Film Fests Are Fabulous!

I spend a lot of time writing about film festivals our film is in but...I should write about a few film fests/events I've come across in my travels that Gravity hasn't been a part of and that seem like pretty amazing enterprises! The first one I recently came across was The Quadrangle Film Fest that takes place in Kent in the U.K. This nonfiction film festival occurs in a series of barns in the countryside and features a small program of rare, interesting and in depth documentary films ranging from the classic (Les Blanks film Burden of Dreams that followed Herzog into the jungle during his trying filming of Fitz Carraldo), to the obscure (The Moon and the Sledgehammer, a doc about a rural British family cut off from the modern world, creating their own piece by piece- with steam engines!), to the controversial (The Good Woman of Bangkok, about the directors relationship with a Thai prostitute, exploring the wavering lines between sex and love, art and life). This idyllic setting seems perfect, I can't imagine a nicer place to watch these moving portraits of the world! Another film fest/outfit I just learned about in the U.K. is The Floating Cinema! Yes! That's right! A cinema on a boat that travels through the London canal system! This thing is made even more wonderful by the fact that they have free family screenings, open screenings to bring your own films to, and films that are culturally relevant (boo! canal pollution!) to boot! Movies Ahoy!

I have talked a ton about the True/False Film Fest but I haven't talked about their mini-sister event/fund raiser Boone Dawdle! Boone Dawdle is part bike tour, part picnic, part concert, part film screening and it seems wonderful (of course)! After meeting in town the whole audience treks, via bike, to a remote vineyard where movies are screened, performers sing and food & drink are plentiful- it sounds like such a nice summer day that just yesterday I was wishing I lived closer to Columbia, MO so I could volunteer for this lovely event! On a completely different, almost opposite note....as a teen I was initiated into the creepy crazy cinematic mayhem of midnight movies at a run down southern New Jersey multiplex theater where Cannibal Holocaust (Ew! Gross!) roared across the screen, brought to me by the bloody gore of Exhumed Films! Now operating out of the International House in Philadelphia, Exhumed showcases a lot of feature length schlock horror, B Movie classics and vintage previews for a lot of movies whose actors and actresses mostly came to or from porn. Their programs are an insane line up of insanity (it looks like they are keeping up with the cannibalism too with a screening of something called Cannibal Carnage this month!) that I don't know if (my adult self) would really advise going to but...they are definitely a nauseating experience any horror junkie will love!

There are plenty of other film fests all over the place that are championing the margins of cinema too including Rural Route Film Fest (featuring the best country themed cinema screened in and coming from all over the back-roads of the globe- including, most recently, on a rooftop farm in Brooklyn, right in my old hood!), the Bigfoot Film Festival (a local event that features Pennsylvania's love of the mythical hairy beast on celluloid! The PA BigFoot Society is a no kill organization you know...!) and the Black Maria Film Fest (named after Thomas Edison's film studio and composed of a TON of short films that tour around to notable Eastcoast art/film institutions & universities, a perfect outlet for huge exposure and interesting programming!).

Film fests are such a valuable resource for filmmakers and audiences, giving filmmakers a live audience and giving audiences a total film experience! It is a (secret) dream of mine to start a fest somewhere nearby in one of the many dilapidated theaters of PA or to even help program a fest at some point (hmm....anyone need a screener??? I am very, VERY good at watching movies!) but, for now, I will keep on reading about these awesome organizations that are projecting wonder across screens across the world! Here are just a few pics of various screens across the world that Gravity has played on over these past few years!

 

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