Winners of the 2021 Festival

When Better Letters Met Barbara Enright
Directed by Lewis Eyers-Stott
Documentary Short

The River
Directed by Rick Walters
Documentary Feature
United States

Risk Factor
Directed by Barento Taha
Ohio Shorts
United States

Directed by Martin Gerigk
Experimental/New Media

Gon, The Little Fox
Directed by Takeshi Yashiro
Animation Shorts

Maggie Dave – I’m Not Ready
Directed by Cassie Shao
Music Videos
United States

Women Is Losers
Directed by Lissette Feliciano
Narrative Feature
United States

Directed by Irina Storozhenko
Student Competition
United States

Directed by Parisa Sedaei-Azar, Ramin Farzaneh
Narrative Short
Islamic Republic of Iran

Columbus International Film & Animation Festival

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CIF+AF Schedule 2021

Saturday, April 17 2021 On Demand

10:00 am – Opening Remarks
12:00 pm – Live Stream DJ Set
1:00 pm – Filmmaker’s Talkback/Panel
2:00 pm – On Demand Live
8:00 pm – Drive-In Movie at the Park

Saturday, April 17 2021 – Open at 8pm

Drive-In at Scioto Audubon Park
Event starts at Dusk featuring…

Ohio Shorts

Ohio Feature


Sunday, April 18 2021

10:00 am – Opening Remarks
12:00 pm – Live Stream DJ Set
1:00 pm – Filmmaker’s Talkback/Panel
2:00 pm – Filmmaker Q&A
On-Demand (continued)
3:00 pm – Women in Film Panel
5:00 pm – Filmmaker Q&A
6:00 pm – Award Presentation

Ohio Short Films Presented at Drive-In

Ohio Feature at Drive-In:

Drunk Bus
directed by John Carlucci & Brandon Laganke
Michael (Charlie Tahan) is a recent graduate whose post college plan is derailed when his girlfriend leaves him for a job in New York City. When the bus service hires a security guard to watch over the night shift, Michael comes face to tattooed face with Pineapple, a 300-lb punk rock Samoan who challenges him with a kick in the ass to break from the loop and start living or risk driving in circles forever.

Ohio Shorts at Drive-In

Strike Team Justice
director Jeremy Dubin, Ryan Lewis

Jimmy spends almost every night in his Palace of Isolation, studying his favorite superheroes. But tonight is different. He may have just cracked the storyline for the next big-budget blockbuster.
Probably not, but you never know.

Risk Factor
directed by Barento Taha

Risk Factor uncovers the impact of racism in healthcare in the United States, a country with Black infant and maternal mortality rates comparable to those of developing countries. Risk Factor chronicles the experiences of three Black women who’ve suffered an infant loss in Cleveland – a city that has experienced Black infant death at six times the rate of white infants.

The First Noelle
directed by Wendy Faraone

Exhausted with her busy life, Noelle, a publicist from LA, can’t face another holiday season with her overly happy family. She heads to Scotland to a quiet retreat at a manor tucked away from everything. When she checks into the manor, she quickly discovers that the kids who live there create magic, in concert with the house, creating a holiday she didn’t even know she needed.

Dustin Clark: The Humanity in Who We Are
directed by Brandon J. Abbott

Dustin Clark is a musician, an artist, and a man who sees challenges as possibilities. Diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy at the age of 10, he is in a constant state of reinventing how he approaches each creative endeavor. When it comes to music, his current process involves the tedious clicking of notes on his computer, a guitar suspended from the ceiling, and help from friends and family. Dustin briefly chronicles his history with Muscular Dystrophy, what has inspired him to keep creating, his current musical process, and his hopeful view of the future.

Alone Together

directed by Katie Sponseller

A teenage girl faces her troubling past of sexual abuse the only way she can think of — by joining the boy’s wrestling team.

