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WOUB’s “Our Ohio” high school documentary project films will be featured at 2024 Athens International Film and Video Festival

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ATHENS, OH – Films created during the WOUB 2021-22 and 22-23 Our Ohio high school documentary film project will be shown during the upcoming Athens International Film and Video Festival (AIFVF). The films will be shown at The Athena Cinema on Sunday, April 14 at 3 p.m. 

AIFVF is always honored to partner with WOUB to present the work of young filmmakers from our region alongside our program of films from over 50 countries,” said Athens International Film and Video Festival Director David Colagiovanni.

WOUB’s Our Ohio documentary film project challenges high school students in our region to learn about and explore independent documentary film, Appalachian cultural identity, media literacy and multimedia storytelling. Throughout the course of the school year, students work with a WOUB news reporter and documentary filmmaker, and Ohio University Media Arts and Studies Associate Professor Brian Plow to learn how to create and submit their own short documentary films. The project gives young people the resources necessary to tell their own story and challenges them to think more deeply about what they want to say and the most effective way to say it.

“It’s fun to see how the project has developed over the years.  We’ve created a team of professionals from the university and WOUB who work in person and remotely with the schools and their teachers,” said WOUB Educational Services Manager Deborah Brewer. “I get so excited each year to see the topics the students will cover and how they will tell the story. I continue to be impressed by the support our region gives to the project and our students. ”

“Storytelling literacy is so important,” said Plow. “I believe that storytelling is the most powerful force on the planet. When someone understands how a story is put together, it becomes empowering for that person. They will know when they consume media what’s authentic and what might be manufactured. They can also turn around and tell their own story and the story of their community in an authentic way. I feel like this is helping to empower people in communities that are sometimes left behind in the state of Ohio.”

In the second year of the project (2021-2022), WOUB worked with students at Logan High School, South Gallia High School, Alexander High School, Wellston High School and Meigs High School. 35 films were submitted for adjudication. In the third year of the project (2022-2023), students from Wellston and Alexander High Schools participated in the project and submitted 35 films for adjudication.


About the AIFVF

This year’s festival runs from April 4- 14. The AIFVF presents the best in international film. 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.