2014 Athens International Film + Video Festival poster

Athens Film Fest Features More Than 300 Movies

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For some community activists, students and faculty members at Ohio University the past months were busy ones: They had to watch movies.

They had to watch more than a thousand movies that filmmakers had entered for the Athens International Film and Video Festival 2014.

Eventually the organizers selected 300 films. This Friday, the screenings kick off in the Athens Cinema. The focus of the week-long festival is on independent and international movies.

“Within those genres anything goes,” Ruth Bradley said. The director of the Athens Film Festival explained that filmmakers would come from all over the world. But there would be also national and local filmmakers who entered their movies. Some of them would be even students. “It’s a great mix,” Bradley said.

Until Thursday, April 17, movie fans have the chance to watch documentaries, narrative and experimental films as well as animations. By the end of the festival guest jurors will announce the winners for each category.

The first prize winners will be awarded with $500, the winners of the second-places with $300 and the third-place fishers will will get $175.

Bradley says there would be several highlights. On Monday, April 14, an experimental filmmaker from Kent, Ohio, will be screen two movies.

“Richard Meyers is a very important artist within the American genre of experimental films,” Bradley explained.

Moreover, he showed his film at the very first film festival in 1974. After four decades he is now coming back with two movies: “Deathstyles” and “37-73.”

According to Bradley another highlight will be the screening of “HERadventure” on Wednesday, April 16. Ayoka Chenzira and her daughter HaJ produced an interactive movie that combines live action filmmaking, 3D environments and gameplay.

The College of Fine Arts at Ohio University sponsors the film festival. The organizers also receive funding from the Ohio Arts Council and donations from different departments. Every screening will take place at the Athena Cinema.

Tickets for adults are $5.50 for screenings during the day and $6.50 for movies in the evening. Ohio University students can get in for free. Based on the last years, Bradley expects between 5,000 and 6,000 people coming to the festival.

“It’ll be fun. Hopefully it rains a little bit. I know we’ve had a bad winter, but the perfect weather is a little bit of rain. A little bit of rain, a little cloudy, so you want to stay inside and watch movies all day.”