The Colony Short Film Festival marks its 13th year of showcasing local and international short films in downtown Marietta, March 1–2 at the historic Peoples Bank Theatre. Special features at this year’s film festival include a 1919 Silent Comedy Night with the Peacherine Ragtime Society Orchestra, and documentary features by Parkersburg High School alum Sarah Anthony and The Daily Show senior producer Sara Taksler.

This year’s Official Selections include 27 short films from filmmakers from across Ohio and the throughout the U.S., as well as international submissions from Nepal, Ireland, Norway, Canada, and France. The films represent a variety of genres, from documentaries to experimental films and animated shorts.

On the evening of Friday, March 1 at 7 p.m., the film festival opens with an event that celebrates the historic Peoples Bank Theatre’s centennial. The Peacherine Ragtime Society Orchestra, hailed by The Washington Post as “the premier American ragtime ensemble” will take the audience back in time to experience the movie going experience of the 1910s and 1920s. The program features three comedic short films: Charlie Chaplin’s “The Pawnshop” (1917), Buster Keaton’s “Cops” (1922) and Laurel & Hardy’s “Big Business” (1929), all accompanied live with their historic orchestral scores, as they would have been in the days of Marietta’s New Hippodrome Theatre. During this family-friendly program, Peacherine and Director Andrew Greene will also play the rollicking rhythms of the early 20th century, featuring favorites by Scott Joplin, Irving Berlin, and the creators of America’s first popular music: Ragtime.

The first of the film festival’s Official Selections will begin screening Friday evening at 9:45 p.m. On Saturday, the film festival continues at 10:30 a.m. with more short films selected by festival judges.

Saturday afternoon, the festival will screen two special documentary features, followed by a panel discussion with their producers: The Price of Free, produced by Sarah Anthony, and Tickling Giants, directed and produced by Sara Taksler.

Screening at 1:30 p.m., The Price of Free is a 2018 Sundance Grand Jury Prize winning documentary about Nobel Prize winner Kailash Satyarthi and his crusade against child labor in India. With the help of a covert network of informants, Satyarthi and his dedicated team carry out daring raids to rescue and rehabilitate imprisoned children from slave labor in overcrowded factories.

Producer Sarah Anthony grew up in Vienna, WV and graduated from Parkersburg High School in the class of ’93. She attended Northwestern University and graduated in 1997 with a degree in Theatre and Communication. After a few years in Los Angeles working on narrative feature films Sarah moved to London and began her career in documentaries, with films on subjects ranging from the Iraq war to the Ming Voyages of the 1400s. Her credits include projects for PBS Frontline, Showtime, Netflix, and HBO. In addition to her award-winning work on The Price of Free, Anthony was a producer on the Grammy-winning HBO documentary series, The Defiant Ones.

Screening at 3:30 p.m., Tickling Giants, directed, written, and produced by Sara Taksler follows the story of Bassem Youseff, the “Egyptian Jon Stewart”, who decides to leave his job as a heart surgeon and become a late-night comedian in the wake of the Egyptian revolution and after treating the wounded from the Tahrir Square demonstrations of 2011. The movie is about how he finds creative, non-violent ways to protect free speech and fight a president who abuses his power.

A long-time Senior Producer at The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and later, Trevor Noah, Taksler has pitched stories and jokes, and researched footage since 2005. Taksler directed and produced the feature documentary, TWISTED: A Balloonamentary, a comedic look at the world’s premier balloon-twisting convention. At the intersection of entertainment and social justice, Sara explores current events and topical issues of the day, from freedom of expression to religion and government, while emphasizing the power of humor to bring attention to important causes.

Both Sarah Anthony and Sara Taksler will participate in a film makers panel at 5:30 p.m. facilitated by Marietta College Associate Professor of Communication, Marilee Morrow.

The festival concludes with a final screening of Official Selections entries at 7:30 p.m. and presentation of awards at 9:45 p.m.

Film Festival admission is $25 on Friday and $15 Saturday.

Full event information and ticket details are available on the Colony Short Film Festival website at Tickets are available online at or by calling the box office at 740-371-5152. Walk-up hours at the box office, located at The Stage Door, 224 Putnam Street, are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.

The Colony Short Film Festival is a program of the nonprofit Hippodrome / Colony Historical Theatre Association, which also manages the historic Peoples Bank Theatre at 222 Putnam Street in downtown Marietta. The Colony Short Film Festival is sponsored by WOUB Public Media and made possible in part by state tax dollars allocated by the Ohio Legislature to the Ohio Arts Council (OAC). The OAC is a state agency that funds and supports quality arts experiences to strengthen Ohio communities culturally, educationally, and economically.