Pakistani Lesbian Lucha Love Story: The Wex to Debut Highly Anticipated Film

By Jeannie Nuss, Columbus College of Art & Design


Columbus is home to a growing film scene.

We’re the backdrop for the 2016 action pic I Am Wrath and the upcoming Arnold Schwarzenegger drama Aftermath (formerly known as 478). The Ohio Film Group, a state-of-the-art production and post-production facility, is housed on Columbus College of Art & Design’s campus. And Columbus is home to the oldest film festival in the United States: the Columbus International Film + Video Festival.

Founded in 1952, CIF+VF — presented by CCAD — is celebrating its 65th anniversary this year.

Opening Wednesday, April 19, and running through Sunday, April 23, the festival will feature the world-class independent films, including many with ties to central Ohio.

Take Signature Move, a feature film directed by central Ohio native and Ohio State University grad Jennifer Reeder.

The film, which makes its world premiere at SXSW this March, was named one of the 50 most anticipated films of 2017 by Filmmaker Magazine. It follows a lesbian Pakistani American lawyer named Zaynab as she falls in love with both with her new romantic partner and, in an awesome twist, lucha-style wrestling.

It’s a very culturally important movie,” said Jeremy Henthorn, executive director of the Columbus International Film + Video Festival. “It tackles a lot of subjects that are in the American consciousness right now. But at the same time, it is a really fun, really energetic film. It doesn’t deal in stereotypes. It deals in life, and it deals in struggle, and it tells a love story about a Muslim American lawyer who not only finds love for another person but also finds a passion for lucha wrestling.”

Signature Move (82 minutes) will play at the Wexner Center for the Arts on Wednesday, April 19, and this month, CIF+VF will announce other films in the festival’s lineup, including many with Columbus connections.

We showcase the best in independent cinema from around the world,” Henthorn said. “But there are so many talented filmmakers with ties to Columbus, and we wanted to highlight them, especially in such a historic year.”

Festival passes cost $60 and are available at columbusfilmfestival.org. Tickets for individual screenings will go on sale soon. For more information, visit columbusfilmfestival.org, call 614.222.6185, or email info@columbusfilmfestival.org.

Jeannie Nuss is the Senior Media Relations Specialist at Columbus College of Art & Design, which presents the 65th Columbus International Film + Video Festival April 19 – 23 at venues across central Ohio.

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