Lately, a month doesn't go by in this city without the Columbus Film Council making an appearance on event calendars. Between workshops for filmmakers and ongoing programs of one-off screenings, the nonprofit film presenter has seriously upped its profile in recent years.

Lately, a month doesn't go by in this city without the Columbus Film Council making an appearance on event calendars. Between workshops for filmmakers and ongoing programs of one-off screenings, the nonprofit film presenter has seriously upped its profile in recent years.

Wednesday brings the start of its annual signature event, the Columbus International Film + Video Festival, a five-day string of screenings and other happenings highlighting the best films submitted to the CFC for its yearly awards program.

In addition to giving about 20 participating filmmakers from around the world a reason to visit Columbus, the festival also provides a view of good movies that won't be coming to multiplexes. For one program, the fest and its partners even throw in some music, drinks and tasty nibbles.

Here are a few of the screenings worth investigating.

"Filmmakers Forum: An Evening of LGBT Shorts"

7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 16 at Studio 35

The festival launches with a trio of short films presented in partnership with Stonewall Columbus. One is "Dreaming American," the first directorial effort of Lee Percy, a film editor whose credits range from "Re-Animator" to "Boys Don't Cry." His dramatization of the true story of an undocumented New York City go-go dancer also adds bona fide star wattage to the program, via a role for Giancarlo Esposito ("Breaking Bad").

"Barbershop Punk"

8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 18 at CCAD's Canzani Center

This year's Best of Festival winner is a primer on net neutrality and a sharp critique of corporate forces trying to control what material internet users can access. Among those who speak up are Henry Rollins, Fugazi's Ian MacKaye and Damian Kulash from OK Go.

"Movies+Mead, Animation and More 4 Adults"

7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19 at CCAD's Canzani Center

A big draw annually, CIFVF's program of Saturday night cartoons and experimental shorts this year has a half-dozen shorts, including the avian infertility tale "The Bird Upstairs," and the intriguingly titled "Grandpa's Wet Dream." After the films, Perakis and Friends will provide live music for a reception with treats from Brothers Drake Meadery, Pattycake Vegan Bakery, Hal & Al's and more.