As CityBeat’s contributing film editor and the vice-president of the executive board of the Midland Film Institute, I am proud to announce a bold addition to this year’s MidPoint Music Festival. For the first time ever, in the historic Over-the-Rhine district, Indie rockers and indie filmmakers are coming together for one festival. The School for Creative and Performing Arts (108 W. Central Parkway) will be the home of the MidPoint Film Festival (MPFF), which is the official film component of the MidPoint Music Festival (MPMF).
Our inaugural program showcases an intriguing roster of independent features that might not have otherwise graced our screens while also dipping into the reservoir of regional filmmaking talent, spotlighting local visionary storytellers eager to bring Midwestern sound and vision to audiences both here and abroad. And it is our aim to unite the independent spirit of these filmmakers with film fans in what we have lovingly dubbed “The Film Belt.”
Thursday night, which is the festival launch, welcomes the community. We start the evening introducing the local filmmakers behind the pending documentary film Rebirth of Over-the-Rhine, presenting a short work-in-progress clip and Q&A session. The presentation is a fundraiser ($10 suggested donation) for both the film and Midland Film Institute (MFI), the producing agent for the MidPoint Film Festival. The evening wraps up with a surprise “Pay What You Can” film screening, which will be announced soon.
Friday night offers a fun double feature brought to you by our friends at Samhain Publishing.
The first film is the great little indie gem Turn Me On, Dammit!, a coming of age story of a teenage girl struggling to come to terms with her budding sexuality while growing up in a small town. The second half of the evening features The Moth Diaries by Mary Harron (director of American Psycho). The Moth Diaries is set in an all-girl boarding school which may or may not have a vampire student in its midst.
Saturday is jam-packed with everything from family-friendly to the totally gross and disturbing. We start off the day with Happen, Inc. showcasing its Lights, Camera, Learning in Action! program by presenting a film made by very talented and creative kids who live in Northside. Mile in My Shoes: Women Veterans is a documentary honoring the women who have served in the military. The film is a MFI production and was created by local audio/visual students from Cincinnati State.
The afternoon continues with An Oversimplification of Her Beauty by Terence Nance, one of Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film.” Oversimplification is an experimental film with psychedelic animation and soulful original music telling the classic story of boy meets girl. The afternoon rocks on with California Solo, starring Robert Carlyle as an aged-out Irish rocker on the verge of deportation after a DUI.
Finally, the festival closes with a double feature of The Human Centipede: The First Sequence and The Human Centipede II: The Full Sequence, for those of you who like the gore factor to be obscenely high and disturbingly gross. These two films, from writer-director Tom Six, have attracted much attention and the sequel was banned in several countries. We are proud to be able to grant audiences the chance to catch both films in what we can only imagine will be an eye-opening conclusion to the first annual MPFF.
We welcome you and we know that you will welcome these films to the Film Belt! (tt stern-enzi)