Miamisburg filmmaker gets award for his film

But Webber, co-owner of MainSail Productions in Miamisburg, said it means more that his film won the Director’s Choice Award for Best Independent Documentary.

“There is a very high standard,” Webber said of a film being accepted into an international festival. “To win their highest award is fantastic.”

Webber directed “The Elephant in the Living Room,” which stars Tim Harrison, a former Oakwood Public Safety Officer and director of Outreach for Animals.

Webber, 39, of Springboro, followed Harrison for two years and documented Harrison’s encounters with exotic animals who were being kept as household pets.

“We actually experienced this culture (having exotic animals as pets) rather than talk about it,” Webber said of why he thinks his film won the award.

“It’s a snapshot of one year in the life of Tim Harrison and the life of this lion owner and also the rest of the country.”

The film festival, which took place Feb. 21-28, featured 145 films. Forty-two of those films were documentaries. Only 39 of the documentaries were considered for the festival’s Director’s Choice Award, according to Steve Carr, film festival spokesman.

“(The award) helps promote the film to other festivals,” Carr said.

Webber’s film was also shown Feb. 4-14 at the Santa Barbara (Calif.) International Film Festival. The film will debut locally March 22 at the Schuster Performing Arts Center in Dayton.

Outreach for Animals, a Dayton-based nonprofit organization designed to educate the public about the dangers of placing exotic animals in residential areas, is currently fundraising for the film’s Dayton debut. All the proceeds from the Dayton screening will benefit the organization.

For more information about the local film debut or sponsorship, call (877) 360-RSVP (7787), e-mail contactus@outreachfor animals.org or visit outreachforanimals.org.

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