An emerging film director has something in common with some Columbus’ most noted designers.

World-class Finnish architect Eliel Saarinen took a significant risk when he built First Christian Church in Columbus 75 years ago. Its Modernist style looked nothing like churches of the day.

A man known as Kogonada took a risk last year when he wrote a screenplay and recruited backers for an independent movie partly about Saarinen’s architecture and other notable structures in Columbus — without even knowing if his small film crew could get approval to shoot his debut feature project in the city.

He did, and managed to complete a three-week filming deadline.

“I didn’t have a backup town,” he said with a laugh, speaking by phone from his home in Nashville, Tennessee.

The “Columbus” movie director and his female lead, Haley Lu Richardson, will visit the local YES Cinema as their independent film project makes its Hoosier debut Sept. 1. The pair are expected to conduct a question-and-answer session at a couple of the showings slated for the venue’s 177-seat room.

For more on this story, see Thursday’s Republic.

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Brian Blair is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at or 812-379-5672.