Several locally produced shorts and feature films will be shown at the first Youngstown Film Festival.
Screnings are scheduled at various locations in the city over the weekend, and awards will be presented for the inaugural fest on Sunday.
Michele L. Simonelli, director of the festival, said she has wanted to organize a film festival since Austintown Cinemas closed several years ago at Austintown Plaza and eliminated one of the only venues to see independent and arthouse films between Cleveland and Pittsburgh.
It all came together in the last year.
''We wanted to get good films and we wanted to reach out to native Youngs-towners,'' Simonelli said.
Being a new event, the festival didn't have a reputation to lure filmmakers, but she was happy with the response.
Youngstown Film Festival Schedule
7 p.m. The short films ''Round on Both Sides'' and ''631'' and the documentary ''Born into Brothels,'' followed by a Q&A session with producer Alyson Winick, at Stambaugh Auditorium, 1000 Fifth Ave., Youngstown
11 a.m. Animated shorts and cartooning demonstration at Oh Wow! Roger & Gloria Jones Children's Center for Science and Technology, 11 W. Federal St., Youngstown
4 p.m. The documentary ''Youngstown: Still Standing'' at the Oakland Center for the Arts, 220 W. Boardman St., Youngstown
7 p.m. The comedy ''General Education'' and the short film ''Skunk'' at the Oakland
10 p.m. The horror movie ''The Hellsworth Haunting'' at the Oakland
1:30 p.m. The documentaries ''Ringers/Washers: A Youngstown Game'' and ''Dark Little Secret'' at the Butler Institute of American Art, 524 Wick Ave., Youngstown
6 p.m. Awards ceremony at Holiday Inn Boardman, 7410 South Ave., Boardman
''I was really pleased with the quality of the films that came in,'' Simonelli said. ''Anyone taking a chance submitting to a new fest is really flattering.''
Some of the films have local themes (''Ringers/ Washers'' is a documentary about a game invented in the local mills and foundries, ''631'' looks at four generations of a family that have lived in the same Youngstown home), some were filmed locally (the short film ''Round on Both Sides'') and other were made by locals (''General Education,'' a theatrical release directed by Hubbard native Tom Morris; ''Skunk,'' by Liberty High School graduate Auggie Heschmeyer, now a film student at the University of North Carolina).
While those films have been produced in the last couple of years, the festival went back to to 2005 for its opening night feature. ''Born into Brothels,'' a film about the children of prostitutes in Calcutta's red light district that won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, will be shown Friday at Stambaugh Auditorium. Independent producer Alyson Winick, who was involved with the project, will be in attendance and do a Q&A session after the screening. Simonelli said she saw the documentary back in 2005 and was able to Winick's participation through one of her family members.
''We thought it would be great to have someone come in from the business,'' Simonelli said.
She hopes some of the other filmmakers will be able to attend as well and either introduce their films or take questions.
''A few of the others are going to try to be in attendance,'' Simonelli said. ''Certainly if they are there, we're going to give them the floor.''