Columbus Museum gets teens into the Chattahoochee film craze

Columbus and the Chattahoochee Valley are experiencing enormous growth in the popularity and presence of the film industry in the area. With the founding of annual events like Way Down Film Festival and the opening of Fun Academy Motion Pictures Studio in 2016, there is no doubt that Columbus has put itself on the map across the industry.

Now, the Columbus Museum is opening an exhibition and a series of programs revolving around the booming film industry of the Chattahoochee Valley. Its upcoming exhibit “Close Up: Cinema Along the River” opens May 6 and examines the many ways Hollywood has been brought to our region over the years. The exhibit will be accompanied by several programs targeted at patrons of all ages. From animation for children to discussions on film by professional filmmakers, the Museum is gearing up to equip patrons to understand and support the budding local industry.

One way the Columbus Museum is tackling this task is through its teen initiative called the Teen Advisory Group. The group, called the TAG Team, represents high schools from the Chattahoochee Valley region. The group was formed to serve the Museum’s teen audience and formulate programming to get them engaged. That programming now includes hosting events specifically geared toward film.

Mercedes Parham, marketing and media manager for the Columbus Museum, is looking forward to the TAG Team’s next event, The TAG Team Teen Film Awards, which will feature four films by local filmmakers.

The TAG Team has narrowed down the entries to the final four. Each the final four filmmakers are also teens and local students. “Three of the films are by high school students from Columbus High and Calvary Christian in Columbus, and Central High School in Phenix City. The fourth film is by a student at Columbus State University.”

Parham said that the films cover a wide range of genres including public service announcement, horror, comedy and action/crime drama. Each film is rated PG-13 and is 7-10 minutes in length.

The event is free, but space is limited. Teens are asked to reserve their seats early by contacting the Columbus Museum’s Education Department. An opportunity to meet the filmmakers will begin the evening and will be followed by screenings of each film before the awards.

Judging the final four films will be a celebrity panel made up of Sally Baker, of the Springer Opera House; Gigi Preston, writer, producer and actress; and Jacy Jenkins of Fun Academy Motion Pictures and Way Down Film Festival.

Awards will be given for first, second and third place as well as a people’s choice award.

If You Go

What: TAG Team Teen FilmMay 12 Awards

When: May 12 from 6-8 p.m.

Where: Columbus Museum, 1251 Wynnton Road.

Cost: Free, but tickets are required.

Call: To reserve your spot, contact the Education Department at the Columbus Museum at