Wednesday, April 4, 2018

2018 Over the Rhine Film Festival Celebrates Filmmakers With Challenges and Diversity

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Cincinnati, OH -- LADD (Living Arrangements for the Developmentally Disabled) announces today an exciting line up of staff and contractors positioned to expand Greater Cincinnati's largest film festival.

Formerly the ReelAbilities Film Festival, which has attracted over 10,000 attendees to the Greater Cincinnati region, the newly rebranded event will continue the spirit of celebrating disability as well as expand its reach to include such themes as Freedom, Diversity, Identity, and Faith.

 The mission for the 2018 Over-the-Rhine International Film Festival is to celebrate and embrace Diversity, Disability, and Difference. The festival administrative and management team for this year's event has been curated by LADD to shine a spotlight on the cultural richness of Cincinnati as well as take the event to new heights.

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"With the incredible team assembled for the 2018 Over-the-Rhine International Film Festival, we are positioning this event to become another meaningful asset for the city.

We are also excited to be an impactful part of the many efforts that are building a more welcoming and diverse community," states Jack Geiger, Managing Director.

Taking place September 26-30, 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio, the 2018 Over-the-Rhine International Film Festival will showcase over 35 feature length and short films by Hollywood and independent filmmakers from around the world. To date, nearly 100 films have been submitted from around the world for the 2018 event.

 The film festival will also be complemented with a community celebration, incorporating new components, as well as featuring businesses and restaurants in the Over-the-Rhine footprint.

 The new team assembled to produce this year’s event comes from numerous backgrounds and experiences including business, entertainment, and non-profit. The overarching goal for this year's team is to ultimately create a film festival experience that works to entertain and expose festival goers to a unique cinematic experience as well as empower and enlighten them to celebrate and embrace the beauty of diversity that lives within Greater Cincinnati and beyond.

Additionally, Jeff and Susan Harris, long-time financial supporters of the film festival, announced a generous million-dollar challenge grant to assist in expanding the reach of the event. As a five-year commitment, for every .75 cents raised, LADD and the film festival will receive .25 cents.

The 2018 Over-the-Rhine International Film Festival Event Chairs are: Kitty Rosenthal, Former Cincinnati USA Regional Commerce Executive Director, Arlene Koth, Vice President of Administration and Human Resources at TriVersity Construction Group, Jon Sanchez, Former Navy Seal, and Scott Van Nice of P&G. Kim Vincent and Jenny McCloy are also returning from chairing the film festival in 2017 as Chairs Emeritus. The 2018 Honorary Chairs include: Mayor John Cranley and Cincinnati Reds’ Teddy Kremer.

For more information and updates on the 2018 Over-the-Rhine International Film Festival, visit


Jack Geiger, Managing Director

Mr. Geiger brings over 40 years of business experience with Fortune 100 companies focusing on new product development, branding and strategic planning. Mr. Geiger serves on the board of directors of non-profits, start-up companies and is a Founding Member of the Miami University Entrepreneurship Institute.

Tyrha M. Lindsey-Warren, Ph.D. MBA, Festival Project Manager
Dr. Lindsey-Warren is the Managing Director for L.A.I. Communications, which will oversee the project management, marketing, and public relations for the festival.

 Dr. Lindsey-Warren is a Marketing Executive, consulting for corporate and non-profits clients, and a Marketing Scholar, with published research in journals and books. She has worked on the producing team for the International Faith and Family Film Festival at MegaFest in Dallas, Texas, since its inception in 2013, and works as a collaborator with the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media.

Marvin Hawkins, Director of Strategic Partnerships and Corporate Relations
Mr. Hawkins is a former staff member for then Councilman John Cranley as well as the Corporate Sponsorship Manager for 3CDC in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Jennifer Timm, Director of Performing Arts and Non-Profits, L.A.I. Communications
As a Julliard Drama graduate and trained MBA executive, Ms. Timm has experience working with the Theatre Communications Group (TCG) to create the United States Status of the Artist report for UNESCO.

 With the Cincinnati's Fine Arts Fund, now known as ArtsWave, Ms. Timm provided administrative support for the National Arts Marketing Project. She also continued her collaboration with the Arts Services office by helping to establish the Virtual Arts Incubator.

