Ben Gardner
Ben Gardner
Ben Gardner, a Decorah native, has been selected director of the Oneota Film Festival (OFF). The announcement was made by Nancy Sojka, president of the festival’s board of directors.

An avid follower of film and film history, Gardner graduated from Luther College in 2012 with a degree in philosophy. Following graduation, he served as music director of KPVL for one year. He currently is employed at Java John’s Coffee House in Decorah.

“It is with great pleasure that we welcome Ben Gardner as director of Oneota Film Festival,” Sojka said. “Not only is he highly knowledgeable of film but brings to the board a deep understanding of our mission, the larger community and the campus. We certainly will appreciate Ben’s considerable skills as we continue to expand the festival’s program, as well as our audience draw from the three-state region to Decorah. Along with our valued partnership with Luther College we will continue to work with other community organizations to help build the Decorah area’s brand as a cultural leader in the arts and humanities.”

“I am excited to have a role bringing Oneota Film Festival’s audiences some of the world’s best films,” Gardner commented. “Working with the board, festival members and the many friends of the festival, we will continue to strengthen OFF’S presence in and commitment to the Driftless community.”

When not at work, Ben co-hosts trivia night at The Courtyard & Cellar on Thursday night and devotedly consumes books, movies and Bob Dylan music.

Decorah’s nonprofit Oneota Film Festival, which is free and open to the public, is made possible by the generous support of Luther College, Oneota Community Food Cooperative, The Depot Outlet and other sponsors, members and donors across the regional community. DArtCo is fiscal agent for OFF. Besides its major three-day festival in March, OFF presents special film showings in summer and fall.