OTR International Film Festival announces 2018 Film Winners

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Formerly, the ReelAbilities Film Festival, the 2018 Over-the-Rhine International Film Festival organized by LADD, a local non-profit that supports adults with disabilities, made its debut September 26-30 and celebrated the human spirit to critical acclaim and box office success. The screenings, events and discussions attracted more than 8,000 patrons over the five-day festival. 

Some 20 Hollywood celebrities attended the inaugural Festival and included: Academy Award and Golden Globe nominee, Virginia Madsen, Zach Anner of ABC’s “Speechless,”Merle Dandridge star of OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network’s “Greenleaf,” Drew Lachey, Member of “98 Degrees” band,and Tanika Ray, Co-Host of “EXTRA.” Two dozen filmmakers and seven jurists from around the country also joined celebrities to present over 65 films that celebrate the human spirit.   

National blog, Madamenoire, stated of the festival: “Cincinnati is the perfect backdrop for this type of festival. Nestled between the borders of both Ohio and Kentucky, the land the city of Cincinnati was built upon was once the first free ground former slaves stepped on after fleeing from the confines of the confederate South. The city represents liberation and expansion beyond our current circumstances.”

Tanika Ray, gently quipped at the sold-out luncheon before 750 people, “Cincywood is here to stay!” Jack Geiger served as Managing Director for the launch of the new brand, “Launching a brand and concept of this scope is undeniably challenging. I am deeply moved by how our community and the film industry at large have embraced this festival.  This whole city should be proud as together we rolled out the red carpet to our festival with a mission—literally and figuratively!”      

The newly-named festival showcased five tracks: freedom, diversity, identity, disability, and faith. Nearly 65 short and feature films were selected by the film jury and the overall winners of the 2018 Over-the-Rhine International Film Festival were:

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT

Standing Still | Still Standing / Winner
Anyone Like Me  / Honorable Mention

Project Home: The Next Battle / Honorable Mention 

BEST NARRATIVE SHORT

A Ferry Tale / Winner

Peggie / Honorable Mention

Thin Lines / Honorable Mention

BEST STUDENT SHORT NARRATIVE

The Last Embrace / Winner

Harlem Blues / Honorable Mention
Carry On Lil Sis / Honorable Mention

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT

Standing Still | Still Standing / Winner
Anyone Like Me  / Honorable Mention

Project Home: The Next Battle / Honorable Mention

BEST STUDENT SHORT DOCUMENTARY

iRony / Winner

BEST NARRATIVE FEATURE

Palacios / Winner

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

Let Us Dance / Winner

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY / NARRATIVE FEATURE

Palacios / Winner

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY / NARRATIVE SHORT FEATURE

Peggie / Winner

BEST ACTOR

Yamee Couture, Thin Lines / Winner

Festival screening highlights included: “Sammy Davis, Jr.: I’ve Gotta Be Me,” free community screenings of Disney’s “Christopher Robin,” and “Queen of Katwe,” the Midwest Premieres of “Happy Lucky Golden Tofu Panda Dragon Good Time Fun Fun Show,”“Take a Look at This Heart” and “Charged: The Eduardo Garcia Story” as well as the Cincinnati Exclusive Screening of “Two Beats, One Soul, and the Cincinnati Premiere of “United Skates.”

The 2018 Festival was chaired by Kitty Rosenthal, Arlene Koth, Jon Sanchezand Scott Van Nice. Kim Vincent and Jenny McCloy also returned from chairing the film festival in 2017 as Chairs Emeritus. The 2018 Honorary Chairs included: Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley and Cincinnati Reds Teddy Kremer

The Founding Partner for the 2018 Over-the-Rhine International Film Festival was Saul Schottenstein Foundation B.

For more information on the 2019 Over-the-Rhine International Film Festival, visit www.otrfilmfest.org.

Alex ReillyCULTURE