Day in the Life: James Waters, director of the Canton Film Festival

There is nothing typical about a typical day in the life of James Waters, director of the Canton Film Festival. His day is spent writing scripts, creating concepts for marketing clients and filming music videos.

There is nothing typical about a typical day in the life of James Waters, director of the Canton Film Festival. His day is spent writing scripts, creating concepts for marketing clients and filming music videos.

He also sets up video programs for the Arts Academy at Summit and at the Southeast YMCA in coordination with Stark State College, among his other commitments. His work as the director of the Canton Film Festival, though, keeps him busiest.

“I am always seeking out what is going on in the film scene in Northeast Ohio,” said Waters. “I am also always researching other popular festivals, like Sundance, South By Southwest Festival, Tribeca, and other popular festivals.”

Canton’s Role

Canton, he said, has real potential for independent filmmakers, mainly because it is the perfect location and has four seasons, and Ohio has “great tax incentives” to film here.

day_waters_reelWaters is part of a team that includes Jayson Shenk, the Canton Film Festival art director, and Andrea Young, the Canton Film Festival coordinator.

“We view the festival as a ‘learning’ festival,” Waters said. “It gives filmmakers in the area a unique chance to interact with working professionals in the film industry and to pick their brains on the moviemaking process. We have brought writers, special-effects makeup artists, directors, producers and movie stars to Canton to be a part of the festival.”

The festival is held annually the first weekend in October at the Canton Palace Theatre.

“Some of my favorite moments of each year’s festival is the planning and organization process,” said Waters. “Usually, we meet up at Muggswigz or Basil and have a brainstorming session where we decide on the color scheme, guests and categories, as well as consider any of the positives and negatives of the previous years’ festivals. Luckily, Canton Film has been blessed with the support of the Herbert Hoover Foundation, a wonderful venue and staff at the Canton Palace Theatre, dedicated volunteers and the support of the great city of Canton.”

Where to buy

The Repository
Select Rite Aid Stores
Spee-D Foods
Buehler's Fresh Foods
Fishers Foods, including 44th Street NW, Tuscarawas St. W, Fulton Drive, Lincoln Way E. and Cleveland Ave. NW locations
Aultman Hospital Gift Shop
Mercy Medical Center Gift Shop
Gervasi Vineyard Marketplace
Carpe Diem Coffee Shop, downtown Canton and Belden Village Mall locations
News Depot
Avenue Arts Marketplace
Yum Yum Tree Alliance
Grapes in a Glass