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Opening doors for Dayton’s independent film community

Opening doors for Dayton’s independent film community

Jeaneen Parsons September 23, 2020

“Dayton is a city of doors,” according to Ife Olaore, of the Dayton-based economic development company Goshenburg Holdings Inc. It’s a reference to the multitude of opportunities for progress, partnerships and growth he sees in abundance in the Dayton region.

Ife Olaore
Ife Olaore

One such opportunity is the Dayton Independent Film Festival developed by students in UD’s Department of Communication scheduled for Sept. 25-28. Olaore and his business partner, Ben Taylor, made a gift to help make it an actual event and not just a virtual screening. And what a screen it will be.

Since COVID-19 has hampered movie theater capacity, the event will be held at the Dixie Twin Drive-In theatre, located at 6201 N. Dixie Dr. in north Dayton. Olaore, who was born in Nigeria and settled in Dayton by way of England in 2015, admits this will be his first drive-in experience. “I’ve seen a lot of movies in my life, but none like this,” he said. “I think the idea is so innovative and goes back to the resilience of Dayton and what we’re about as a city and a community.”

“I’ve seen a lot of movies in my life, but none like this.”

The first-time gift to the University could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship, as the saying goes, that could expose UD students to a wealth of experience in a number of areas. Goshenburg’s business philosophy is to focus on the positive transformation of overlooked communities, and the two view UD as a symbiotic partner.

Ben Taylor on set
Ben Taylor, on set

Taylor, who’s worked with Olaore for 10 years, recently moved from Los Angeles to head up the film production studio. “We’ve been blessed with a thriving business and had already planned to invest in the Dayton market from a film standpoint. What better way to signal we plan to be here for a long time than to invest in locally grown film professionals, starting at the college level,” Taylor said.

The Goshenburg team also intends to remain supportive of the budding relationship by not only donating monetarily but also giving time and expertise and providing students with production space and opportunities. “We hope to lend our expertise, our location and our equipment to make their film visions come true,” Olaore said.

Mentoring will also be a crucial part of the partnership. Coming from Hollywood, or “the belly of the beast” according to Taylor, he was excited about moving to the Midwest and working with students. “The film industry is mystical and based on luck and chance, and you wonder if you’re talented enough to make it,” he said. “One of the biggest things I’ve learned is that it’s a very accessible business. If you’re able to learn and hone your craft you can break into the industry. I’m excited to show people in Dayton how to be successful in film — it’s such a great expression of art.”

The gift from Goshenburg originated when Olaore saw a LinkedIn post by a University development officer promoting the festival. He immediately reached out to see how he could become involved. His discussions with advancement and the professor involved with the project made it possible for the festival to expand to include the drive-in screenings. The full Dayton Independent Film Festival lineup is available on the festival’s website. All students are able to attend the event at the Dixie Twin at no cost. Tickets to other online events and the drive-in can also be purchased through the website.

Hollywood glam squad