Mike Olenick is a Columbus based filmmaker and artist interested in optics, photographs, movies, memories and murder. His films alternate between epic found footage edits and perverse live-action narratives that take the form of karaoke videos, space operas and psycho-sexual thrillers. He has exhibited internationally in numerous festivals and his work has won awards at the Ann Arbor Film Festival, Chicago Underground Film Festival and Cinematexas, as well as from the Ohio Arts Council and the Greater Columbus Arts Council.
While studying photography, he started making films in the late 90's on an analogue switcher and would use it to re-edit existing films into new works, a theme he has returned to repeatedly. His live action films often re-enact aspects of existing films while exploring his interest photography. He is currently working on a series of horror films and a film exploring the life of painter and filmmaker Renate Druks.
His videos have screened at the World Wide Video Festival, Cinematexas, L.A. Freewaves, the Cinémathèque Française, Ann Arbor Film Festival, VIPER Basel, New York Underground Film Festival, Chicago Underground Film Festival, PDX, and the Brooklyn Underground Festival. His video The Son of Samsonite screened on Dutch television, received an honorable mention at the Ann Arbor Film Festival, and was featured in the touring program “Let’s Get Tested,” organized by Astria Suparak. He is the recipient of an Ohio Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowship and his video Rabid won the Audience Award at Cinematexas 11.
He is the director of photography and editor of several works by Jennifer Reeder, including Accidents at Home and How They Happen (an HD feature); Seven Songs About Thunder, a short that received the Best Narrative Award at Ann Arbor; and Tears Cannot Restore Her; Therefore, I Weep. He also edited Lucy Raven’s experimental photo documentary about global copper production, China Town, which was featured in ArtForum and screened at MoMA. Recently, he has been the assistant editor of several works for Guy Maddin, including the Hauntings (a series of lost-film remakes which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival), and Keyhole, a feature film starring Isabella Rossellini and Jason Patric.