Stacie Sells is a Film Festival Juror - Story About.

I wrote
a story for the Lantern about Stacie being a Juror for the Columbus International Film and Video Festival. Exhilarating. It's after "the jump."

Stacie Sells watched hundreds of hours of documentaries so you don’t have to.

Sells, an Ohio State alumna with a degree in Art and Technology, is a juror for the 57th Columbus International Film and Video Festival starting Nov. 10th.

She has been working on the selection process for the festival since early last summer.

The festival recently changed its usual film categories. Sells was assigned to the “Social Issues” division while her partner, Kevin VanScoder, received the new “Basement” category.

Social Issues covers a broad range of topics and levels of professionalism.

“There were ones about deaf people, hurricanes, and the Armenian Genocide. There were some good ones that I enjoyed - and some I didn’t,” said Sells.

Sells watched and rated over 80 DVDs. Though these weren’t Hollywood films they were not all independent productions either. A company funded by Newt Gingrich submitted a biography of Ronald Reagan and the Eastman Kodak Company submitted a film entitled “Another Planet.”

The Basement category on the other hand, was specifically for low-budget, experimental films that were under ten minutes in length.

Though all the films submitted are a part of the festival, only a small percentage of the films actually get screened. Some of the ones that were not picked for screening will have clips shown.

Out of the 80 films Sells watched only three will be shown. These three exhibit the diversity of the Social Issues category by covering topics like the mortgage crisis, zombies and pornography.

A World Cinema class with History of Art professor Ron Green sparked Sells’ interest in film. Inspired by her classroom experience, she began making her own independent films. Her work has since been featured at The Wexner Center, The Ingenuity Film Festival and The Athens International Film Festival. Recently a film she made with Cassandra Troyan was featured in the Journal of Short Film.

Sells became involved with the Columbus International Film and Video Festival while she was still a student at OSU. She interned during the summer for Susan Halpern, the Executive Director of the festival.

The film festival, the longest running in the United States, is alternately referred to as the “Chris Awards.” 

In addition to the screenings, five trophies are awarded which range from the Certificate of Honorable Mention to The Chris Award, the highest honor. The OSU Photography and Cinema Alumni Society also offer an award at the festival.

The festival is funded through grants, money its board raises each year and donations from the community.

The films will be shown each night from Nov. 10th to Nov.15th at the Canzani Center on the campus of The Columbus College of Art and Design.

Admission to the each film is five dollars. However, all of the films are free with student identification.

For screening times visit www.chrisawards.org.

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