United We… Watch Movies

September is the month for film festivals, it seems, this year and I could not be more thrilled. Last weekend was the Chicago REEL Shorts film festival which was a hoot and my only regret was not being able to stay longer to see what other work they selected. “The Visionary” screened in a block with eight or nine other films and I’m pleased to say that it’s quality stood up well next to the group and that every film in the group was well put together.

Saturday September 19th
Sadly, the screening that we had scheduled for Friday the 11th, along with the play “Ekphrasis” didn’t go quite as well. With not enough audience members to fill the theatre we called off the show rather than perform to empty seats and rescheduled for this coming Saturday instead. Good news if you wanted to be in on the two-for-one goodness of our double feature!
Saturday September 19th at 7:15 PM at the Via Duct Theatre is going to be the place to go! And, I found out to my amusement, both the film and the play will be followed by a burlesque show on the same evening. In a strange twist of fate one of my friends is even performing in this show and I have been dying for a chance to see her work so I’m going to be making an evening of it!

Sunday September 20th
The film festival fun continues on Sunday with the Chicago United Film Festival at the Music Box Theatre in Chicago. I’m excited to say that “The Visionary” has been selected to screen with the feature film “Bleacher Boys” which, I believe, is about baseball. The thing that I always enjoy about film festivals is that it is such an easy way to see films that don’t play in commercial theatres. With a day pass, all you have to do is sit in a cushy seat with a box of popcorn as dozens of films play one after another. And you can see shorts. I love shorts films- they’re about the right length for my attention span- and you NEVER see short films in a normal movie theatre unless you’re watching a Pixar movie (Go Pixar!).

Friday September 25, 2009
Ok here’s a plug for a film festival that I’m not even screening my film at: Chicago Horror Film Festival on September 25-27th at the Portage Theatre on the north side. Svengoolie’s going to be there! I haven’t done anything in the Horror Genre yet (I put that in caps because Horror Is Where The Money Is At when it comes to independent film) but I met scream queen Brooke Lewis earlier this year while promoting our last film “Persephone” out in Las Vegas. She promised to get in touch when she was next in Chicago and she was as good as her word and dropped me an email to let me know that her film “iMurders” was going to be screening on Friday. I’m very excited to see it. Horror films are so exciting because, if they’re good, they force you to have a real-life emotional response. And after all, isn’t that what we really want out of a movie? To really feel something while we’re watching it?

Saturday September 26, 2009
Little Gwydhar’s Very First Red Carpet!
Just this past week I learned that “The Visionary” had been accepted to the Elgin Film Festival and was selected as one of their 5 finalists. I then found out that the 5 finalist filmmakers all get to make a grand red carpet entrance at the beginning of the festival which starts at 6:30 PM (This festival is only one evening- don’t miss it if you can help it!) To me this is thrilling, I mean, even if it’s a red welcome mat I’ll probably be happy. As an aspiring filmmaker who has mostly come to terms with the fact that independent film garners about as much fame and fortune as working the drive thru it is little moments like these that make it just so cool. I’m doubly excited by this particular festival because it features (ahem) cash prizes. If we win, I’ll be able to pay the good folks who helped make it possible, and really what could be more exciting than that?

Luckily for me, we run out of September before we run out of film festivals. I know lives are busy and times are tight right now, but if you have a chance to come out to any of these events and check them out please be sure to give me a wave and say “Hi” so I can express my gratitude for you coming out. When everything else has dried up we turn to the fountain of our dreams to refresh us.

~ by Gwydhar Gebien on September 17, 2009.

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