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Extension office in Ohio launching Germinate International Film Fest

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We’re always on the prowl for a good farming and food documentary. Ohio’s Highland County Extension Office hopes to bring those kinds of films, and others related to agriculture, together for the first-ever Germinate International Film Fest. The purpose of this film festival, which will take place Aug. 16 and 17 in Hillsboro, is to grow knowledge about agriculture, natural resources, and rural communities.

Historically, researchers have found that rural communities and the agricultural industry have been depicted in entertainment media as outdated, having unrealistic portrayals, and as fodder for comedic material in film and television programming, the extension office said in a news release. However, online streaming platforms, such as Netflix, Hulu, and Apple iTunes, have recently curated sections of films related to food production and culinary expertise. These curated films represent consumer’s desire to want to learn more about how their food was prepared and where it was grown. The Germinate International Film Fest seeks to aggregate films that represent rural communities and their associated industries in an accurate manner, including current technologies, practices, and programs.

The Germinate International Film Fest will provide a forum for open discussion about agricultural, environmental, and rural community development topics important to the public. While rural areas represent 97 percent of the United States’ landmass, only 19.3 percent of the population resides in a rural area. Less than two percent of the nation’s population identifies as farmers.

While there are thousands of film festivals in the world, Germinate International Film Fest is different because these films will be selected based upon their ability to tell a compelling and logical story, as well as providing factual information about the topic being discussed. Ten percent of the selected films will be sourced from local filmmakers from Ohio, allowing for attendees of the festival to be able to connect with local producers and filmmakers from the area surrounding Highland County, Ohio. Filmmakers of all skill and expertise levels are encouraged to apply. Additionally, there will be a still photography division for additional competition.

Film submissions will be accepted for the following categories:

  • Short Documentary: 59 minutes or less
  • Feature Documentary: 60 minutes or more
  • Short Narrative: 59 minutes or less
  • Feature Narrative: 60 minutes or more
  • A short of any kind: 20 minutes or less
  • Virtual Reality: 20 minutes or less
  • Photography: Agriculture, nature or the environment, rural communities, 
  • Student Films: collegiate and graduate student-produced films
  • Youth: any filmmaker who is under 18.
  • Scholarly and/or Extension

Submissions are encouraged for all styles and methods of film production, including but not limited to: aerial cinematography, stop-motion, animation, and live action. Applicants are encouraged to use their creativity and imagination for the cinematic direction of their submissions.

If you have a film or photograph that would be a great addition to the festival, you can apply here. The deadline to apply is June 30, 2019.

Southern State Community College will host the screenings of the festival at their central campus in Hillsboro, Ohio.

For more information about the festival, contact the Highland County Office of OSU Extension at (937) 393-1918. Tickets will be available for purchase in July.

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