Over The Rhine International Film Festival 2023

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Where Film meets Family and Friends

Do you like good movies, fun people and great artists, mixed in with education? Well, The Over the Rhine International Film Festival is for you. Located in The Over the Rhine district in Cincinnati, the audience, filmmakers and supporters were treated to healthy dose of films, networking events and a party (or two).

For me as a Journalist and movie-nut, this was a great festival to attend. 2023, had an incredibly-diverse schedule of films that brought a wonderful layer to its family-like atmosphere. I liked this event had something for everyone and at no point did it seem like one film had all the importance. I noticed this in the handling of what most festivals would say was the “biggest” part, the fireside chat with Emilio Estevez and Martin Sheen. It was not a surprise how kind the father-son, director-actor duo was to Festival goers.

The most admirable part of the festival is, it is not about deals or selling one’s film. I understand the industry, as filmmaker’s sometimes we need a deal or want to see who you can meet? However, it greatly alters the aura of any event, if we want to be just audience with the experience of seeing a film.


Organized by leading disability services and advocacy organization LADD and under the artistic direction of venerated film critic TT Stern Enzi and creatively produced with senior artist activist Kate Siahaan-Rigg, the festival takes place in the heart of the Over The Rhine District of Cincinnati. Originally an extension of the National “Reel Abilities” Film Festival which came to Cincinnati in 2013, the festival widened its lens to also include any films that tell stories about communities whose voices are marginalized in the world. The festival gives awards in partnership with local institutions whose values reflect the Festival’s vision such as the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center’s “Freedom Award” and the Harriet Beecher Stowe House “Power of Voice” Award.

9 TO 5: The Story of a Movement

Presented by WIF, Women in Film Cincinati

Synopsis: Featuring interviews with 9 to 5 Founders, as well as Oscar-winner actor and Activist Jane Fonda. 9 to 5: The Story of a Movement is the previously untold story of the fight the movie and changed the American Workplace. The original 9 to 5 was made of women who bound together to push for better pay, treatment in the workplace and to (try and) stop sexual-harassment.

The screening had the director and film Editor in attendance.  It was a very thought-provoking look inside the women’s movement with timely and (even) hilarious interviews. The surviving Women were pistol-packing mama’s down to the word..

I enjoyed the film because it did not talk down to the audience nor did it take pointless jabs at men. If the facts make someone look bad, well, those are the facts, and this film stuck to the facts.

Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez: Their Journey Home

OTRIFF hosted father-son duo Martin Sheen and Emilio Estévez for an intimate evening to discuss film, family, life and their immersive Ohio roots. The event held a red-carpet event at the Memorial Hall. It was a great time for press to have an intimate interaction with Emilio and Martin. It had an extra family-feel with Ohio, because Martin Sheen is from Dayton, also lived in Cleveland and his wife (Emilio’s Mom) was born in Cincinnati. 

Emilio relocated to Cincinnati after his Directorial effort The Public, which was shot in Cincinnati.  

Emilio was asked about Filming in Cincinnati and his hopes to film here again…

Emilio replied “we hope to get as many eyes as possible on this city.” He was also asked if he wanted to make another movie with his Father. Emilio chimed in “sure…we hope to bring a t.v. show or movie here…when you shoot in L.A., background artists and crew tend to get jaded..there is still excitement here..aside from undiscovered location…there is still a great excitement about the industry.”

Martin Sheen noted “I like being here with my son…he is my favorite director and… I was going to say my favorite son… (laughs).. well my favorite son in Ohio.”

Overall, it was Martin Sheen summed it all up, when asked by a journalist “How do you feel about your legacy and the Foundation you laid for it?”

“In all honesty I had nothing to do with it (his kids making it..)…the greatest joy I have had in all my years is doing this with all my Children. Ramon, Charlie and Renee.” He continued “If someone asked what I do for a living, I would say watch The Way.” It was Emilio’s 2010 directorial outing. 

Picture of Paul Booth

Paul Booth

Paul Booth’s love of movies is at the core of who he is. He is a filmmaker, journalist and film historian.

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