List of Selections

Project TitleSubmission CategoriesDirector(s)
The BonefishAnimation ShortDaniel Houghton
The Abandoned BlockAnimation ShortJames Bourne
Metro6Animation ShortFeoff Hecht
This Side, Other SideAnimation ShortLida Fazli
AuroraAnimation ShortJo Meuris
Piece by Piece: Ari’s Story of RecoveryAnimation ShortMichael Skinner, Jon Michael Shink
Tobi and the TurbobusAnimation ShortVerena Fels
Homo ErecTattoosAnimation ShortTae-woo Kim
The Parrot LadyAnimation ShortMichalis Kalopaidis
Song SparrowAnimation ShortFarzaneh Omidvarnia
Gon, The Little FoxAnimation ShortTakeshi Yashiro
BeautifulAnimation ShortMulan Fu
Just for the RecordAnimation ShortVojin Vasovic
52 – A Tale of LonelinessAnimation ShortJohnny DePalmo
Birth – The Cycles of LifeAnimation ShortArisa Wakami, Azuru Isshiki, Ayaka Kawasaki
Mangi Meli RemainsAnimation ShortKonradin Kunze
Once Upon a HeadAnimation ShortA Nuodi
The RiverDocumentary FeatureRick Walters
Alaska Long HuntersDocumentary FeatureMark Rose
SapeloDocumentary FeatureNick Brandestini
Savage LandDocumentary FeatureCampbell Dalgilsh, Dr. Henrietta Mann
When Better Letters Met Barbara EnrightDocumentary ShortLewis Eyers-Stott
The Undocumented LawyerDocumentary ShortChris Temple, Zach Ingrasci
Ark of the ApocalypseDocumentary ShortJeremy Seifert
AineDocumentary ShortAlexandria Cree, Kristen Hilkert
SalvageExperimental/New MediaChristopher Boulton
Through Mabel’s EyesExperimental/New MediaMarta Renzi
HaikuExperimental/New MediaMartin Gerigk
Property is Theft lolExperimental/New MediaChristopher Thompson
Ms. VeRtigoExperimental/New MediaRona Soffer
Wall PianoExperimental/New Media, Music VideosAsma Ghanem, Christopher Marianett, Alexia Webster
Husbands “Manhorse”Music VideosLamar + Nik
Jack The Radio: CreaturesMusic VideosJustin Zimmerman
The Flame You KeepMusic VideosAndres Useche
The Ceiling/Lewis del MarMusic VideosRubberband
Maggie Dave – I’m Not ReadyMusic VideosCassie Shao
The Shins – The Great Divide [Official Music Video]Music VideosPaul Trillo
ParachuteMusic VideosTaisia Deeva
TomorrowMusic VideosShaun Parker
Lover I surrenderMusic VideosFiona Cochrane
Like Father and SonNarrative FeatureBai ZhiQiang
FirstnessNarrative FeatureBrielle Brilliant
Into the Red HazeNarrative FeatureMinu Park
Women is LosersNarrative FeatureLissette Feliciano
One MealNarrative FeatureYuechen Hao
‘Thaen’Narrative FeatureGanesh Vinayakan
Her Name Was JoNarrative FeatureJoe Duca
In SyncNarrative ShortEddie Shieh
CocoonNarrative ShortYavar Darehzami
Keep it QuietNarrative ShortYaya
Alone TogetherNarrative ShortKatie Sponseller
American BodiesNarrative ShortRammy Park
Alina – 2020Narrative ShortRami Kodeih
The PaintedNarrative ShortSasha Sibley
The Shepards of Cat IslandNarrative ShortAttila Rostas
He’ll UnderstandNarrative ShortFrancisco Lupini
The Sea SwellsNarrative ShortAmir Gholami
The WalletNarrative ShortRavid Maimon
THe DeliveryNarrative ShortDogus Ozokutan
Signs & WondersNarrative ShortEm Weinstein, Josh Akin
EchthaarNarrative ShortDominic Kubisch
EldersNarrative ShortParisa Sedaei-Azar, Ramin Farzaneh
EdiciusNarrative ShortUzo Oleh
Dustin Clark: The Humanity in Who We AreOhio ShortsBrandon Abbott
The First NoelleOhio ShortsWendy Faraone
Risk FactorOhio ShortsBarento Taha
Strike Team JusticeOhio ShortsJeremy Dubin, Ryan Lewis
PrePAWsterousStudent Competition ShortAreli Quinonez
Under the Dark CloudsStudent Competition ShortKangmin Lim
My TagalongStudent Competition ShortJerry Wang
Once Upon A Time in Hoi Shing RoadStudent Competition ShortJas Pun
PolarisStudent Competition ShortEllen Gordon
Big TouchStudent Competition ShortChristopher Tenzis
FragmentsStudent Competition ShortAdekemi Roluga
GoodtimeStudent Competition ShortKang, Dong-in
AgadezStudent Competition ShortIan Barling
Cindy Student Competition ShortShemer Gaon Baraba
JulietStudent Competition ShortIrina Storozhenko
Rubber Gun ClubStudent Competition ShortAlex Bendo

