Over-the-Rhine International Film Festival Backgrounder
Thursday, November 30, 2017

WHAT The Over-the-Rhine International Film Festival celebrates diversity, disability, and difference through the art of film, music, art and culture. Cincinnati’s largest film festival, the five-day event was formerly the Cincinnati ReelAbilities Film Festival, which focused on people with disabilities.

WHEN September 26 – 30, 2018

WHERE LOCATIONS ARE BEING FINALIZED BUT ARE EXPECTED TO BE: Washington Park, School of Creative and Performing Arts, 12th Street between Elm Street and Columbia Parkway, Elementz, Music Hall, The National Underground Railroad and Freedom Center, Ensemble Theater, and other OTR Venues in the OTR Entertainment District, including bars and restaurants. The Premier Luncheon will take place September 26th at Duke Energy Convention Center.

ABOUT LADD The agency that oversees the festival is LADD Inc. a Cincinnati-based non-profit with more than 40 years of excellence in serving adults with developmental disabilities through housing and employment options and life-skill training. LADD has a $9 million annual budget, 140 staff and serves 500 people across Hamilton County.

LADD began to organize the ReelAbilities Film Festival in 2013 and continuously grew the festival every year.  In 2016, LADD assumed the national leadership of the Festival and grew the number of ReelAblities sites to 15, making it the largest disabilities-related film festival in North America. Now, LADD is expanding the festival to include diversity and difference, as well as disability.

WHAT MAKES THIS FESTIVAL UNIQUE The Over-The-Rhine Film Festival is one of the few film festivals in the U.S. that is explicitly dedicated to diversity, disability and difference. The festival celebrates shared humanity through film, music, art, and culture. Films will be organized into five tracks: Freedom, Diversity, Disability, Faith, and Identity.

FESTIVAL LEADERS  Festival Chairs: Kitty Strauss Rosenthal, Sr. Director (Ret.) Cincinnati Regional Chamber; Jon Sanchez, CEO, Team Performance Institute; Scott Van Nice, P&G Cybersecurity: Digital Forensics and eDiscovery, and P&G People with Disabilities Leadership Team; Arlene Koth, Vice President, TriVersity; Jenny McCloy, Chair Emerita, and Community Representative; Kim Vincent, Chair Emerita and Community Representative.

Staff leaders: Susan Brownknight, LADD CEO; Molly Lyons, LADD Director of Development and External Relations; Debra Pinger, Festival Managing Director; Marvin Hawkins, Festival Director of Strategic Relations and Sponsorship.

FILM PROGRAMERS: Opal H. Bennett joins the festival to curate the film program, which will present fictional and documentary films about freedom, identity, diversity, faith, and disability.  Currently, she manages the film and screenplay submissions for the Nantucket Film Festival. She is an associate programmer at the DOCNYC Film Festival in New York City, and has served on the programming teams for Sundance London, Athena and Tribeca Film Festivals.

Adam Piron belongs to the Kiowa and Mohawk tribes and was raised in Arizona. He is a member of the Sundance Film Festival’s Short Film Programming Team and also programs films for AFI Fest and Film Independent’s LA Film Festival. From 2014 to 2017, he served as manager of Sundance Institute’s Native American and Indigenous Film Program where he also helped oversee the Native Filmmaker Lab Fellowship and more.

TICKETS The OTR International Film Festival is open to all.  Many events are free.  Films are $10.  Special events and parties are separately priced.



  • Annual Attendance: 19,000+
  • Four-day Festival Total Attendance: Nearly 10,000
  • Films: 61
  • Screenings: 28
  • Special Events: 7
  • Premier Luncheon: 700
  • Corporate Sponsors: 44
  • Foundation Support: 9
  • Volunteers: 700+
  • Benefitting Agencies: 27
  • Funds raised for Benefitting Agencies: $30,000
  • Students reached: 12,493
  • Schools: 36
  • Media overall reach: 2.5 million
  • Website hits: 100,000
  • Facebook reach: 584,000


Presenting: Candle-Lite Company, Saul Schottenstein Foundation B, The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr. Us Bank Foundation

Golden: The Greater Cincinnati Foundation, Fifth Third Bank, Hatton Foundation, The Daniel & Susan Pfau Foundation, The City of Cincinnati, Spotlight 360 Events & Promotions, Theater Management Group, Prestige AV and Creative Services, Q102; The Cincinnati Enquirer

Silver: Kroger, P&G, GE, Humana, UC Health, Dinsmore, Huntington Bank, The Mayerson Foundation, Mercy Health

Bronze: Allegra, Marge and Charles J. Schott Foundation, CET, Contemporary Cabinetry East, Purdy Productions, Go Metro, Lamar, McCloy Family Foundation, Erma A. Bantz Foundation

Partners: Cincinnati Reds, Hamilton County Developmental Services, the Otto M. Budig Family Foundation, Messer, Cincinnati Childrens, Interact for Health, CityBeat, Bahl & Gaynor, The Cincinnati Herald, Lightborne, PNC, 91.7 and WGUC. Cintas, M.C.Mobility, Ayers Transportation, Frost Brown Todd, AARP

National Sponsors: Jason’s Connection; Butler Foundation, SAG-AFTRA, AXA