By Jennifer Sadler
The Columbus International Film + Video Festival, also known as “The Chris Awards” is one of the most prestigious film competitions in the U.S. and the oldest of its kind in North America. Every year in November, the CIF+VF presents a full week of films and filmmakers that you can't see anywhere else. The CIF+VF shows documentaries, animation, narratives and experimental work from around the world and from right here at home. The event also allows the public access to the filmmakers, offering a rare opportunity to meet and talk with the artists.
For more than half a century, the CIF+VF has honored thousands of films, filmmakers and producers both at commercial and independent levels. The Chris Award–the festival’s top honor—is proudly displayed in production offices around the world. For some, the Chris Awards has been a qualifying festival for the Academy Awards. The Chris Awards remains a revered prize for industry professionals, but the organization is equally passionate about supporting independent film. The juried competition, with categories ranging from experimental short films to more traditional narrative features, focuses on rewarding the world’s best films, regardless of origin, while serving to promote and screen more and more films every year. In addition to film, there are also competitions for screenplays and print media.
The 59th CIF+VF opens on November 16 with Filmmakers Forum: An Evening of LGBT Shorts at Studio 35 Cinema, then moves to the Canzani Center at the Columbus College of Art & Design from Thursday November 17 through November 19. The festival will also feature award-winning student films and kid-friendly cartoons from around the globe. The CIF+VF will close out the week on Sunday, November 20 at the Gateway Film Center with a film that premiered in L.A. just last week—Marissa Miller Wolfson’s, Vegucated. The guerilla-style documentary follows three meat- and cheese-loving New Yorkers who agree to go vegan for six weeks.
November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)—an annual internet-based creative writing project that challenges participants to write 50,000 words of a new novel between November 1 and November 30. The project started in July 1999 with just 21 participants, but by the 2010, more than 200,000 people took part, writing a total of over 2.8 billion words.
In honor of NaNoWriMo, GCAC recently interviewed a local writer, Carla Buckley, who has carved out a wonderfully successful career as a novelist. Buckley, a finalist for the 2011 Ohioana Book Award, is the debut author of The Things That Keep Us Here. Named a Thurber House "New Voice in Fiction," Buckley chairs the International Thriller Writers Debut Program. Her novel, now in its second printing, tells a suspenseful tale of Peter Brooks, an Ohio university researcher, and his extended family as they deal with the onset of a flu pandemic that takes out 50 percent of those it infects.
Buckley’s new novel, Invisible, is slated for publication in early 2012. It's about a woman who returns home for her older sister's funeral, hoping to elude issues in her own life and dreading what she'll find in the small town where she grew up and where her sister died. What she discovers is a family in turmoil, an invisible threat to a town's safety, and the answer to her own identity. In a recent interview, GCAC learned more about Buckley and her career as a writer.
Jazz Arts Group Presents Jazz Master David Liebman
The Jazz Arts Group is proud to present an evening of music from award-winning jazz musician and NEA Jazz Master, David Liebman and his quartet. As part of its Inside Track concert series, JAG will bring a bit of New York City to Vonn Jazz Supperclub for two evening shows on November 2.
Ohio Craft Museum Presents Gifts of the Craftsmen
The 12th annual Gifts of the Craftsmen, a holiday exhibition and sale of fine craft, is the perfect place for shoppers to discover unique gifts this season, including jewelry, pottery, art glass, baskets and clothing handcrafted by more than 60 artists from Ohio and across the U.S.
Ohio Statehouse Celebrates 150th Birthday
On November 15, 1861, construction on the Ohio Statehouse was finally completed after 22 years of construction. Now, 150 years later, Ohioans will commemorate this historic birthday of the Statehouse and its worthy contributions to American democracy. To celebrate, the Statehouse will present an Open House and the Capitol Artists Fair.