Highland Square Film Fest returns to Akron

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Akron’s Highland Square Film Festival returns next month after a pandemic hiatus. And it extends to a one-day event.

The film festival went virtual due to the coronavirus in 2020, then skipped 2021. This year, instead of being a single December afternoon at the Highland Theatre, the festival will take place on May 14 and will include short films in neighborhood locations. Mina Riazi co-chairs the festival.

“We’ll have a first film opening today. It’s ‘Akron’, the movie, which is an incredible love story written and directed by Brian O’Donnell. [He] is coming from New York for a question and answer session.

There will also be a pre-fest event the night before – Friday the 13th – at the Nightlight Cinema featuring horror director JR Bookwalter and his 1985 classic, “Dead Next Door.” Akron filmmakers can submit short films for the festival until this Friday.

Riazi hopes the film festival will become the big-screen complement to the annual PorchRokr music festival, which ends in the summer in Akron. More information about the festival events – including musical performances, vendor tables and a yoga session – can be found here. The day ends with an awards ceremony, followed by a dance party with DJ Ben Crazy and movie-themed music.

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