Friday, May 22, 2009

Cape Fear Independent Film Festival

The first weekend in May was quite a busy affair for me. It's fortunate that BEDA ended the day before, because I would not have been able to blog from the 1st through the 3rd. I was Downtown at the Cape Fear Independent Film Festival!

There are two major film festivals in Wilmington (I'm not including the Final Cut Film Festival because that's a different format), and CFIFF is, for my money, the better of the two. There are several reasons for this, the main being that the general atmosphere of CFIFF is much friendlier. You actually feel like hanging around and talking to the people who come to this festival. And, unlike that other festival (which will remain nameless), those people genuinely seem to want to talk to you.

So, things started Friday as I was volunteering and went down to 16 Taps to help with registration. I got to talk to a lot of people as they stopped by to pick up their passes, some friends from around town, some I met last year, and several new folks who are just finding out about this marvelous festival.

After registration, we went over to the local Carmike Cinema to see the invitational feature "The Jailhouse". Definitely a well done local production. Even though I'm not the biggest fan of the cinematographer (solely for personal reasons), I will admit that the movie looks great. The guy does good work, I can't fault him for that.

When "The Jailhouse" was done, it was back to 16 Taps for the kick-off party with Labeling Deloris (formerly based in Wilmington, and returning to show the love). Great show, great end to the ending.

Saturday started early with short films screening and a few panels about the business of filmmaking (along with an actors panel). This year, I focused more on the panels than the screenings. Well, other than the blocks showing my shorts. This year, I had three shorts playing. They were "Five Minutes 'Til...", "How I Raised My Film Budget", and "The Chore". Unfortunately, Five Minutes and Film Budget ran concurrently with the Actors Panel, so there was not a large turnout.

Sunday was the final day and the one Q & A session I got to be a part of with "The Chore". It would seem I had some of the best answers, particularly when asked about our budget. I answered honestly, the budget was only around 20 or 30 dollars, but that got a massive laugh. Not surprising, since most people think you need to pay a fortune to get films produced. I wish I had thought to get someone to record the Q & A session so I could make it a part of the video I put together for the festival:

Sunday night ended with the awards ceremony. It was a good time, as always.

This year's festival was hosted by Joe Manganiello. He was on One Tree Hill for a while, he played Flash Thompson in Spider-Man, and he's had recurring roles in ER and How I Met Your Mother. I got the chance to speak to him briefly and he seems really down to earth.

Also got to meet an actress from L.A. who had a short playing in the festival. The movie was called Death in Charge and the actress was the lovely Marina Benedict:

Marina has been in several television shows (I recognized her from something, but couldn't place it until I asked her what she'd been in). She was the kooky best friend Luna in "Nikki", she played a musician possessed by a demon in an episode of "Angel" (which is where I remembered seeing her), and she has been on a few episodes of "Southland."

Jenn and Will Mullins once again outdid themselves in putting on a great festival. It was an absolute blast and I can't wait for next year.

Oh, actress and fellow YouTuber Michele Seidman (known on Youtube as MicheleMidnight) also has a festival video, be sure to check it out:

William the Bloody Photo-Op Redd