Wexner Center for the Arts presents the sixth annual Unorthodocs October 27–November 4

Mon, Oct 03, 2022

A weekend of screenings will be enhanced by streaming and virtual reality programs 

The Wexner Center for the Arts at The Ohio State University is excited to share the lineup for this year’s Unorthodocs, the center’s annual festival celebrating the creative potential of nonfiction filmmaking.  

Happening on-site Thursday, October 27 through Monday, October 31, with an accompanying virtual program October 27–November 4, this year’s Unorthodocs shares gripping true-life narratives told with exceptional skill and creativity, kicking off with a deep dive into the ethics and responsibilities of telling real people’s stories. 

The opening night program on Thursday, October 27 presents the Midwest premiere of Subject. Codirectors Jennifer Tiexiera and Camilla Hall check in with the “stars” of some of the most significant documentaries of the past few decades—Capturing the Friedmans, Hoop Dreams, Minding the Gap, The Square, The Staircase, and The Wolfpack—to discuss how participating in these projects has changed their lives. The screening will also bring together Hall and coproducers/participants Jesse Friedman, Ahmed Hassan, and Margaret Ratliff for a post-screening panel. 

Local and regional premieres with visiting filmmakers in attendance include Rita Baghdadi’s Sirens, a doc about the Middle East’s first all-female metal band, screening Friday, October 28; Cane Fire, Anthony Banua-Simon’s portrait of the complicated relationship between Hollywood and the Hawaiian island of Kaua’i, screening Saturday, October 29; and Jon-Sesrie Goff’s After Sherman, also presented October 29. That film explores ideas of Black inheritance, generational wisdom and collective history, inspired by a plot of South Carolina land that’s been in Goff’s family since the 1860s.  

The festival will also present the Midwest premiere of filmmaker Charlie Shackleton’s As Mine Exactly. For this uniquely intimate live VR experience, one audience member at a time sits at a table in a VR headset across from Shackleton as he revisits a medical emergency of his mother’s that reshaped their lives. Due to the nature of the program, only a limited number of tickets are available. 

Documentary lovers worldwide can also take part in Unorthodocs through a weeklong virtual presentation of rarely seen short films produced over two decades by The Sudanese Film Group. The free program is presented in conjunction with the October 29 Columbus premiere of Suhaib Gasmelbari’s 2019 documentary Talking About Trees, featuring four veteran directors from the group. 

Except where otherwise noted, admission to Unorthodocs screenings is $9 general admission, $7 for Wexner Center members and seniors, and $5 for students. A festival pass is also available for $48 general admission with reduced prices of $32 for members and seniors and $16 for students, providing access to all festival programs except As Mine Exactly (due to limited space), as well as free entry to a VIP pass holders' lounge throughout the weekend and a free drink ticket to use at a reception for visiting filmmakers October 29. 


The complete schedule for Unorthodocs:

October 27–October 30 
Midwest Premiere 
As Mine Exactly (Charlie Shackleton, 2022) 

Tickets $10 general admission, $8 for members and seniors, $5 for students 

Thu Oct 27 | 7 PM 
Midwest Premiere 
Subject (Camilla Hall and Jennifer Tiexiera, 2022) 
Codirector Camilla Hall and coproducers Jesse Friedman, Ahmed Hassan, and Margaret Ratliff in person  

Fri Oct 28 | 5 PM 
Unorthodocs Shorts 

Highlights include Midwaste by former Columbus resident Liz Roberts, which challenges the way addicts’ redemption stories are told, and heron 1954-2002, a cinematic memorial to a loved one who died of an accidental opioid overdose by Alexis McCrimmon, an editor in the Wexner Center’s Film/Video Studio and the sound designer on Midwaste

Fri Oct 28 | 7 PM 
Midwest Premiere 
Sirens (Rita Baghdadi, 2022) 
Rita Baghdadi in person 

Sat Oct 29 | 12:15 PM 
Columbus Premiere 
Talking About Trees (Suhaib Gasmelbari, 2019) 

In Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, four elderly veteran directors from the Sudanese Film Group work to bring cinemagoing back to their crisis-ridden country in the face of countless bureaucratic obstacles. 

Sat Oct 29 | 2:15 PM 
Columbus Premiere
La Mami (Laura Herrero Garvín, 2019) 

Follow Dońa Olga, aka La Mami, as she presides over the women’s dressing room at Mexico City’s Cabaret Barba Azul in this behind-the-scenes look at work in a dance club, presented entirely from a female perspective. 

Sat Oct 29 | 4 PM 
Columbus Premiere  
Cane Fire (Anthony Banua-Simon, 2020) 
Anthony Banua-Simon in person 

Sat Oct 29 | 6 PM 
Filmmaker reception 

Mingle with the filmmakers participating in this year’s festival and other documentary lovers while enjoying light snacks and a cash bar. 

Sat Oct 29 | 7 PM 
Columbus Premiere
After Sherman (Jon-Sesrie Goff, 2022) 
Jon-Sesrie Goff in person 

Sun Oct 30 | 12:15 PM 
Sam Green Shorts 

A union of Unorthodocs and the center’s monthlong spotlight on the work of Sam Green, this program features short films such as Pie Fight ’69, about a counter-cultural group of pranksters in costumes who interrupted the opening night events of the 1969 San Francisco Film Festival; a new work about John Cage; and the 1983 film Green wrote for Kronos Quartet, Thirty Pieces for String Quartet

Sun, Oct 30 | 2 PM 
Midwest Premiere | FREE 
Sediments (Adrián Silvestre, 2021) 

This charming and captivating hangout movie examines issues of love, identity, collectivity, and individuality through six Spanish trans women who head to the countryside outside of León for a weekend cabin getaway.  

Sun Oct 30 | 4 PM  
Columbus Premiere
Tantura (Alon Schwarz, 2022) 
Co-presented with the Columbus Jewish Film Festival 

This provocative documentary focuses on a massacre that allegedly occurred in the seaside village of Tantura during Israel’s founding to explore why nations struggle to acknowledge the problematic aspects of their own history. 

Mon, Oct 31 | 4:30 PM
Columbus Premiere | FREE  
My Imaginary Country (Patricio Guzmán, 2022) 

Chilean filmmaker Patricio Guzmán’s most forward-looking and hopeful film to date documents the massive social protest movement that swept Chile from 2019-2021 and led to the regime-changing election of a new left-wing coalition 

Sat Oct 29–Fri Nov 4  
Virtual Presentation | FREE 
Shorts by The Sudanese Film Group 

Presented in conjunction with the feature Talking About Trees, this online program offers a rare chance to see the Sudanese Film Group’s early short films from the mid-1960s to the mid ‘80s, made against the backdrop of various religious and political groups waging a long-term civil war.