Film festival features work of KSU alumna

Megan Rozsa

The buzz of computer lingo filled the air as fellow filmmakers talked of Flash animation, last year’s films and what to expect this year.

The Kent Stage hosted the fourth annual Standing Rock International Short Film and Video Festival last Saturday to an eclectic crowd from across Ohio. The festival included short films from directors “as far away as Australia and as close as Kent,” according to the Web site.

Verdena Lee, a physician from Columbus, attended the show to see the work of featured filmmaker Cindy Penter.

“Cindy does a short film about a farm where my husband was a resident,” Lee said. “So this is a big part of our family history.”

Lee has known Penter for years, but never had the opportunity to see one of her films.

“I’ve been to other film festivals, like the one in Cleveland,” Lee said. “But this is a special treat.”

Penter teaches film at Cleveland State and taught at Kent State for six years. She features several of her students in her dance films.

“I used to dance,” Penter said. “The movement is just very attractive to me.”

Penter participated in the first Standing Rock Film Festival, then featured her students’ films in the following years. This is the first year she was chosen as a featured filmmaker.

“I’m very nervous,” Penter said. “But of course I’m honored. A film festival is a place for people who are artists in some way to be different.”

Penter featured four films, including a dance montage, two documentaries and a work in progress.

The audience also had the chance to vote for its favorite short film. The winner, Dustin Grella, received a $200 prize. Grella’s film was a chalk animation of morphing images titled Glimpse.

Second place went to Jessica Sutherland for her film Seven Turn. Third place went to Ashley Gerst, director of The Cupcake Prince.

Contact performing arts reporter Megan Rozsa at [email protected].