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Short Film Festival Comes to Paden City

By Randy Rutherford - Staff Writer | Apr 2, 2021

The inaugural Ohio River Valley Short Film Festival will be held at the Paden City Library, Friday, April 9th.

Dave Shelton, an award winning film and television writer/cartoonist, came up with the idea to bring some attention to the Ohio Valley and established filmmakers around the world.

Shelton, who moved to Sistersville from California to write, has been active in local activities and saw the need for the arts. “West Virginia is a wonderful place, there’s such an amazing history surrounding this area, and I wanted to add to the cultural landscape,” Shelton said. “Having been involved in film festivals in Los Angeles, I thought this would be something that could bring locals as well as film makers from all over the world together while spotlighting this part of the Ohio Valley.”

The festival was set to be held in Sistersville, but due to what Shelton says are unforeseen circumstances, he had to find new sponsors and another venue. He got in touch with Danielle Ice-Davis of the Paden City Library, where Shelton just did a Facebook live for his new children’s book, Bag Boy and Sweet Slob. Ice-Davis was very supportive of the idea and after presenting it to the library board, informed Shelton they would be happy to have the festival there.

“I was displaced when my original location and the funding were pulled from me,” Shelton explained. “I knew how accommodating Danielle (Ice-Davis) was and when they approved the festival I couldn’t have been more grateful. I had a lot of film makers who paid to be in the festival relying on me and I didn’t want to disappoint them and my reputation is important to me.”

Shelton went on to secure sponsorships from local entrepreneurs King’s Corner (thanks to Alex King, who is also one of the judges) and Al-Rec LLC (thanks to Erica Grimm, whose husband Craig’s family owns the company). Erica and her daughter, Samantha Melvin, are also festival judges. Shelton then contacted his friend, Mitch Kitayama, from California. Kitayama’s companies, Dura Shield, Advanced Biomedical and Winslow Drake, also came aboard as sponsors. “I’m so thankful to everyone that stepped up and embraced this festival and came through for me,” Shelton said.

17 short films from as far away as Australia between 4 and 30 minutes are entered into the festival and prizes are going to be presented for best documentary, horror, drama, comedy and sci-fi as well as for best cinematographer and director during an awards ceremony immediately after screening of the last film.

The Paden City Library is located at 114 S. 4th Street, Paden City, WV 26159. The festival will run from 11 a.m. until approximately 6 p.m. and is open to the public.

More information about the festival can be found at https://filmfreeway.com/FirstAnnualOldGaslightTheaterShort-FilmFestival. The Olive Branch animal rescue will have snacks available during the festival.