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Ohio Wesleyan Professor’s Film to be Screened Jan. 1 in Columbus

December 23, 2008

Image by Jim Krehbiel and Mary Howard
DELAWARE, OHIO – “Swept Out,” Ohio Wesleyan University professor Mary Howard’s unflinching look at poverty and homelessness in Columbus, will be screened at 3 p.m. on New Year’s Day at Studio 35 Cinema and Drafthouse, 3055 Indianola Ave. in Columbus.

The documentary, filmed from 2006 to present, recently earned an honorable mention in the Social Issues category at the 56th annual Columbus International Film & Video Festival.

The screening is being sponsored by Columbus-based Wild Goose Creative, a community-driven arts company that provides resources and support for local artists. The screening is part of the Creative’s three-day New Year’s Festival. Admission to the screening is $5 per person or available as part of larger festival packages. Visit www.wildgoosecreative.com for more information.

Howard, who teaches anthropology and film-making courses at Ohio Wesleyan, will participate in a question-and-answer session after the Jan. 1 screening.

“One of the main goals of making this film was to change the discussion of the problem of housing and homelessness in Columbus,” said Howard, Ph.D., chair of Ohio Wesleyan’s Department of Sociology/Anthropology. “There are hundreds of people living downtown in tent and shanty communities who need to be recognized and who need help. Since I began filming in 2006, the number of local people who are homeless has virtually doubled.

“I hope viewers leave the screening with a better appreciation of the intelligence and dignity of homeless people as they work to create a sense of community and to survive,” Howard continued. “I want viewers to understand that this could be about them or about someone they love. ‘Swept Out’ humanizes people whom I believe have become America’s ‘untouchables.’ ”

Ohio Wesleyan University is an undergraduate liberal arts college that transforms the lives of its students through a combination of rigorous academics, mentoring relationships, and real-world experiences. Featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives,” the private university’s 1,850 students come from 47 states and 50 countries. Visit www.owu.edu for more information.