Tuesday, September 20, 2011

MIFF 2011

Ariel Barone and I on the big screen

MIFF stands for the Melbourne Independent's Film Festival. I'll give you one hint, it's not down under.  

It's a two day event with screenings and a couple of parties. All very reasonably priced I might add.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Chasing Reality -  directed by Chris Kridler won Best Documentary. Now here's a reality show I'm actually inclined to watch. It was actually fun, interesting, humorous.  It gives me intelligent real-life characters with a mission and purpose in life. They are thrill seekers - it may not be classified as an extreme sport - but it should be since it is just as dangerous if not more.  As a result of what some may call their insanity, we get to learn about mother nature and get a glimpse inside this force in a way we never could otherwise.  Honestly, I wasn't expecting to find it funny or entertaining and I was pleasantly surprised.

Maybe -  directed by Kevin Shah.   A short about a man's adventure or should I call it misadventures in dating.  In this case, let's call it attempts, since that's probably more accurate.  Really good writing.  You felt bad for the main character while you couldn't help laughing at him at the same time.   Is that wrong?  Liked the little twist at the end.  If only...

The Adventures of Monty Moudlyn - directed by Zach Hibbard.   Have you heard about this overly optimistic fellow that can't keep his feet on the ground, just can't be brought down... to earth.  You know? That person who's just always unreasonably happy?  Well, that's Monty for you.  

If you want to watch this fun little short here's the link:    

The Breakdown - directed by Robby Sparks. This is a really cute and funny, animated short.  It's less than two minutes long but what a ride!  Misty Posey, a fellow actor, also worked on this really well put together piece.  
This was awarded Best Animation and Best Art Direction.

Twilight of Youth - directed by Jerald Fine.  We are taken on an ironic trip of one individual into the zone of dread - filled with grey hairs, wrinkles and possibly false teeth too.  That's the character's opinion, not mine...just to be clear.   It makes me think of a Twilight zone-esque theme.  Interesting and thought provoking with a lot of good music in it too.

Happenstance - directed by Sandy Pranjic and Victoria Strehlau was a Canadian entry. No words but they say a picture is worth a thousand words and this little piece had a lot to say.  Another thought provoking short, a must-see for teens.  Just think about it.

Butterflies directed by Ester Brym.  A feature documentary about six youtube stars. As some one also very enamored with the web and video sites like Youtube, it was really cool to get a glimpse into this new media community.  Their reality is interesting and entertaining unlike some others I won't mention here.  You know the ones I'm talking about.

I also got a sneak preview of "The Space Coast" by Lear Bunda.  This looks like it's going to be a really fun movie.  Hope I get the chance to see it.

Following the screenings Saturday morning, there was also a Q&A with the filmmakers.  I saw some familiar faces in the row of filmmakers in front of me.  In addition to Zach Hibbard who I worked with on "The Adventures of Monty Moudlyn", there was Lee Thongkam with his beautifully made feature - "Tears of Remedy". This movie has been making the film festival rounds.   From the reviews it is apparent that it has really good production quality because people comment how they find it hard to believe it didn't cost so much more to make when they find out the movie's budget.  Pete McMasters was also present.    

I always enjoy listening to how other people got to where they are, what their catalyst was and learn about their process.  There is so much to learn from an individual's creative journey.

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