Columbus Native and Filmmaker to Host Second Annual Columbus Black International Film Festival

Columbus Black International Film Festival will highlight a spectrum of stories told by artists of the African Diaspora.

COLUMBUS, OH – 2018 Spirit of Columbus Awardee, Cristyn Steward, will host the second annual Columbus Black International Film Festival (CBIFF) August 23-25 2018 at Columbus’ own Wexner Center for the Arts and The Gateway Film Center. The film festival will showcase local, national, and international stories from the African diaspora in the city of Columbus. The Spirit of Columbus Award presented by The Columbus Foundation, recognizes individuals who have exhibited exemplary community spirit through their accomplishments.

CBIFF will open at the Wexner Center for the Arts featuring filmmaker Rodney Evans, and his feature film Brother to Brother followed by a networking reception for filmmakers. The festival will continue the following two days at the Gateway Film Center. The entire festival schedule will include film screenings, an acting workshop lead by local actor and director Brian Ellis, a screenwriting workshop with Michael Artis, and a Keynote discussion and panel featuring various media and representation professionals.

Cristyn Steward is a Columbus native and seasoned filmmaker with over ten years of experience in the industry. Steward’s expertise and vision gave her the inspiration to host an event for the city of Columbus to give a platform to artists in her hometown who truly give a meaning to the phrase ‘visionary art’. With the success of the 2017 festival, this year’s theme is ‘Taking it Up a Notch’. Said Steward, “‘Taking it Up a Notch’” is about delving deeper into the layers of the Diaspora. How we are connected to our roots, the influences of the past, the work we’re doing in the present, and creating our future. With 2018 seeing the first time two major Hollywood blockbusters were directed by Black filmmakers, Black Panther and A Wrinkle in Time, as well as Jordan Peele winning the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for Get Out, we are at a pivotal time in our storytelling.”

The Columbus Black International Film Festival has received support from well-renowned arts and non-profit organizations in the community including the Wexner Center for Arts, the Gateway Film Center, Bi-Local, Equality Ohio, TransOhio, Puffin West Ltd., Black Chick Media, and Artfluential. There are plans to invite multiple local businesses and organizations to be a part of this event as a way to showcase to attendees all that Columbus has to offer.

The primary objective of the festival is to showcase black filmmakers locally, nationally, and internationally while creating an opportunity to network with various artists in the filmmaking community. The Columbus Black International Film Festival is the first and only film festival in the Midwest solely created and run by an African-American woman.

For more information, contact Cristyn Steward at