Columbus's growth as a global hub for technology and business has created more and more partnerships with nearby Denison, providing an urban connection for internships, employment, and rich cultural opportunities.
The Gateway Film Center on bustling High Street is in the heart of both Columbus and Ohio State University, an independent theater best known for showing “locally-grown films.” On April 15th, the popular venue filled with Denison students, alumni, and Columbus locals for a screening of Holding Patterns, an anthology feature film by the Denison cinema department.
Marc Wiskemann, Associate Professor of Cinema at Denison, and Gina Marie Ezzone ’15, Departmental Liason and Program Coordinator, wrote the short screenplays across a variety of genres; the short films each explore the lives of people in the wake of a tragic plane crash. The films were directed by Allie Vugrincic ’17, Andy Quinlan ’18, Jabari Johnson ’17, Treasure Thomas-Castile ’18, Greg Watson ’18, Caroline DeBoer ’17, and Daniel Critchfield ’17.
“Columbus is a great resource for students, especially in the arts. A lot of the acting talent for our films comes out of Columbus, and we also have a strong alumni base there.” —Allie Vugrincic ’17
During the Fall semester in Wiskemann's advanced seminar course, each student chose a script that appealed to them and their filmmaking sensibilities. They applied their own cinematic style to the film and worked with local professional actors to create the shorts.
“Many of the people who acted in the films live and work in Columbus, and most of the professional filmmaking community of Central Ohio live and work there too, so we thought it would be nice to venture out to Columbus instead of having everyone come to Granville. We considered several Columbus venues, including The Wexner Center for the Arts and the Columbus Museum of Art,” stated Ezzone.
They decided on the Gateway, which boasts “Nobody loves movies like [we do]. Discovering them, presenting them, celebrating them, and most of all, bringing the best of them to Central Ohio.”
Ezzone continued, “To have your film at the Gateway, a theatre where everything from the latest blockbusters to cult classics are screened … to have your work screened there is exciting and a way of growing as a filmmaker.”
Allie Vugrincic ’17, cinema major and director of one of the shorts, echoed these sentiments and excitement for seeing her film on the big screen. “The class was always busy because we were all helping with each others’ films. Sometimes we filmed four or five days a week, said Vugrincic. “It was all worth it when I saw it on the big screen. It reminded why I like making films.”
Wiskemann, who wrote the shorts, added: “To create something that, when projected onto a screen, can bring an audience to their feet, to tears, or cause them to laugh out loud, is an unbelievably difficult, but rewarding, experience. Providing the forum for these students to create something at a higher level, and to bring that feature film to an audience at a venue like the one in Columbus, is an opportunity that I think is invaluable in their education and is rarely accomplished at an undergraduate institution.”