Jesse Byerly, Multi-Media Specialist
Mr. Byerly is a Multimedia Specialist at LADD and has served as the Multimedia Specialist for the Cincinnati ReelAbilities Film Festival since its inception. He is an award-winning artist that works to empower through photo, video, design and storytelling.

Caren Theuring, Special Events Coordinator
Ms. Thuering has extensive event planning experience, locally and globally, with ProScan Imaging and the Cincinnati Bar Association. She is a long-time volunteer for the Cincinnati ReelAbilities Film Festival.


Tt Stern-Enzi, Programmer
Mr. Stern-Enzi is a freelance writer and contributing film editor with Cincinnati CityBeat, Dayton CityPaper and other outlets.

 He also curates regional film events at the Mini Microcinema, serves on panels in conjunction with the University of Cincinnati Center for Film and Media Studies program, and develops the film curriculum for his WatchWriteNow educational initiative, which focuses on using film as a tool for creative and critical engagement with middle and high school students.

Opal H. Bennett, Programmer
Ms. Bennett joins the festival to co-curate the film program, which will present fictional and documentary films about freedom, identity, diversity, faith and disability. She has been a festival Programmer since 2014. Ms. Bennett programs short films at DOC NYC, is on the programming teams for Aspen Shortsfest, Athena, Nantucket and Tribeca Film Festivals, and is a Program Consultant for The March on Washington Film Festival.

Adam Piron, Programmer
Mr. Piron works as a Shorts Programmer for the Sundance Film Festival. He is one of the only Native American film curators in the industry.


Kitty Rosenthal is the retired Vice President at Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber where she served in various roles over 30 years. She has been the Director of Development for Film Cincinnati. Ms. Rosenthal serves on the Board of Trustees for Chatfield College, Cincinnati Ballet, and the Cincinnati Psychoanalytic Institute.

Arlene Koth is Vice President of Administration and Human Resources at TriVersity Construction with over 18 years of human resources and organizational development experience.

As part of the executive leadership team, Ms. Koth is instrumental in shaping TriVersity’s business strategy and culture. She currently serves on the DCI Board of Directors, the Good Samaritan Hospital Foundation Board of Directors, the UC Economics Center Board of Trustees, the YWCA Board of Directors, and the Cincinnati Works Board of Directors. Arlene has also served on the boards of the Over-the-Rhine Chamber of Commerce and the African American Chamber of Commerce.

Jon Sanchez is Founder and CEO of Team Performance Institute, a leadership and team development organization. He is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and has served as an officer on the U.S. Navy SEAL Teams. After his naval service, Mr. Sanchez transitioned into the finance industry and today continues to follow his passion for leading teams. He has conducted consulting and speaking engagements, executive coaching, and team building engagements for corporations around the world and across multiple industries. Mr. Sanchez serves as a Board Member for the Joseph House, the Anthony Munoz Foundation, Tri-State Veterans Community Alliance and Magnified Giving.

Scott Van Nice is an attorney with over 17 years of experience as a Cyber Security professional with Procter & Gamble. Mr. Van Nice currently manages P&G's electronic discovery and computer forensics service. He is an adjunct professor at the University of Cincinnati where he teaches "Legal Rights for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing" and focuses on the Americans with Disabilities Act. Mr. Van Nice also teaches electronic discovery and computer forensics at Salmon P. Chase College of Law, Northern Kentucky University and at the University of Cumberlands.

Guided by the belief that all people have ability and value, LADD empowers adults with developmental disabilities to live, work and connect. Founded in 1975, LADD serves nearly 500 adults with developmental disabilities and organizes the Over-the-Rhine International Film Festival. For more information, visit

Originally the ReelAbilities Film Festival (dedicated to showcasing the stories, lives and art of people who experience disability), the Over-the-Rhine International Film Festival is the largest of its kind in the Cincinnati, Ohio region. The new name and expanded scope - inclusion for all - was announced in December 2017. Visit for ticketing and festival information.

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Posted by community events coordinator, Nzinga Lonstein Austin, is a prolific blogger who writes on the entertainment industry and issues for people with developmental and physical challenges.

She is presently in high school looking to have a career in video, film, and media. You can see more of her entertainment writing on Lonstein Movies.

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