Press Release

Ohio Wesleyan to Screen Works by Student-Filmmakers

February 5, 2018 – by Cole Hatcher

This image is from ‘Shooters, Survivors, Sandy Hook,’ one of the documentary films by Ohio Wesleyan students to be shown Feb. 23 at the 14th Annual OWU Documentary Film Festival. The film is sophomore Josh Martin’s exploration of gun violence and its aftermath. (Image courtesy of Josh Martin)

14th Annual OWU Documentary Film Festival Set for Feb. 23

DELAWARE, Ohio – Ohio Wesleyan University student-filmmakers will screen and discuss their works at 7 p.m. Feb. 23 during the 14th Annual OWU Documentary Film Festival. The free event will be held in Benes Room B of OWU’s Hamilton-Williams Campus Center, 61 S. Sandusky St., Delaware.

All of the student-filmmakers were enrolled fall semester in the university’s Ethnographic and Documentary Film and Filmmaking class, taught by Mary Howard, Ph.D., professor of sociology/anthropology, and Chuck Della Lana, director of media services.

In the course, the students learned the art of documentary storytelling through readings, discussions, and film criticisms. Along with this theoretical knowledge, they also learned to use a camera and edit video, creating their own documentary films.

“Most students in our smaller-than-usual class were theatre majors involved in fall-semester productions,” said Howard, herself a documentary filmmaker. “In spite of the time pressures placed on them, they succeeded in completing their final documentary drafts. Like previous classes, the students supported one another by providing valuable criticisms on early drafts.

A still from “Good Food Good Life,” directed by senior Kacie Iuvara.

“Some students were inspired by contemporary events that took place at the end of the summer such as the neo-Nazi march in Charlottesville and the horrific mass shooting in Las Vegas,” she said. “Others sought more light-hearted or whimsical topics like dietary and food issues and local ghost stories.” 

Documentaries scheduled to be screened at this year’s festival are as follows. Please note that some of the films contain language and content intended for mature audiences.

7 p.m. “Good Food Good Life,” directed by Kacie Iuvara, a senior from New Albany, Ohio.

What is healthy eating? Step into Portia’s Café, a raw vegan restaurant serving trendy, delicious, animal-free fare. Step into Rustling Oaks Natural Farm, a family-owned farm selling eggs and grass-fed beef and lamb. Step into the debate between diets founded on seemingly opposite principals. Which one is really the healthy choice? (16 minutes)

7:25 p.m. “Crazy Dangerous,” directed by seniors Lauren Heaney of Los Angeles, California, and Hailey LaRoe of Bethesda, Maryland.

“Crazy” and “Dangerous” are emotionally charged words, especially when used in regard to mental health. This film explores the reality of living with an overlooked and often-feared mental illness. (13 minutes)

7:45 p.m. “Who Are You?” directed by junior Jack Douglas Riter of Lancaster, Ohio.

It’s a simple question, but there’s a lot that goes into the formation of one’s identity. Three Ohio Wesleyan students talk about their lives and diversity of experiences within the OWU Theatre Department. (17 minutes)

8:10 p.m. “The Scotty Play,” directed by senior Victor Peddicord of Zanesville, Ohio.

A night of paranormal exploration at Ohio Wesleyan’s Chappelear Drama Center. Three students attempt to make contact with “Scotty,” a spirit who some believe resides there. (14 minutes)

8:30 p.m. “Shooters, Survivors, Sandy Hook,” directed by sophomore Josh Martin of Apex, North Carolina.

To understand how a community can/should respond to gun violence, Martin explores how such violence affects his world. From a hometown bus stop to the shooting in Las Vegas, he uncovers a jarring connection that he hopes will inspire you to seek out your own story and galvanize your support for change. (21 minutes) 

Learn more about the Ethnographic and Documentary Film and Filmmaking class at

Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier liberal arts universities. Located in Delaware, Ohio, the private university offers more than 90 undergraduate majors and competes in 23 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Through Ohio Wesleyan’s signature OWU Connection program, students integrate knowledge across disciplines, build a diverse and global perspective, and apply their knowledge in real-world settings. Ohio Wesleyan is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives” and included in the U.S. News & World Report and Princeton Review “best colleges” lists. Learn more at