Kent international film festival even bigger with $200 prize

Brittany Moseley

It started as an idea to spread independent film in Kent, and now the Standing Rock International Short Film & Video Festival has turned into a tradition that keeps growing.

“We like film and we thought it would be great to have it in Kent because there are a lot of artists here,” said Jeff Ingram, Standing Rock executive director. “We wanted to revive the idea of independent film.”

This is the fourth year for the event, and festival director Mike Hovancsek said each year brings more positive responses.

“There was a decent turnout the first year of the festival and an array of films, but it wasn’t fantastic compared to now,” Hovancsek said. “Still the audience was very enthusiastic, so we thought, ‘Let’s see how this goes’.”

Ingram and Hovancsek agree that narrowing down the applicants to just a few is never easy, and this year was no exception.

Standing Rock International Short Film & Video Festival

Where? The Kent Stage

When? Saturday January 27, 8 p.m.

How much? $7 for students and seniors, $10 general

admission. Tickets available at The Kent Stage, Woodsy’s Music, North Water Street Gallery and SpinMore Records.

“There were about 30 to 35 entries this year and there were a lot of good ones,” Ingram said.

The films are chosen based on technical expertise, originality and cultural value.

“It is hard to pick the films because you get some wonderful ideas that are roughly rendered and others show a lot of technical expertise but lack creativity,” Ingram said. “You find yourself thinking about the integrity of the festival, and asking yourself how the audience will feel about it.”

This is the first year for the “Best of Fest” award. The award has a $200 cash prize, and a panel of three judges will pick the winner. The panel consists of Ingram, Hovancsek and Cindy Penter, a film instructor at the Cleveland Institute of Art.

“Each year we add something else and expand on what we have,” Hovancsek said.

The festival has done a lot of work promoting independent film, but Hovancsek said there is more to be done.

“We’re finding that there are a lot of people with really good films that don’t have anywhere to show them,” he said.

Ingram said he hopes everyone can come support local independent films. Hovancsek wants people to take note of anything they want to see in the festival next year.

“If anyone notices anything culturally missing, go ahead and create it,” Hovancsek said. “That’s the message I want to convey.”

Contact ALL reporter Brittany Moseley at [email protected].