Derby City Film Festival in review [Movies]

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Derby City Film Festival in review [Movies]

Mother’s Red Dress: A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to discuss this film with producer John Paul Rice and director Edgar Michael Bravo. The film was made to bring awareness to the issue of child abuse and the effect it has on the lives of the victims. It is the story of Paul, who returns home when his mother informs him she has cancer, and he slowly begins to discover the truth of what happened to him all those years ago. Another great one for post-viewing discussion.

No-Budget Filmmaking 101 Workshop: Here’s the thing: when I see “no-budget” I think it means spending as close to zero dollars as possible. Makes sense, right? Imagine my dismay when filmmaker Tom Whitus presented “no-budget” as “with a budget of $10,000-$15,000.” With all respect to Mr. Whitus, it’s probably true that to somebody who admittedly makes films for hundreds of thousands of dollars, fifteen thousand isn’t that much. It was honestly a little discouraging. But here is what I know: “Primer” was made for $7000, as was “El Mariachi” (and that included the cost of film stock and development, which aren’t even necessary with today’s digital technology!), and I’ve even seen a fair effort made for $1000. My recommendation: read Robert Rodriguez’s book “Rebel Without a Crew” for a great lesson in filmmaking a bit closer to “no-budget.”

Filmmaker Symposium & Awards Ceremony: The festival took a break Saturday evening for this event at Clifton’s Pizza. The room was packed and noisy as the festival winners were announced (listed at the end of the article), after which a panel of six filmmakers fielded questions. The panel included John Paul Rice (producer for “Mother’s Red Dress”), Tom Whitus (director of “Sam Steele and the Crystal Chalice”), Signe Olynyk (writer of “Below Zero”), Isaac Staumbaugh (writer, director, and producer of “Smells Like Community Spirit”), Brian Cunningham (cinematographer for “Overtime”), and Lance Henrickson (actor of “It’s In the Blood”). The panel consisted of the full spectrum of filmmaking positions, so the audience was able to get an idea of the whole process. However, due to the aforementioned noisiness (and being stuck near the back of the room), I unfortunately missed out on much of the discussion.

It’s in the Blood: The theater was packed – Lance Henrickson was in attendance! After a day of signing autographs and participating on panels and meeting with fans, he was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award before getting to relax and watch his newest film. Created by Louisvillians Sean Elliott and Scooter Downey, this terrifying film is about a father and son who take a hiking trip to try to reconnect years after a horrifying incident destroyed both their worlds. The woods are evil, though, and their demons soon come to haunt them – both metaphorically and literally. It didn’t win “Best Film” of the festival for nothing; this is one to watch out for.

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