ATHENS – Films created during the WOUB 2020-21 Our Ohio high school documentary film project – including work by Logan High School students – will be shown during the upcoming Athens International Film and Video Festival (AIFVF). The films will be shown at The Athena Cinema on Oct. 17 at 3 p.m.
“We are thrilled that the work the student’s created will be shown during the festival,” said WOUB Community Engagement Manager Cheri Russo in a news release. “This is a wonderful opportunity for these students to have their stories and voices heard.”
Last fall, WOUB was selected to receive an “Our America: Documentary in Dialogue” grant from American Documentary | POV, with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The grant supported community engagement activities around the documentary Portraits and Dreams that included virtual screening events with local high school students and their teachers and allowed students to create their own short films.
WOUB worked with students in English, journalism and multimedia classes at Logan High School, South Gallia High School and Meigs High School. WOUB Producer/Director Evan Shaw conducted virtual storytelling workshops throughout the school year to help the students identify aspects of their community they wanted to share with the rest of the region, state, and nation. The end-result was 15 short-films that showcase the communities from the perspective of local high school students.
“Through this project we were able to provide experiences to schools in our rural communities who often don’t have the same opportunities as larger school systems. It has been interesting to learn how excited current filmmakers have been to work with our students and to hear stories from their perspectives,” said WOUB Educational Services Manager Deborah Brewer. “Teachers have been interested in the project because it brings authentic learning to their classroom which is very motivating for students. We are excited to see where this project leads us in the future.”
“The festival is honored to partner with WOUB to showcase the voices of young filmmakers from our region, voices often absent from mainstream coverage about our area,” said AIFVF Director David Colagiovanni. “Through their own voices these films give us a sincere view at both the challenges and rewards of growing up in Appalachia.”
“The work and effort the students put in to create these films was amazing,” said Shaw. “We are thrilled that the films will be shown at this level.”
This year’s festival runs from Oct. 15 – 24. Founded in 1974, the AIFVF has been presenting the best in international film for 48 years. Known globally as a festival that supports cinema from underground and marginalized populations, the AIFVF represents the values that we share as a community. It is a champion of justice and provides a voice for underrepresented artists and viewpoints on a global level. For four decades, AIFVF has embraced experimental, animation, narrative, short-form, feature length, and documentary films from every corner of the globe, offering filmmakers a stellar platform for public exposure and an environment that values artistry above marquee names and industry relationships.