Moderators and Panelists

Adnan Siddique

Filmmaking while Covid Roundtable

 Director Adnan Siddique frequently moved between small towns and big cities all his life before settling down in Columbus to attend OSU. After working as a production assistant on a handful of student projects, he made his directorial debut with Secouer in 2019, followed by his second short film, ACT, in 2020.  He is currently working on several projects, including his own short film, set to release in 2021. He functions as a director and collaborator for multiple small businesses in the Columbus area. 

Nella Citino

Independent Film Roundtable

Nella Citino is a media storyteller with over 20 years experience in the broadcast and film industry.  She has supervised several national, regional, and local broadcast programs and a variety of online projects.  She has produced, directed, and written documentaries, children’s programs, and news segments.    Her professional credits include the national children’s programs “Get Real!” and “Zoom” and nationally distributed documentaries covering a variety of social issues.   She has received seven regional Emmys, five Gabriel Awards, Special Recognition from the National Association of Broadcasters, several Telly Awards and several Parents’ Choice Awards.  

Nella earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Kent State University and a Master of Arts degree from Bowling Green State University.

Nella continues to direct, produce, and write fiction films and documentaries.  

Jenna Suru

Women in Film Panelist

Festival Director, Producer, Writer, Actor

Jenna Suru started her career at the International Sales Team of 2 top Distributors in Paris, Gaumont and SND (M6 Group). Jenna has been working for Canneseries (Cannes Series Festival) since the kickstart of its first edition in 2018, managing the relationships with French and International Authors and Producers, and kickstarting the In Development Forum co-organized with MIP Markets in the Palais des Festivals. She has been serving as a very humble Juror on the recent edition of Cinequest and at the current edition of Columbus IFF.

She is the Director of the Paris International Film Festival, which presented in February the International Premiere of Kiss The Ground, the environemental documentary narrated by Woody Harrelson, and Cream, Nóra Lakos’s romantic modern tale, which was recently acquired by HBO.

She produced and stars in her directorial debut period drama L’Âge d’Or (The Golden Age), London IFF 2020 Opening Night Winner, with an international cast. The Golden Age is her tribute to the world-changing charms of 60s Saint-Tropez, and the last drama every filmed at Notre-Dame Cathedral before the fires. The Golden Age features a 60s soundtrack, including songs from Chuck Berry and Jimmy Reed, and screened for the first time at Cannes in 2019. The film has received multiple awards and honors including at the Columbus IFF and sold-out the Opening Night of London IFF last March.

With her company Belle Époque Films, she has also produced the sold-out Los Angeles Premiere of Happy, published by Samuel French, and two UK shorts. The first, Spitball, was funded by the Northern Ireland Screen, and the second, Bigger Picture, stars BAFTA‐nominated Robert Sheehan (Misfits, The Umbrella Academy) and Rosie Day (Outlander).

