The Germinate International Film Fest is coming together to feature a diverse range of films highlighting agriculture and rural communities. The Highland County Office of Ohio State University Extension is organizing the inaugural festival Aug. 16-17 in Hillsboro.
Germinate means “to grow,” and the purpose of this film festival 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have found that rural communities and the agricultural industry have been depicted in entertainment media as outdated and as fodder for comedic material in film and television programming, with unrealistic portrayals. 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 consumers’ 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.
Open discussion forum
The concept behind this film fest is to provide a forum for open discussion about agricultural, environmental and rural community development topics important to the public. While rural areas represent 97% of the United States’ landmass, only 19.3% of the population resides in a rural area. Less than 2% of the nation’s population identifies as farmers.
This film festival will provide an opportunity to showcase the agricultural industry from the perspective of agricultural producers, researchers and rural community members.
Rural communities face many challenges. Germinate International Film Fest seeks films that will highlight the resiliency of rural communities, and the individuals who are making these communities thrive.
While there are thousands of film festivals in the world, the 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.
The festival will fill a void in current festival lineups to highlight rural communities, and the natural environments and industries surrounding them. Ten percent of the selected films will be sourced from local filmmakers from Ohio, allowing for festival attendees to be able to connect with local producers and filmmakers from the area around Highland County. Filmmakers of all skill and expertise levels are encouraged to apply. Additionally, there will be a still photography division for additional competition.
Film entry categories
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 and 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 creativity and imagination for the cinematic direction of their submissions.
Applications are accepted through the film fest website. The deadline to apply is June 30.
Southern State Community College will host the festival screenings at its central campus in Hillsboro.
Film production workshops
In addition to the live film screenings, attendees will be able to participate in a series of hands-on workshops related to video production, photography, agriculture, natural resources, astronomy and community development topics. The workshops will be held at various locations throughout Highland County.
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 through the Highland County Extension Office.