23 short films in store at Dayton Independent Film Festival

Midwestern storytelling is in the spotlight this weekend as the third annual Dayton Independent Film Festival takes place at The Neon.

Hosted by the University of Dayton’s Communications Department, the festival will showcase 23 short films from filmmakers across the Midwest, a quarter hailing from the Dayton area. In particular, a record number of local and Ohio-based films were submitted to the festival.

After launching in 2020 during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, the festival says it embraced hybrid events to “showcase Midwestern films epitomizing the innovative and preserving spirit of Dayton.”

This year’s in-person event will incorporate five blocks of short films encompassing universal themes such as love, relationships, parenthood, loss, friendship and activism. On Sunday, there will be a free screening of selected shorts from Stivers School for the Arts.

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Notable among the festival lineup is “Last Chance Moms,” a comedy starring, written and produced by Dayton native and Oakwood High School graduate Heather Olt and Waterville native and Miami University graduate Sarah Chaney. Inspired by a true story, the film concerns two fortysomething best friends who decide to raise a baby together.

“Last Chance Moms” was shot in just two days with a crew of four people, according to press notes. Describing the process as a “labor of love,” the Los Angeles-based Olt and Chaney said the film’s budget was “however many points we had on our credit card.” The film will have its Ohio premiere Saturday at 4 p.m. in the Fiction Shorts 1 Block.

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Other notables include “Paul Laurence Dunbar: An American Poet,” screening Friday,” and “Got Your Back,” a story inspired by members of the Fairview High School Class of 1966 which will screen Saturday in the Fiction Shorts 1 Block.

Olt and Chaney will be among the filmmakers in attendance this weekend. Each program will be followed by a question and answer session.

Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

For a complete list of films and the festival schedule, visit https://www.daytonfilmfest.com/2022-program.

HOW TO GO

What: Dayton Independent Film Festival

Where: The Neon, 130 E. Fifth St., Dayton

When: Sept. 23-25; 7 p.m. Friday (Local Shorts); 1 p.m. (Non Fiction Shorts), 4 p.m. (Fiction Shorts 1) and 7 p.m. (Fiction Shorts 2) Saturday; and Noon Sunday (High School Shorts)

Tickets: $7 Friday and Saturday; Free Sunday

More info: https://www.daytonfilmfest.com

FYI: An opening night reception begins Friday at 6 p.m.

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