Press Release

Strand Theatre To Screen Works By Ohio Wesleyan Student-Filmmakers

January 20, 2016 – by Cole Hatcher

The 12th Annual OWU Documentary Film Festival will be held Feb. 12 at Delaware’s Strand Theatre. Five documentaries will be screened, including Jody Forman’s 4-H film, ‘Showtime!’

University’s 12th Annual Documentary Film Festival Set for Feb. 12

DELAWARE, Ohio – From food insecurity in Delaware to punk music in Columbus, Ohio Wesleyan University student-filmmakers will screen and discuss their latest works Feb. 12 at the 12th Annual OWU Documentary Film Festival. The free community event will begin at 7 p.m. at downtown Delaware’s historic Strand Theatre, 28 E. Winter St.

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

“The students had a relatively short amount of time to research a topic and ultimately shoot and edit a final film,” Della Lana said. “Several of them had never picked up a video camera before their first day of class. In spite of these obstacles, they really worked hard and came through with wonderful projects.”

As part of the course, students explore film theory from the field of visual anthropology and from filmmakers’ written reflections on the processes involved in completing particular projects. Students also learn camera-use and film-editing techniques.

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

7 p.m., “Showtime!” In Ohio, the national 4-H program involves thousands of youth and adult volunteers each year through their local county and independent fairs. This film follows local 4-H member Evi Myers as she prepares for, shows, and sells her much-loved market heifer, Bella, at the 2015 Delaware County Fair. “Showtime!” is directed by OWU staff member and student-filmmaker Jody Forman.

7:20 p.m., “Soul Food.” Delaware has a relatively high rate of food insecurity. Through a combination of interviews and community events, “Soul Food” highlights these issues and what is being done locally to alleviate hunger. “Soul Food” is directed by seniors Alisha Ferguson of Bellefontaine, Ohio, and Emily Braun of Canton, Ohio.

7:40 p.m., “City of Kings.” This documentary centers on Marion, Ohio, and the city’s issues with illegal drug access and abuse. Interviews with Marion residents give insight into how the community is handling heroin-addiction concerns and examines the community’s future. “City of Kings” is directed by senior Kelsey Pike of Gambier, Ohio.

8 p.m., “Polarizing Parties.” With polarization increasing across the nation, the nation’s most pressing political issues are becoming more difficult to address. This film explores the ways in which students and staff at Ohio Wesleyan both view and involve themselves in modern politics. “Polarizing Parties” is directed by junior Elyssa Mendez of Defiance, Ohio.

8:20 p.m., “Out of Step.” This documentary provides a brief overview of the community and culture within the hardcore punk scene of Columbus, Ohio. A series of interviews takes the audience through what it means to be involved in the scene and what keeps these individuals rooted in it. “Out of Step” is directed by senior Nick Notturniano of Delaware, Ohio.

Ohio Wesleyan’s Ethnographic and Documentary Film and Filmmaking class is offered by the university’s Department of Sociology/Anthropology. Learn more about the department at https://owu.edu/soan.


Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier liberal arts universities. Located in Delaware, Ohio, the private university offers 87 undergraduate majors and competes in 23 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Ohio Wesleyan combines a challenging, internationally focused curriculum with off-campus learning and leadership opportunities to connect classroom theory with real-world experience. OWU’s 1,675 students represent 43 U.S. states and territories and 33 countries. 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 www.owu.edu.