Arts Preview: Three Weeks of Terror at the Gateway

Melissa Starker, Columbus Alive

There's nothing like a deadline to put a fire under local filmmakers.

On the heels of the highly competitive Columbus contest for the international 48 Hour Film Project, which challenges filmmakers to make original shorts in a single weekend, the Mid Ohio Filmmakers Association is rolling out the entries in its Halloween-themed contest of beat-the-clock moviemaking, "Three Weeks of Terror."

The filmmaker support group, which meets monthly at the Gateway Film Center, originally launched the competition in 2012 as "Three Days of Terror" before expanding last year to give contestants a more leisurely but still nail-biting 21 days to conceive, write, shoot and edit a short horror feature. The result, according to MOFA president Michael Butcher, has been more participation and a higher quality experience for viewers.

A dozen films made it this year, including "X-Position" by Robert Leitch and Short Knight Films, who took home three prizes in last year's contest. Fellow 2014 award winners Nate Zoebl and Ben Bailey with Edwin J. Hill Productions chime in with the skewed found-footage piece "The Legend of Sackface." Among other intriguing offerings are the Hansel and Gretel riff "Shadow of the Witch" by Neal Havener and Jeffrey Potts' "The Clearing." For that one, MOFA's Lewis Gordon gave this synopsis: "A night drive turns deadly for a pair of siblings when an old family secret awakes to feed."

Judges for this year's contest include filmmaker Andrew Ina and Killumbus Horror group head Bridget Oliver. Their favorites will be shared in an award ceremony after the screening.

Gateway Film Center

2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 25

1550 N. High St., Campus