A&E harold chenoweth

Published on March 2nd, 2016 | by E. Yasamoto

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Omaha Film Festival includes a slice of Nebraska film history

The last award has been handed out, the final evening gown has been critiqued, and we’re guessing even Leonardo DiCaprio’s posse is over the Oscars.

Still, you’re sitting in your tuxedo with nowhere to go.

Well, look alive, cinematic fan! The 11th annual Omaha Film Festival will be rewarding budding directors and screenwriters with more than $28,000 in prizes from March 8 – 13 during the the Omaha Film Festival (OFF).

Established in 2005, the festival celebrates the artistic, educational and historical importance of motion pictures. It gives independent film artists a platform for sharing their work while allowing audiences to see indie flicks that would otherwise be unavailable in this area.

Plus the event – which awards films in narrative feature; documentary; short film; animated short; Nebraska Short and Nebraska Spotlight in addition to awards for short and long-form screenplays – has become a critical favorite, nationwide.

The event will include dozens of films over many days at multiple venues.

One documentary on the docket this year is “Handle With Care: Celebrating the Work of Harold Chenoweth,” a film by Writer/Director Colleen Kenney. The film is the story of Harold Chenoweth, who was Nebraska’s first film producer. He began shooting in the silent-film era and left behind unbelievable footage: old Civil War veterans marching in a parade; Babe Ruth holding a chicken and chuckling about it with Lou Gehrig; Buster Keaton with Harold in Hollywood; footage of his Omaha family.

You see a baby boy grow into an ornery little boy, hiding behind family tombstones and spraying his sister with a hose. That’s Bob Chenoweth, Harold’s only son, a retired film producer himself. “He was like me – ornery!” says Bob, who’s 92 now. “In fact, he and I hardly spoke towards the end.” But thanks to a “miracle,” Bob found a perfect way to make amends.

The Chenoweth story’s world premiere is March 9 at the Village Pointe Theatre, 304 N 174th St., as part of the festival.

Indeed, Movie Maker Magazine voted OFF as one of the “Top 25 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee.”

Check out www.omahafilmfestival.org for the full schedule of films, parties, and the conference schedule for information about passes and individual tickets for events.

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