OU Prof’s Feature Film To Be Screened at Athens Festival

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Friday, April 13 marks the beginning of the 38th annual Athens International Film and Video Festival, featuring dozens of full-length films and shorts from around the world. One of those films, Small, Beautifully Moving Parts, has ties to Athens.

Written and directed by Annie Howell, assistant professor of film at Ohio University, and her partner Lisa Robinson, assistant professor of film at Long Island University, the film chronicles one woman’s journey to reconnect with her estranged mother after discovering that she is pregnant.

The film is set in the western United States, where both directors grew up. Howell is originally from Arizona, Robinson from California.

The pair have been friends for 10 years after meeting at NYU, where both women were studying for an MFA in film. Since then, they have collaborated on various projects, including a web series called Sparks, which served as the basis for the film.

"[The  web series] went so well and we loved these characters, we decided that there wasn’t any reason to work with longer material," said Howell. "It seemed like a really good fit to stretch into a feature length film."

The collaboration between Howell and Robinson came easily, as the filmmakers discovered that they had a shared vision.

"It was more challenging for crew members than for us," said Robinson. "We were speaking our own language, going a million miles an hour, talking about what we wanted to do. Sometimes that was challenging because we were such a tight unit and we had to outwardly communicate to our key collaborators outside ourselves."

After working on the film for a year, it debuted at Austin, Texas' South by Southwest festival in March 2011. Robinson and Howell have also had the chance to see their movie played at different film festivals and have received positive responses from critics and audiences alike.

The film was recently picked up for distribution and will be shown in major cities around the country.

Small, Beautifully Moving Parts will be screening at the Athena Cinema on Sunday, April 15 at 8 p.m., followed by a Q&A with Annie Howell. Visit for more information.