Social media and links:

@jennasurureal on Instagram, Jenna Suru on Facebook, @jennasuru on Twitter

@belleepoquefilms on Instagram and Facebook, @bellepoquefilms on Twitter

@lagedorfilm on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook

The Golden Age (L’Âge d’Or)  Trailer

Festival website : parisintlfest.com

Company website belleepoquefilms.com

IMDb / Youtube Channel

Syndee Crews

Sydnee Crews is a Columbus native, graduating from Ohio State University for Social Work in 2012. While working as a school social worker, Sydnee found writing as an outlet. She began writing poetry, short stories, and a novel; but quickly realized that she wanted to write a script.

Sydnee wrote and directed her first film, “In Our Bed”, in 2018 and had the pleasure of premiering at Gateway Film Center. Her second film, “Immunity” was released on YouTube in 2019. All of Sydnee’s films focus on showcasing people of color as more than a monolith. She has also had the pleasure of working with several of Columbus’ local talent on film projects with various credits such as script supervisor, assistant director, and sound. 

Nicolette Swift

Nicolette Swift is the founder and owner of Nicolettecinemagraphics.  Her roles include general business operations, production management, cinematography, color grading, editing, and much more. Her background includes a Bachelor of Arts in both Film Studies and Art History from the Ohio State University and a Masters in Library and Information Science with a focus in digital collections preservation and access from Kent State University. Since 2003, Nicolette has been providing an array of media production services to businesses, non-profits, and residents of the Central Ohio area. Nicolette is a well-rounded digital and analog media specialist who handles film photography, digital photography, videography, web and media installation and consultation, as well as producing her own projects which have shown at festivals and competitions across the US and abroad.  Over the past decade Nicolette has provided many services to the public offering workshops for the Greater Columbus Arts Council, 4-H, and Adobe Inc. She has a long history of curating moving image programs around Columbus, Ohio  as part of organizations such as: The Columbus Moving Image Art Review, The Columbus International Film + Video Festival, Comfest, and the Independents Day Festival.

Awards and Recognition:

2012-2019, Greater Columbus Arts Council Artist in the Community Resources Grant.

2014, Greater Columbus Arts Council Media Arts Fellowship for her work in moving image art.

2018-2019, Adaptation, Integration & the Arts Residency at Bridgeway Academy 

2020, Ohio Governor’s Award for Small Business Supporting the Arts by the Ohio Arts Council.

2019-2021, Artist in the Classroom Residency at Arts and College Prep Academy

2020, Those Who Spring of Me (Narrative Feature) Columbus ReelAbilities Film Festival

2021, Columbus In Cuba (Feature Documentary) Socal Film Awards Finalist

Cristyn Allen-Steward

Cristyn Steward is the founder and CEO of the Columbus Black International Film Festival (CBIFF). Her debut film, “Chocolate and Lace,” a short-story-turned-short-film tackling society’s ideas about love and sex, premiered at the Gateway Film Center in 2010 as a double bill alongside her second film, “Success It Sucks/Too Much Stress,” an autobiographical experimental short about life after college. In 2016, “Don’t Cover Your Tracks” was officially selected to several film festivals around the country. After returning home, finding success on the film festival circuit, Cristyn noticed that there was a void and a need for Black film presence in Columbus and thus created the Columbus Black International Film Festival. For the past four years CBIFF has received 309 film and screenplay submissions, screened 100 films, with global participation from 15 nations, and has connected hundreds of filmmakers around the world. Cristyn was the recipient of the Spirit of Columbus Award in 2018 and ‘Create Columbus,’ Visionary Award in 2019, and worked as assistant director on the web series “We Fight, We Love” with Artis Creative. For the first time in 2020, Cristyn, exhibited a film installation at ROY G. BIV Gallery, titled, When Black Panthers and the Nation Speaks, focusing on the parallels from the 1960s to the 21st century police brutality. Cristyn is the recipient of the Art Unites Cbus Film and Art grant awarded by the Greater Columbus Arts Council. From the grant, Cristyn wrote and directed Blue Rebellion, a short film about Desiree Reynolds who joins the police force after watching her father die at the hands of the police. Cristyn is currently the Executive Director for the Columbus International Film and Animation Festival.