10/24/2010

On a halfway lazy Sunday I’m forcing myself to post this just so I don’t have to worry about blogging today. I’m nearly at 300 posts, so that’s pretty rad. So anyway, about that film festival…

Last night consisted of the showing of a few shorts, the awards ceremony, the Knoxville premiere of Colin, the $70 UK zombie flick, and a performance by “Damaged Patients.” I guess I should just start from the beginning.

Last night’s films were not part of the competition, rather, they were shorts from around the world that were all magnificent. The night started with “Breakfast With a Serial Killer” from director Justin Demeere who also directed “Sam Hain” from the night before. “Breakfast” was the winner of this year’s Knoxville 24 Hour Film Festival and delivers a powerful and unusual morning routine involving the chopping of a carrot, a conversation with the landlord and the apparent chopping up of an innocent. Completely brilliant and satisfying after watching the other contestant involved with the 24 Hour Film Fest the night before.

“Fallow,” from directors Dave Alexander and Colin Landry out of Canada tells a gruesome story of sacrificing a mother and her unborn child to the farm land in hopes of securing another healthy season, a ritual performed ever since the great depression. Things went find and dandy until this particular year when a curveball comes their way and suddenly times aren’t so easy anymore. Not one of the finer films of the festival, but the prosthetics were fantastic and quality was superb.

Another film was shown last night, though I cannot find the title of it right now, about a foley artist who shows how he can get his murderous sound effects to sound so damn real. I was surprised after watching this flick because I don’t recall anyone taking this direction with a story line before, and it’s a pretty rad concept.

My favorites from last night included “Full Employment,” from German directors Thomas Oberlies & Matthias Vogel about a group of young folks who volunteer their time to assist the elderly with their jobs in an attempt to provide companionship for their elders and also provide a possible career opportunity. Shot documentary style, the folks we follow in this 13 minute gem have an interesting career: zombie hunters! My other favorite was a short provided by the winner of last year’s Best International Film, Spanish director Manuel Arija de la Cuerda’s “La Pinata.” Not so much horror related, but the piece was short and somehow fit in. Did I mention how hard I laughed? Hopefully if I find this online sometime, I’ll see if I can post it.

The awards ceremony went well, with a lot of my favorites taking home awards: “Nightmare at Bunnyman Bridge” went home with Best Local / Regional Film (longer length) and the Audience Award for Local/Regional Film (longer length). “Death in Charge” came away with Best Performance for actress Marina Benedict for her role as Death, Best US Film and Audience Award for best US Film. “The Horror of Our Love” was awarded Funniest and finally, “Deus Irae” was co-winner (tied with “Off Season”) for Best International Film. Oh, and that screenplay contest…Went to Philip Tatler, writer of the sci-fi script “Eyepole.” Mega congrats to Philip! I did walk away with a copy of “Hatchet,” a Jason hockey mask and 4 tickets to Frightworks Haunted House, so everybody was happy :-)

Finally, we got to see what we’d all been waiting for, the premiere of “Colin,” and without going into too much detail, I’ll sum it up by saying that it was a great film, especially considering the lack of equipment and budget, but I have to wonder if the length (97 minutes if I remember correctly) was attained simply to make it eligible for some of the bigger festivals? The story was great, but I felt that at times some parts were thrown in just to kill time and stretch it a bit. Several pieces were unnecessary and I feel the film could’ve easily been half the length. HOWEVER, I feel like that really wasn’t the purpose of showing “Colin.” What I took away from watching the film was reassurance that my attitude toward creating is correct: A big budget is nice and good equipment is helpful, but a money and equipment doesn’t give you talent, and having talent doesn’t give you passion. The folks behind “Colin” certainly have that passion, and that’s what separates film makers from wedding videographers.

I’ll have to admit that we split before “Damaged Patients” went on. My bad.

I also want to say that I’m in no way upset or aggravated that my screenplay “Laura” didn’t win. It was my first full length screenplay and it was a finalist in my first film festival. That’s something to say. I’m super excited to have this in the town in which I reside and see it only getting bigger and better. Knoxville Horror Film Fest 2010 was a blast and I cannot wait to submit my entry for next year :-)

Enjoy today’s haiku:

Why do I love life?
Because my wife is watching
Football without me* :-D

*I’m so proud!

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