From staff reports

The Athens International Film and Video Festival is back — and it’s a double feature.

Because 2020 event was postponed during the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic, the 2021 festival will present over 500 films from this year and last between October 15 and October 24.

The entries include more than 40 feature-length films as well as short films from filmmakers around the world, all competing in various categories. Winners, chosen by an independent jury, earn cash prizes and awards — including, in some categories, qualifying for Academy Award nominations.

All screenings will be shown in-person at the Athena Cinema in Uptown Athens.

The festival also will feature several special events, beginning with ”Our Ohio“ at 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 17. This series of 15 short films was made by students at Logan High School, South Gallia High School and Meigs High School in collaboration with WOUB. The project was funded by an “Our America: Documentary in Dialogue” grant from American Documentary | POV through the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Tony Buba, whose 30-plus films often explore working-class issues in and around his hometown of Braddock, Pennsylvania, will present a selection of his works at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 18. Buba had already been making film before entering Ohio University‘s School of Film. After receiving his MFA in 1976, Buba returned to the Pittsburgh area where he worked on and appeared in George A. Romero’s “Martin” and “Dawn of the Dead.” His first full-length feature, “Lightning Over Braddock: A Rustbowl Fantasy,“ was shown at the 39th Berlin International Film Festival and earned Buba a nomination for Best First Feature at the 6th Independent Spirit Awards in 1991.

Buba also will head the documentary jury for the festival.

The winners of the top prize for experimental film at the 2019 festival, Amber Bemak and Nadia Granados, will present a solo program of their work at 7:15 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 19. Their films revolve around queer love and loss, and the political ramifications of patriarchal, imperialist power.

Bill Brown will present a program of appropriated and reconfigured landscapes on Thursday, Oct. 21, at 7:30 p.m. The following evening, Brown will appear in a live expanded cinema performance by Sabine Gruffat as she presents her material that cross analog and digital signals. That event begins at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 22.

The full schedule and ticket information is available at www.athensfest.org.

Founded in 1974, the Athens International Film + Video Festival is known globally for supporting cinema from independent, underground and marginalized populations. For over four decades, the festival has screened experimental, narrative, animation, short-form, feature length and documentary films from every corner of the globe. The Athens International Film + Video Festival is administered by The Athens Center for Film and Video, a project of the College of Fine Arts at Ohio University.

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