Sunday, February 16, 2003

'Viewfinder' focuses on local filmmakers

Film notes

By Margaret A. McGurk
The Cincinnati Enquirer

WCET-TV (Channel 48) unveils a new showcase for local movie talent at 10 p.m. Thursday, hosted by Cincinnati filmmaker Alphonzo J. Wesson III.

Viewfinder will showcase clips and trailers and conversations with filmmakers. The first show includes Terry Lukemire, writer-director of the karaoke-themed feature Limelight. Also on the program will be producer Molly Donnellon and director Rob Gray of the comedy Three Barbecues.

Melissa Godoy is the producer. Wesson, whose firm Zo Motion Productions, developed the pilot episode with the public television outlet. "Nobody's getting anything for this," Wesson said. "It's just time to step up and make it happen. Independent filmmakers in the Tristate really need a forum, they need a place where they can be touted. They deserve it. There is such talent in this market.

"If people really dig it and everyone is happy, we'll make it a weekly show."

Wesson's short film Rendezvous was recently selected for screening at the fifth annual Hollywood Black Film Festival March 25-30.

Free marketing class: Media Bridges, 1100 Race St., downtown, offers a free class on creating press kits 1-3 p.m. Saturday, taught by public relations executive Sara Smith of Dan Pinger Advertising.

The class will cover content, style, distribution, format and goals. It is open to the public, and donations are appreciated. To reserve a space, e-mail education coordinator Tracey Warm at or call 513-651-4171.

AFM highlights local talent: Artworks, the feature film written and directed by local production veteran Jim Amatulli has been selected for a special producers showcase screening Feb. 28 at the American Film Market in Santa Monica, Calif.

The AFM is a major trade show for global distributors and theater chains. The producers showcase is an event debuting this year to give exposure to completed films that have not yet been signed to a distribution deal.

For passes to the screening, e-mail

Underground film funds: The Chicago Underground Film & Video Completion Fund has extended its deadline to March 1 for completion grants of up to $2,000 for works in progress. Existing projects of any length, genre or format are eligible, as long as they match the foundation's mission of promoting unique, challenging, innovative work. Projects in development, pre-production or production are not eligible.

Awards will be announced in May 2003. For application forms, visit Web site

Meanwhile, the Chicago Underground Film Festival is seeking entries for its 10th edition, Aug. 27-Sept. 3. Early deadline is May 1; final deadline is May 15. For guidelines, visit Web site.

Women's Fest 2003: The Cincinnati Women's Film Festival returns to the Blue Ash campus of Raymond Walters College March 8 with works ranging from American Indian comedy to a documentary about the Billie Holliday hit "Strange Fruit."

Former Cincinnatian Lynn Estomin has been invited to appear as guest filmmaker to talk about her long record of documenting social activism, and to screen her 2002 work, No Justice, No Peace, which focuses on four young Cincinnati activists who are the children of socially conscious parents.. Estomin now chairs the art department at Lycoming College in Pennsylvania.

Other highlights include BLO Nightly News, a satirical documentary from the Barbie Liberation Organization; Bionic Beauty Salon by Gretchen Stoeltje; a selection of short works from the late Baltimore filmmaker Martha Colburn, and the feature film Aimee & Jaguar about a love affair between an upper-class German woman and a Jewish lesbian.

The festival runs from 1-10 p.m. Admission is free. For directions and a full schedule, call 745-5645 or visit Web site.

Call for OIFF entries: The Ohio Independent Film Festival and Screenplay Awards are accepting entries for both events scheduled for fall.

Screenplay entries are judged by a panel of professionals. All entrants receive feedback from programmers and readers; finalists and winners are submitted to producers and production companies; winners also receive cash prizes and representation by

Films and videos without theatrical distribution are eligible for the film festival.

Early deadline for both events is June 1; late deadline is July 1. For guidelines, call (216) 651-7315, e-mail or visit Web site.


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