Dennis Kiel, a former board member of the Cincinnati Film Society and is now chief curator of The Light Factory: Contemporary Museum of Photography and Film quotes, “Dale Stevens who wrote for the Cincinnati Post had a blurb in the paper that anyone who was interested in starting a film society should meet at the (Methodist?) church on the corner of Observatory and Grace. The first few meetings were held there and the initial board (the founding members) was created.”
Dale Stevens (June 17th 1921- Jan 5th 1997) was the force behind the creation of the Cincinnati Film Society. Thus began the incorporation of the Cincinnati Film Society in 1979.
The Cincinnati Film Society is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1979. It’s purpose is to encourage the appreciation of film as an art form by providing opportunities to view foreign, classic, and other films, and by bringing together film devotees to learn about and discuss film.
The Cincinnati Film Society’s intent is to offer films that are entertaining, significant and stimulating. The Society often features personal appearances of filmmakers with their films. Among those have been Michael Moore with Roger and Me, John Sayles who showed and discussed Matewan, Gregory Nava with his Oscar-winning El Norte, Wayne Wang with Dim Sum, Tom Hayes with People and the Land and Steve Gebhardt with Bill Monroe, Father of Bluegrass Music.
In 1992, the CFS presented a retrospective of the work of the British filmmaker Lindsay Anderson (now deceased) who discussed each work with the audience during the ten-day event. In the past avant-garde filmmaker Stan Brakhage made an appearance in support of a major retrospective of his work as well.
The society has often co-sponsored films with other arts groups, including the Cincinnati Jewish Federation, the Contemporary Arts Center, the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky Film Commission, Media Working Group, the former Arts Consortium, Cincinnati CityBeat Weekly, Wright State University, the Cincinnati Art Academy, Hebrew Union College, the University of Cincinnati Film Society, Xavier University, Media Bridges Cincinnati, the Cincinnati Art Museum, and the Conference For Women. The Society has in the past presented approximately 40 films each season to members from Greater Cincinnati and from surrounding cities in Kentucky and Indiana. It is the goal of the society to continue continue on this path and grow.
The Cincinnati Film Society has been funded in parts by grants from the Ohio Arts Council, the Cincinnati Institute for Fine Arts and the City of Cincinnati.