Way Down Film Festival Expands to Include Columbus' Thriving Cultural Landscape

This weekend, the third annual Way Down Film Festival will take place at the Springer Opera House. Founded as a platform for film makers, the event has expanded this year to spotlight more of the thriving cultural landscape of Columbus.





"While Way Down will always be a celebration of the indigenous film culture in Columbus, we are expanding the creative expression of the festival this year," said co-founder Jacy Jenkins. "There is just so much happening here with arts and culture that we wanted to highlight. We feel as though it's our job to provide our attendees a look into all that Columbus has to offer as a creative community."





In addition to screening over 45 films from across the world, this year's festival will include several local artists as well. The lineup includes local vendors for all food and beverage offerings, bands, and popular DJs. Renowned Columbus artists Najee Dorsey of Black Art in America, and Ralph A. Frank will be present as featured artists for the weekend as well.


We feel as though it's our job to provide our attendees a look into all that Columbus has to offer as a creative community.

Another new highlight is this year's art installation by Eduardo Pesante who is a local designer, DJ, producer, and video artist. Pesante's work blends visuals and music with technology to create video installations played across multiple screens. His work will be on display Friday and Saturday of the festival.



A screenshot from one of Pesante's latest visual projects. | Courtesy @eduardopesante.


This year's festival will include celebrities and crew from popular shows like Ozark, The Walking Dead, Stranger Things, Bloodline, 24, Sharp Objects, and Halt and Catch Fire. The celebrities will take turns serving on Q&A panels and acting as judges for the competition. Many of the featured filmmakers will also be in attendance to participate in their respective Q&A sessions.


Way Down Film Festival serves as a celebration of the $9.5 billion film industry located in our region - an industry that continues to grow by leaps and bounds every year with Columbus as a leading force in that growth.

The expanded inclusion of arts and culture will also be found in the screening's themes this year. "All of our screening blocks are themed and titles after Elvis Costello songs," said Jenkins. "It's a fun way to integrate more music and creative expression into the festival as a whole."


Regulars know that Way Down's lineup boasts far more than film screenings, music, and art installations. The festival has become a high-profile event in the industry largely in part of the fact that they offer diverse and innovative thematic parties and networking events throughout the weekend.



Way Down Film Festival has previously been limited to two days, but has been expanded to include a third day this year. Jenkins and her team have christened this third day the "Sunday Afterglow" - and have added a brunch and "Best Of" screening for guests before they leave town.


Attendees to the Afterglow can expect to view films that have won the festival in the past, and should plan to enjoy one last opportunity to mix and mingle with new and old friends in the industry. The Afterglow is also being hosted in honor of all those working in the service industry who may otherwise not be able to attend the festival.


After the festival officially closes, world-famous artist and Columbus native Bo Bartlett will be showing his new film Things Don't Stay Fixed for an invitation-only screening later that evening. Although technically not a part of Way Down Film Festival, Bartlett's screening of Things Don't Stay Fixed will be the cherry on top to an extremely successful weekend for our city.


Why? Because more than anything, Way Down Film Festival serves as a celebration of the $9.5 billion film industry located in our region - an industry that continues to grow by leaps and bounds every year with Columbus as a leading force in that growth.


Bartlett's film represents one of many of the increasing number of projects being filmed here - from major feature length films like My Brother's Keeper (Ty Manns) and Overcomer (The Kendrick Brothers) to smaller independent projects being filmed every day.


Way Down Film Festival now serves as a benchmark for progress, as every year the festival brings filmmakers from all over the world to our city. This year's expansion of Way Down Film Festival promises to give attendees a better feel for the arts and culture climate that exists here - a highly-popular aesthetic of our city that calls people back "Way Down Yonder on the Chattahoochee" year after year. ◼︎


IF YOU GO:


What: Way Down Film Festival

When: October 19-21

Where: Springer Opera House

Cost: Prices vary. Visit here for more information.

Contact: https://www.waydownfilmfest.com



THE SCHEDULE:


FRIDAY, OCTOBER 19TH +

  • 5:30 p.m.: VIP Kickoff in The Ballroom with complimentary grub & cocktails by Circa Craft Cocktails and live music from ATM band!

  • 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.: 2 evening screenings, each followed by a moderated Q&A session with attending filmmakers...ADULT CONTENT

  • Exclusive Access into The Saloon at The Springer - the networking gathering spot between screenings to meet filmmakers & VIP Judges.

  • Cash bar with sodas, wine, beer & refreshments

  • 11:30- 12:30 p.m.: Friday Night After-Party at River & Rail (Age 21+)

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 20TH +

  • 9:00 a.m.: Saturday Morning Coffee with the Judges in The Saloon (complimentary coffee & refreshments)

  • 10:30 a.m./1:30 p.m./3:30 p.m./5:30 p.m.: 4 Daytime Screenings, each followed by a moderated Q&A session with attending filmmakers on the Main Stage

  • Exclusive Access into The Saloon at The Springer - the networking gathering spot between screenings to meet filmmakers & VIP Judges.

  • Cash bar with sodas, wine, beer & refreshments

  • 7:30 p.m.: Saturday Night Awards Bash, sponsored by Mercedes-Benz of Columbus, salutes WDFF’s 2018 filmmakers. Join us in the Ballroom for complimentary cuisine from It's Your Day Catering, a cash bar, champagne toast compliments of Uptown Wine & Spirits, live performance by DJ DRIZNO & one rocking awards ceremony!

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 21ST (SEPARATE $25 PASS) +

  • 12:30 p.m.: Sunday Screening Afterglow kicks off with complimentary brunch and beverages by Bare Roots Farmacy in The Saloon, including music by DJ Cashflow. To follow, WDFF will screen select festival favorites at 2:15 p.m. of all three years in honor of our working entertainment & service industry professionals.


TAKE A SNEAK PEEK AT THIS YEAR'S VENDORS:




FOOD + BEVERAGE:


CIRCA CRAFT COCKTAILS

BARE ROOTS FARMACY

RIVER & RAIL

IT'S YOUR DAY CATERING

UPTOWN WINE & SPIRITS



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ARTS AND CULTURE ARE HERE, FOR GOOD.

THE COLUMBUSITE, LLC 2020