The Colony Film Fest is about more than showing movies to raise money for its historic namesake's renovation.
"Through the course of the years, we have developed a bit of a film presence here," said Hunt Brawley, development director for the Colony Theatre on Putnam Street in Marietta.
This is the seventh year for the festival, which features work by filmmakers from Ohio, West Virginia and beyond. The slate this year includes a pair of feature-length entries, live-action and animated short films and non-competition documentaries and a film being shot locally. In addition, there will be tours of the historic theater offered and a Saturday morning workshop conducted by a Huntington, W.Va., native who has worked on films like "Black Swan" and "Snakes on a Plane."
Brawley said the festival's goal is not just to put on an arts festival but to "literally create the art behind the event" by encouraging local filmmakers.
Toward that end, there are five entries from local filmmakers, not including a screening and discussion of "Christ Complex," written and directed by Parkersburg resident Jeffrey Scott Richards.
Aaron Dunbar, a Lowell resident and student at Edinboro University in Pennsylvania is entering a short entitled "Hare Tactics: When Free Speech Goes Too Far."
If you go
What: Seventh annual Colony Film Festival.
When: 6 to 11:15 p.m. Friday; workshop, 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, films resume 1:15 to 10:50 p.m., with awards at 11.
Where: Mid-Ohio Valley Players Theatre, 229 Putnam St., Marietta.
Admission: one-day pass, $10; two-day pass, $12.
More information, including a complete schedule, is available at colonyfilmfestival.com
"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," he said in an email.
The film previously won first prize at the National Coalition Against Censorship's Youth Free Expression Network Film Contest and was named best in show at Edinboro's Fall 2010 Student Film Festival.
Marietta resident Andy Hall won the Best Local award at last year's festival with a short film entitled "Uninvited" and he's back this year with two entries - "The Stone," a stop-motion animated tale, and "Weirdo in a Weird Land," a live-action short. He started helping with the festival five years ago and is impressed with how it's developed.
"I know there are film fests all over, but it's exciting to have one locally," he said.
Asylum Comics owner Jordan Lowe served as a judge at the festival for the first six years, but is entering this year with "Running the Asylum," an online Web mockumentary series about owning a comic shop in a small town. The episodes have been posted online, but Lowe said the only feedback he really receives there is the number of hits.
"I think it'll be a blast to see it on the big screen and hopefully hear a lot of laughs where you're supposed to hear laughs," he said.
"Pink Ribbons Inc." will show at 8 p.m. Friday as a non-competition entry. Director Lea Pool's documentary provides "kind of a critical look as the commercialization of the breast cancer movement," Brawley said. A discussion will follow.
On Saturday morning, award-winning special effects producer Brad Kalinoski will offer a workshop on "Post-Production Editing." He started out shooting local commercials in Huntington before moving to Los Angeles with his wife. He's held positions with companies like George Lucas' Industrial Light & Magic and Rainmaker Animation and Visual Effects. He now works with LOOK FX and his past credits include "The King's Speech," "Speed Racer," "Evan Almighty" and " Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest."
Saturday evening will feature a screening of the Emmy-winning 1991 documentary "The Dancing Outlaw," followed by a keynote address from the filmmaker, Morgantown, W.Va., resident Jacob Young, whose documentaries have been selected for numerous awards and festivals, including SXSW and Sundance. His topic will be "No matter how hopeless things seem, keep shooting!"
Proceeds from the event will benefit the ongoing restoration of the 94-year-old Colony Theatre.
Wayne Towner contributed.