Staff Pick: The International Sports Film Festival of Ohio

Andy Downing

Track-and-field star Stella Walsh won a pair of Olympic medals: gold at the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles, and silver at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, where Jesse Owens famously won four gold medals.

Now, decades later, the Poland native, who lived in Cleveland until her 1980 death, is the subject of a documentary from Ohio filmmaker Rob Lucas (complete with a compact, 15-minute runtime befitting a track star). Beyond her athletic feats, Walsh, who was killed during an attempted robbery, received added attention when an autopsy report confirmed she had underdeveloped male genitalia and no uterus, making her intersexual. The documentary, making its Columbus debut as part of the International Sports Film Festival of Ohio, explores the life and death of Walsh, as well as the ensuing gender controversy. The screening takes place at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 20, at the Gateway Film Center, and will be accompanied by the documentary “The Frontrunner.”

The festival, which runs Thursday-Sunday, May 18-20, features “documentaries and narrative films that explore gender, race, politics and other socially-relevant topics through athletic competitions,” according to a press release. Visit for more information.

The International Sports Film Festival of Ohio

Gateway Film Center

Thursday-Saturday, May 18-20

1550 N. High St., Campus