Great Happening:

Film Forum on the Lake coming to Lodge

Film Forum on the Lake, a four-day independent film festival, comes to The Lodge and Conference Center at GOTL in February 2017.

Dates for the festival are Feb. 5, 12, 19 and 26. Doors open at 2 p.m. and movies begin at 3 p.m. There will be a special presentation starting at 1 p.m. on Feb. 26.

Film Forum on the Lake showcases the work of student and independent filmmakers from throughout Ohio. Each Sunday will focus on the work of filmmakers from one or more universities. Commitments have been obtained from film programs at Ohio University, Baldwin Wallace, Kent State and The University of Cincinnati. The multimedia program of A-tech will have a block of short subjects, as well.

Film schedules are being populated at the Film Forum website. Links to trailers for some of the shorts and features that will be part of the program are posted, as well.

Admission is just $5 for adults and $3 for students. Each forum will feature the opportunity for students to talk with faculty members and filmmakers from the schools represented.

The films will be shown in the ballroom of the Lodge and Conference Center. The room offers seating for up to 200 and is equipped with state-of-the-art projection and audio systems.

“The idea behind Film Forum on the Lake is threefold,” says Carl E. Feather, coordinator for the festival. “First, we want to bring independent cinema to Ashtabula County for the first time. In the past, residents interested in seeing something other than a commercial release or documentary films have had to travel to Cleveland for that experience.

“Second, we want to give our Ohio filmmakers a forum in which their work can be screened. Submissions may be made through FilmFreeway now through mid-January. We are focusing on short subjects this year, but welcome all entries,” Feather adds.

“Finally, we want young people who have an interest in filmmaking to have the opportunity to connect to the programs that are available at Ohio schools. Parents often don’t understand the breadth of the filmmaking degree or job opportunities, and this event will help them and their teens learn more about the field,” Feather says.

On Feb. 19, a faculty member from Baldwin Wallace University will give a short presentation on “Why Study Film” as part of that school’s program.

Film Forum is also working with the Canton Film Festival to bring information and a selection of films from that festival to the event. The Canton Film Festival, in its sixth year, is April 23 to 26.

Feather, a filmmaker himself, says there is a huge amount of filmmaking going on in northeast Ohio, but most people are unaware of it. Ashtabula County has lagged behind other communities in making it accessible to the general public.

“The Lodge is the natural venue for this because of its excellent projection system, beautiful surroundings and commitment to the growing tourism in the area,” Feather says. “The management of The Lodge and the Ashtabula County Board of Commissioners have been extremely supportive of this effort and are making every accommodation to ensure that it will be a success and become an annual event.”

He adds that the festival will create relationships between filmmakers and Geneva-on-the-Lake, which would benefit from an independent film series in the summer months. Additionally, the Forum will introduce filmmakers to the many location possibilities in the county and thereby drive more tourism.

“As Ohio’s largest county, we provide filmmakers with diverse landscape and settings, from nautical to agricultural, from vineyards to Victorian homes, and from small towns to grungy urban landscapes,” Feather says. “We are affordable, accessible and authentic.”

The event forum kicks off on Feb. 5 with a program of short subjects from independent filmmakers from around Ohio. Genres include science fiction, art and documentary works.

An hour of films made by the A-tech students will follow.

At 5 p.m., there will be an encore showing of “We Lived on Oak Street,” the hour-long documentary about the Finnish migration to Ashtabula Harbor. The film was produced last year as part of an exhibit at The Lodge.

At 6:15 p.m., the Film Forum’s Super 8 Bowl party begins with two hours of campy short subjects presented on 16mm film. The films are from a local private collection and will include some rare footage from Ashtabula.

The Feb. 12 program will be presented by Ohio University’s Master’s Film Program; Baldwin Wallace and KSU films will be presented on Feb. 19.

The Film Forum wraps up on Feb. 26 with features from local filmmakers. Titles include “Disturbing the Peace” (1 p.m.) and “Unlucky” at 6 p.m.

The Lodge is providing a pizza and soft drink special for Film Forum guests, just $9, and soft drinks, wine and popcorn will be sold in the lobby of the theater. Special table seating will be available at a higher admission price for those who want to eat or enjoy their wine during the films. And Horizons Restaurant will offer full menu options during the Forum dinner break, 5 to 6 p.m.

Visit the festival website for updates and a complete list of films to be shown. Local filmmakers interested in participating should direct inquiries to Feather at 440-415-3596.

The Lodge and Conference Center is located at 4888 North Broadway (Route 534), Geneva, at the west end of the resort community and on the shore of Lake Erie. For reservation information, visit




About Carl (329 Articles)
Carl Feather is lodging tax administrator for Ashtabula County and the founder of The Wave newsletter. He is 25-year newspaper industry veteran and frequent contributor to West Virginia's Goldenseal Magazine. He enjoys photography and videography, which he shares at his blog,, and his Feather Cottage You Tube channel.
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