MARIETTA - Three local filmmakers are participating in the sixth annual Colony Film Festival on Friday and Saturday at the Colony Theatre.
Jordan Lowe's "Running the Asylum" has been submitted and chosen for the festival, a benefit for the restoration of the Colony Theatre with a goal of providing an avenue for showcasing talented regional filmmakers.
"Running the Asylum" is a web comedy about the ups and downs of owning a small-town comic shop, created by Lowe and Logan Vannoy. The series has done six episodes and has a Facebook page. Lowe owns the Asylum Comic Store in Marietta.
“Weirdo In a Weird Land,” is a short film created by Andy Hall of Marietta for the Colony Film Festival Friday and Saturday in Marietta.
Andy Hall of Marietta has submitted two films this year, "Weirdo in a Weird Land" and "The Stone."
The first film features local musician Vinnie Mele playing alien explorer in Marietta who misinterprets everything he sees. It is a comedy, almost like a silent movie, Hall said.
"The Stone" is a surrealist stop-motion film featuring puppets and sets Hall built and filmed in his basement. It is about the Philosopher's Stone in history.
Hall became involved with the festival five years ago, volunteering to help with graphic design and related activities. He submitted his first film last year, winning the Best Local award for the film "Uninvited.".
"I've been trying to teach myself how to make short films," he said.
Hall has been interested in film-making for a long time, but just started his efforts a couple years ago. He enjoys most aspects of making a film, from the pre-production phase and all of the planning and preparation it requires to editing what he has collected into its final form. Both can be long and tedious, but Hall said he likes doing the work.
The funnest part, however, is probably the quickest. That is actual shooting, or filming, part of the process and it can be filled with unexpected and unplanned surprises, he said.
Hall said he has been auditing classes at Marietta College on subjects that interested him and his film projects grew out of those. He likes the Colony Film Festival and what it has accomplished during its life.
"It's exciting for me. I know there are film fests all over, but it's exciting to have one locally," he said.
Hall likes how the festival has been creating connections within the local film community and beyond over the past several years.
Aaron Dunbar of Lowell also had a film chosen for this year's festival. Dunbar said he found out about the Colony event from his brother and then saw some ads for it.
"I really didn't think of there being such a thing in the area; it didn't occur to me that much would go on around the Mid-Ohio Valley in terms of filmmaking," he said.
He decided to enter an animated short he made called "Hare Tactics."
"I'd had some luck with it in a couple of past competitions, winning first prize in the National Coalition Against Censorship's Youth Free Expression Network Film Contest for which it was made, as well as best in show at my university's Fall 2010 Student Film Festival. So I thought I'd give it a shot," he said.
Dunbar said "Hare Tactics" was a turning point of a sort for him as an aspiring filmmaker. He had made animations in the past, but it was the first he made with an agenda, it was actually "about" something, in terms of having a message to convey.
"It's basically an animated lampoon of the 24-hour news cycle, and the predisposition of news networks to 'inflate' their stories for the sake of ratings, or to push their own political agenda, much to the disservice of their viewers, and, on occasion, to their endangerment," Dunbar said.
As part of this year's Colony Film Festival, "Pink Ribbons, Inc." will be featured at 8 p.m. Friday as a special presentation of the festival. Tickets for the film are $8 for adults and $5 for students. The film festival's one- and two-day passes include the film.
"Pink Ribbons, Inc." is a feature documentary that looks at the politics of breast cancer philanthropy. A short discussion period will be held immediately following the film. Additional information on the film festival can be found at colonytheatre.com or on the Colony Film Festival's Facebook page.
The festival is held each year the Mid-Ohio Valley Players Theater at Third and Putnam streets, across from the Colony Theatre. Admission is $10 for a one-day pass and $15 for a two-day pass. In addition to screenings of the submitted films, the festival also features speakers and workshops. The festival schedule includes:
* 6 p.m.: Introduction
* 6-7:35 p.m.: "More than Chance" (PG), Debra Johanyak, writer-director, Mogadore, Ohio.
* 7:35-7:45 p.m.: "Miss Shade is Missing" (G), Eddie Rosenstein, director, Rick Velleu and Amie Segal, producers, Brooklyn, N.Y.
* 7:45-8 p.m.: Break
* 8-9:45 p.m.: "Pink Ribbons, Inc." (NR), Non-contest feature film by Lea Pool, Director
* 9:45-10 p.m.: Break
* 10-11:15 p.m.: "American Scream King" (R), Joel Paul Reisig, writer-director-producer, Scottsdale, Ariz.
* 10 a.m.-noon: Workshop
* Noon-1:15 p.m.: Lunch break
* 1:15- 2:15 p.m.: "Christ Complex" (R), Jeffrey Scott Richards, writer-director, Walker, W.Va.
* 2:15-3 p.m.: "Full Speed or Nothing" (PG13), Jason Gwynn, writer-director-producer, Parkersburg, W.Va.
* 3-3:15 p.m.: "Dimes on a Turn" PG13, Wynn Reichert, writer, Michael Lynch, director, Gallatin, Tenn.
* 3:15-3:30 p.m.: Break
* 3:30-3:35 p.m.: "This Too Shall Pass" (G), Marc Wisemann, writer-director, Columbus, Ohio
* 3:35-3:40 p..: "Weirdo in a Weird Land" (PG13), Andy Hall, writer-director-producer, Marietta, Ohio
* 3:40-4 p.m.: "Fighting Old Age" (PG), Caleb Stern, director, Nicole Mendoza, producer, Virginia Beach, Va.
* 4-4:05 p.m.: "Table Etiquette" (G), Ruth Friedman, director-producer, Virginia Beach, Va.
* 4:05-4:30 p.m.: "Snake" (PG13), D. Eric Parks, writer-director-editor, LaVergne, Tenn.
* 4:30-5:30 p.m.: Tours of Colony Theatre
* 4:30-6 p.m.: Dinner break
* 6-6:10 p.m.: "A Girl Named Penny" (G), Aaron Steiner, director-producer, Virginia Beach, Va.
* 6:10-6:25 p.m.: "Hare Tactics: When Free Speech Goes Too Far" (G), Aaron Dunbar, writer-animator-editor, Lowell, Ohio.
* 6:25-6:45 p.m.: "Bama and Fred" (PG13), Brian Gerber, director, Courtney Jackson, producer, Virginia Beach, Va.
* 6:45-7 p.m.: "The Stone" (G), Andy Hall, director-animator-producer, Marietta, Ohio
* 7-8:45 p.m.: "The Dancing Outlaw" (PG13), Non-contest Feature Film, Jacob Young, director
* 8:45-9 p.m.: Break
* 9-10 p.m.: Jacob Young, keynote speaker, documentary filmmaker, Morgantown, W.Va.
* 10-10:05 p.m.: "Spring Forward" (G), Zach Yokum, director, Nathan Stump, producer, Virginia Beach, Va.
* 10:05-10:50 p.m.: "Running the Asylum" (PG), Jordan Lowe and Logan Vannoy, creators, Jordan Lowe, writer, Marietta, Ohio
* 11 p.m.: Awards