With a mission “To support artists and filmmakers of all ages and all abilities to create, inspire and share their work with each other and the world,” this year’s World Arts Film Festival features more than 100 films screened over three days.
“We wanted to create a venue that inspires established and first-time filmmakers to meet and mentor each other and their audiences,” says Karen Douglass Sadler, the Festival’s founder and a director who has lived in Northeast Florida since 1997 and currently splits her time between Riverside and New York City.
“We work to bring high-quality and engaging programming for all ages and abilities to the screen in Downtown Jacksonville,” Sadler explains. “The festival has a global outreach inviting filmmakers to present their work here, a focus on communication that educates and connects cultures from around the world through the arts.”
The festival, now in its third year, is slated for Thursday, Oct. 15 through Saturday, Oct. 17 at Downtown’s Main Library. It will also feature panels, workshops, industry guests, art exhibits, receptions, and awards.
Some of the guests and speakers this year include Michael Hausman, producer and director known for his work on Brokeback Mountain and Gangs of New York, local Peabody Award-winning radio host Al Letson, Art Institute of Jacksonville professor and director-writer Nadia Ramoutar, as well as animator and illustrator Dani Bowman.
World Arts Film Festival is produced in collaboration with World Arts Education, a nonprofit organization that supports diverse and inclusive arts and education programs around the globe. Last year’s festival was featured in a cover story in Folio Weekly.
“The film work created in World Arts’ workshops are invited to show at the festival,” says Sadler. “The collaboration created a platform that was not previously available to young filmmakers. The educational community has welcomed this new opportunity for students to learn through filmmaking.”
A few of the films that will be presented this year include The Wound and The Gift (Linda Hoaglund, director), an animated Japanese folktale and documentary woven together on the screen, Fugu and Tako (Ben West, director), a comedy told through the use of visual effects, and The Fragrance Thief (Tanmaya Shekhar, writer-director), a whimsical love story.
“The festival has a global outreach inviting filmmakers to present their work here,” Sadler explains, “offering a focus on communication that educates and connects cultures from around the world through the arts.”