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Revamped Show Us Your Shorts Returns to Gateway

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Gateway Film Center wants to make it easier for local filmmakers to excel.

To accomplish this goal, they’ve retooled their Show Us Your Shorts program, providing an opportunity for filmmakers to screen their films for an audience, network with other creatives, and receive funds toward their next project.

The expansion of the old local shorts series was conceived by GFC President and Programmer Chris Hamel, who sees the revamped program as a filmmaker’s “open mic night.” Thanks to a grant from the Greater Columbus Arts Council, a film fellowship program was born.

The second Saturday of every month beginning July 7 at 4:30 p.m., Show Us Your Shorts will screen up to eight submitted short films (first come, first served-style).

This piece of the original programming has been kept in place because it’s the cornerstone of the series.

“People don’t make movies to watch them on their computer screens,” says Hamel. “but on the big screen with an audience of supportive movie fans.”

But Hamel envisioned something more, something that would not only encourage budding artists to continue their journey, but assist in that goal.

The slate of shorts will be judged by those in attendance. The winning filmmaker (who must be in attendance) will go home with the proceeds from the $5 ticket price, and their film will return for the end-of-program to be judged against the year’s other winners.

Columbus Underground’s Hope Madden and Rewind Columbus’s George Wolf, collectively of MaddWolf.com and the Gateway film series Fright Club, will host the monthly events.

“I’m looking forward to seeing what local filmmakers have in store,” says Wolf. “It should be a fun time.”

While monthly winners are chosen by the audience, those filmmakers go on to a final battle against all other winners for the year. A panel of judges including WCBE’s John DeSando will evaluate the slate of monthly winners, as well as submissions from a separate contest for screenplays.

“Short films are cinematic poetry with a sweet burden to make each frame a thing of visual beauty and each screenplay a model of verbal clarity,” DeSando says. “The power of this minimalism is to make short films unified in theme and coherent in execution. Very little is included in shots and sequences that doesn’t contribute to the insight filmmakers try to share with their audiences.”

Writers can submit screenplays of 10 pages or less for a one-time contest to coincide with the culmination of the short films competition. The winner of the screenplay competition will be paired with the winner of the short film contest. The two winners will share a $4,000 grant to produce the winning screenplay.

“Finding the capital to get your movie made might be the toughest part about being a filmmaker,” Wolf says. “Putting filmmakers together and helping them make their next movie is the most valuable part of this program.”

DeSando agrees.

“This fellowship will be a boon to Columbus filmmakers, who will be able to deviate from the common thriller and horror genres to experiment with dramatic and romantic scripts that nurture more levels of meaning,” he says. “This suggestiveness and lyricism can come because of a fellowship that reduces the difficulty of funding, encourages creativity and replaces clichéd experiences with thoughtful and artful expression.”

For tickets and details on submitting, visit the Gateway Film Center website.

Read more from Hope on MADDWOLF and listen to her FRIGHT CLUB podcast.


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