freestanding film festival. Now, due to the perseverance of a few cinephiles, including Melissa Starker and Jeff Franks, the Deep Focus Film Fest is budding.
Centered around the best in independent films, the inaugural festival will run May 5 through 8 at the Arena Grand Theater at Nationwide and Marconi Blvds. in downtown Columbus.
The organizers have embraced GLBT films right from the start and have lined up an impressive group of them.
Of the dozen films in the festival, almost half are of GLBT interest. They include:
A comedy for anyone who has felt like an outsider in high school, this witty, impressive, award-winning feature debut follows teenage Dorian as he comes to terms with being gay, and tries to get his stern father and denial-happy mother to do the same.
Zero Degrees of Separation
Completed in part in the Wexner Center’s Art and Technology Department, this documentary comes straight from a successful world premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival.
The experiences of two gay couples of mixed race living in Israel (one partner is Israeli, the other is Palestinian) are paired with home movies of the filmmaker’s grandparents participating in the creation of Jewish settlements there in 1946. This event will feature an introduction and post-screening Q&A with director Elle Flanders.
My Summer of Love
Over a long, hot summer in the British mining town of Yorkshire, two teenage girls form an intense bond that goes beyond friendship, past love and into the realm of obsession, all under the watchful, judgmental eye of one’s older brother, a Christian fundamentalist.
This film was the winner of Best British Film at the 2004 BAFTA Awards, their version of the Oscars.
Though in his 80s, Senegalese master Ousmane Sembene, the first black African to make a feature film, still wields extraordinary power. Arriving here with multiple awards and heaps of audience and critical praise behind it, his latest takes an incredibly difficult subject--the ritual of female circumcision--and makes it the source of a stirring, occasionally funny, ultimately uplifting example of how one strong-willed woman, standing up for her own daughter and other young girls, can combat an entire culture.
This film was the winner of the Grand Prize: Un Certain Regard at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival.
One Missed Call
The incredibly prolific, gay Japanese low-budget master director Takashi Miike’s latest, already pegged for an American remake, brings the unique filmmaker into The Ring territory with its tale of a curse that starts when a young woman gets a cell phone call from the near future--the moment of her impending death.
For tickets or more information visit www.deepfocusfilmfest.com or call the Arena Grand at 614-4695000.