Over-the-Rhine International Film Festival includes special events as well as independent movies

The newly released schedule for this year's Over-The-Rhine International Film Festival offers dozens of documentaries, narratives, and experimentals under the theme "Untold Stories." All will screen July 6-8 in Over-the-Rhine and downtown.

Special events are woven into the schedule, including these high-profile happenings:
  • Music Hall is the site for a gala fundraiser, just before the opening feature, "OKAY! The ASD BandFilm," about a group of musicians on the austism spectrum. The pre-show party will include a live performance by the ASD Band, and special guests Kevin Iannucci and Madison Tevlin, who recently appeared in the boisterous Woody Harrelson comedy "Champions." Like most of the fest films, "Okay" will be available for online streaming for a limited time.
  • On July 7, Women in Film Cincinnati will host "9 to 5: The Story of a Movement" at the Contemporary Arts Center downtown. Special guests include filmmaker Steve Bognar, who directed the film with his partner, the late Julia Reichert, and the film's editor, Jaime Meyers Schlenk, who is also president of WIF Cincinnati.
  • The festival will close July 8 with a wrap party and awards presentation at 9:00 PM at the Woodward Theater. Admission is free.
Other highlights from the film lineup include:
  • "The Angry Black Girl and Her Monster," a scary modern twist on the Frankenstein story from writer/director Bomani J. Story. July 7, 8:30 PM, Art Academy of Cincinnati.
  • "A Slice of Pie: A Love Story," a documentary about a couple who used their Norwood pizza shop to make lives better for people in distress. Directed by Blis Hanousek Devault, professor of film and television at Xavier University. July 8, 2:30 PM, Contemporary Arts Center.
  • "26.2 to Life," winner of a fistful of film-festival awards, this story is about San Quentin's 1000 Mile Club, and follows incarcerated men who spend a year training to run a marathon on a concrete path circling the prison yard. July 8, 4:30 PM, Art Academy of Cincinnati.
  • "Upside Down," an Italian feature about a young man with Down Syndrome who joins a local athletic gym determined to learn to box. July 8, 5:30 PM, Woodward Theater.
The entire schedule, background information, and links to buy tickets are available on the festival website.

The festival is presented by LADD, which supports more than 700 adults with disabilities with its programs for housing, employment, and meaningful community engagement.

Individual show tickets are on sale here. The same link offers access passes
for multiple films and events for $50 to $125.

This year, Procter & Gamble, a major sponsor and longtime supporter of the festival, is underwriting “Pay-What-You-Can” single tickets, allowing buyers to set their own prices for individual shows. (The benefit does not apply to festival passes.) “Procter & Gamble is honored to support the Film Festival because we have a commitment to building a disability-confident world,” says Barbara Hauser, P&G senior community relations manager. “Pay-What-You-Can tickets remove financial barriers so that all people have access to these incredible stories.”

Full details are available at the website, and you can follow @OTRfilmest on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for updates.
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Read more articles by Margaret A. McGurk.

Margaret A. McGurk is a freelance writer, editor and media consultant. She was film critic for The Cincinnati Enquirer from 1995 to 2005.