Press Release

February 13, 2017 | By Ohio Wesleyan University

This image is from ‘400,’ one of the documentary films by Ohio Wesleyan students to be shown Feb. 24 at the 13th Annual OWU Documentary Film Festival. ‘400’ looks at the artists’ collective, 400 West Rich Street, in the Franklinton neighborhood of Columbus. (Image courtesy of Cece Albon)

Ohio Wesleyan to Screen Works by Student-Filmmakers

13th Annual OWU Documentary Film Festival Set for Feb. 24

DELAWARE, Ohio – The art of filmmaking and the diverse interests of Ohio Wesleyan University students will come together Feb. 24 at the 13th Annual OWU Documentary Film Festival. The free event will begin at 7 p.m. in the Benes Rooms 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 the theory, they learned to use a camera and edit video.

Many of this year’s projects are based on challenging issues filmed away from the local area, said Howard, herself a documentary filmmaker.

“This class was especially generous in their support and critiques of each other’s film projects,” Howard said. “Yet, everyone was very self-critical. We were blessed with perfectionists who adopted huge projects. Their films were the most unfinished at the end of the semester yet had the greatest potential in our 13 years of teaching documentary filmmaking.”

Documentaries scheduled to be screened at this year’s festival are as follows. Note that projects may contain adult content and language.

“Bodega” directed by Kieran Tobias, a senior from Port Chester, New York.
In a small town in New York, the Hispanic community relies on tiny, but packed, corner stores to provide healthy, affordable, and culturally appropriate food. These stores are known as bodegas. Though they are not unique to New York, they are particularly abundant because they give thousands of Hispanic immigrants a safe haven and a taste of home.

“A Heart for Conservation” directed by Ryan Bishop, a junior from Sofia, Bulgaria.
Protecting our wildlife is a complex, but crucial task. At the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, employees work on a myriad of programs to tie together all aspects of conservation. See how their efforts have an impact all around the globe.

“The Berimbau & Capoeira Angola” directed by Quenton Stokes-Brown, a senior from Columbia, South Carolina.
This educational documentary is about the cultural connections between Brazil and Angola. It focuses on the Brazilian martial art of Capoeira Angola and the primary musical instrument associated with it, the Berimbau. Filming took place in Brazil in the state of Bahia and features capoeiristas (martial artists) from the city of Salvador and Itaparica Island.

“400” directed by Cece Albon, a senior from Columbus, Ohio.
The film tells the story of the changing landscape in the impoverished neighborhood of Franklinton in Columbus, Ohio. Through the artists’ collective, 400 West Rich Street, the film examines Franklinton’s struggle with urban neglect and decay, and the artists who are hoping to spread positive change.

“Dakota” directed by Elizabeth Jackson, a senior from Delaware, Ohio.
In early 2016, the Dakota Access Pipeline was approved to transport oil from North Dakota. The path crosses water sources and sacred grounds of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. Thousands have gathered in camps to protect the water in a peaceful protest. This film is their story.

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 nearly 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,” listed on the latest President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction, and included in the U.S. News & World Report and Princeton Review “best colleges” lists. Learn more at