Colagiovanni Named Director of Athens Film Festival

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The long-running Athens International Film + Video Festival has a new director.

David Colagiovanni has been named Director of the Athens Center for Film and Video, a role that includes running the annual festival, a weeklong event that started in 1974 and has become an Athens institution, as well as a teaching assignment.

Colagiovanni, who has a background both as a filmmaker and an educator, replaced Ruth Bradley, who served in the role for 28 years before retiring earlier this year.

“This is a world-class festival,” said Steven Ross, Director of the School of Dance, Film, and Theater, who expressed having high hopes for Colagiovanni. “David, as an artist and as a filmmaker who has been around Ohio University for a while and has worked with Ruth, has a deep feeling for what this festival means.”

Sponsored by the College of Fine Arts, the Athens Center for Film and Video is a non-academic department operating out of Ohio University’s Central Classroom Building. The Center, which supports the development of independent, community, and alternative media arts, also has been supported by the Ohio Arts Council.

Part of Colagiovanni’s duties will include teaching film-related courses through the School of Dance, Film, and Theater. For one of the courses, called Media Arts Management, Colagiovanni will oversee student participation in the festival, which relies heavily on volunteers. Colagiovanni, who first came to Athens as a visiting professor at the School of Art + Design in 2008, has taught various courses at OHIO, as well as at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

David Colagiovanni
“One of the best parts of living in Athens is the Film Festival,” said Colagiovanni. (Josh Coyle)

Colagiovanni has been involved with the Film Festival for about three years, contributing to publicity efforts through the design and art direction of promotional materials, including the website. He helped bring in guest artist and filmmaker Ryan Trecartin for the 2015 event.

“I think one of the best parts of living in Athens is the Film Festival,” said Colagiovanni, who described the event as a “window to what’s out there in contemporary cinema.”

He added that one of the things he appreciates most about the event is its support of experimental film, which he called unique in a film festival.

“We always say that there’s something for everybody at the festival, and that’s really important to keep that breadth,” he said.

Now in its 43rd year, the Athens Film Festival was established to provide a showcase for independent and student-produced films from around the world. The competition element, which drew more than 1,000 entries for the latest event, includes a broad variety of artists and genres. A pre-screening committee determines which films will be shown, and prizes are determined by a panel of jurors.

Colagiovanni received his BFA from the University of Maine and an MFA in art from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Also passionate about experimental sound art, he frequently collaborates with Melissa Haviland, a professor in the School of Art + Design.