Saturday, April 12, 2008

A Film Festival in Augusta (...come again?)

If you can believe it, the Imperial Theatre, in downtown Augusta, GA, is hosting a film festival. It's called "First Take Film Festival, and its apparently an annual thing (website.) A group of us made the long journey down there yesterday, and paid the $5 all-day cover charge, which was awesome, and with which we saw two short films and a feature documentary (pronounced; dock-U-men-TARY, according to the box office clerk.)

The first short, You Fit the Description was an awkward, poorly lit quick-splice film that focused on racial tensions and stereoptypes. Gregory Glover, the director, seemed to have made a film out of angst and hurt, thus alienating the audience, making them feel uncomfortable, and scaring them into not paying attention.

The second, Surviving was a 15 min short by a man named Tomas Fernandez-Calvo. The cinematography of it was impressive, despite having a suprise-based plot that was hard to get into in 15 minutes. What was redeeming about the film, however, was that Mr. Calvo was there to tell the audience a bit about his vision and to answer questions. It was interesting to hear about how an independant film is made on a fifteen hundred dollar budget.

The feature, Split: A Divided America was a refreshingly insightful documentary on bi-partisianship and what has become of politics in this country. Kelly Nyks, who wrote and directed the film, takes a road trip accross the country, interviewing regular people about how they feel about politics. It was sincere and eye-opening. More on that later.

There were also plenty of under-produced films that don't appear to be worth the time. I missed Crash Gordon, a public domain-dubbed Sci-fi short film that I was somewhat looking forward to (only because it takes place on the planet "Mondo"). My favorite part of the festival was a bit of marketing I saw in a wi-fi coffee shop downtown. They had these Dvds sitting around, free to take, for people to pop into their laptops as they used the shop's internet and drank coffee:

Innovative marketing, to say the least. Augusta is trying to act like a city with 500,000+ people, I'll give them that.

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