The inaugural Cinema Columbus will run May 7-17 and feature films from around the nation and world. It will also include local filmmakers.

The Columbus Association for the Performing Arts, in conjunction with the Gateway Film Center, Film Columbus and other community partners, announced Thursday that it will be hosting a large, all-encompassing film festival in May.

The inaugural Cinema Columbus will run May 7-17 at various venues across town. It will include short and long films; filmmakers who are both local and from around the globe; and a wide selection of genres. Other features will include red-carpet events, filmmaker talks and educational opportunities, CAPA president and CEO Chad Whittington said.

"We want to make something meaningful for the film community here," Whittington said. "But we also want something with a higher profile than we’ve had in the city before."

That means providing a platform to preview major motion pictures early while showcasing other smaller films that wouldn’t normally come to screens in Columbus, said Chris Hamel, president of the Gateway Film Center on North High Street. It also will include numerous examples of local works from the burgeoning film community in central Ohio.

"First and foremost, Columbus has deserved a large film festival for years," Hamel said. "This is designed to serve a whole city and region."

Unlike the many film festivals already put on annually by Gateway, CAPA and other cultural groups in town, this one will take place at venues across the city, not be limited by genre and involve a number of stakeholders, Hamel said.

"Film festivals that currently exist are great, and there’s a wide variety of them that serve an audience or they wouldn’t continue," he said. "All the major cultural arts organizations are working together to make something grander in scale that reaches across the country."

Though it is undecided exactly which locations will host movies, the Drexel Theatre in Bexley and the Wexner Center for the Arts already have signed on.

Hamel said that this project has been a year in the making and organizers are looking forward to judging film submissions, which CAPA is accepting now through March 22. Interested filmmakers can enter at

More details on the lineup, schedule and tickets will be released in April.

Jeremy Henthorn, director of the Drexel, an event partner, said that everyone involved has the sole mission of showcasing cinema as art in a way the audience hasn’t seen before.

By working together, he said, "We’re able to put the focus on the city — what film has to offer the city and what the city has to offer filmmakers."