Monday, September 18, 2006

Kansas International Film Festival – Day 2 (Saturday)

This will be our busiest day.

We started off at the early screening of “Last of the Spanish Mustangs”, a terrific documentary by Len Johnson about the shrinking wild horse population in the United States. I’d seen this documentary before as we screened it at the 2006 Omaha Film Festival but it was a great chance to meet Len and listen in on his Q&A. The film really moved the audience and we enjoyed a spirited question and answer period and afterward had a great time talking with Len. He gave us some insights on his upcoming project so I look forward to checking that out also.

Last of the Spanish Mustangs

The next film on the docket was Alex Karpovsky’s “The Hole Story”. I was intrigued by the synopsis of this film which is why we picked it and we weren’t disappointed. Well, I guess I was disappointed, but certainly not with the film. More on that in a minute. The film follows a documentary filmmaker on his voyage to uncover the “truth” behind the mysterious stretch of open water surrounded by frozen lakes for hundreds of miles in all directions in the dead of winter in Minnesota. The excitement in the filmmaker and his crew builds as they journey to this phenomenon, only to find that it has frozen over the night before…which puts the documentary, and the filmmaker, into a downward spiral of disillusionment and confusion as they try to unravel the mystery within a mystery. It was clear in the filmmaking style and through the process of the film as the filmmaker’s life slowly disintegrated around him that this whole film…was a farce. A well crafted and entirely enjoyable “mockumentary.” Which a very large percentage of the crowd did not get (and thus my disappointment…in the crowd). I will tell you that this was one of my favorite Q&A’s as audience members asked specific questions about the happenings in the film, and watching Alex struggle to find answers without telling the people asking the question that they were stupid. It’s not real. He said so. Stop asking. Cracked me and Jeremy up. This was one of my favorite recurring jokes of the weekend.

The Hole Story

After that, we peeked into the end of “Mojave Phone Booth”, a narrative feature film that we screened at OFF06 so we could listen in on the Q&A session with writer/producer Jerry Rapp. This film showed in the big theatre and was well attended and they had a great discussion as well. We spent quite a bit of time with Jerry throughout the festival and learned of his upcoming projects as well so hopefully the Omaha Film Festival crowds will get a chance to see some of his other work.

Mojave Phone Booth

Cut to: Marc driving frantically across town to pick up a tremendous slab of bbq ribs from KC Masterpiece and getting back to the hotel room to watch the opening kickoff of NU vs. USC. There were some sad endings to the films we watched this weekend, but the game had the saddest ending of them all.

After the game, I headed back to the festival to catch as much of the documentary “Novem” as possible. After going through all of the festival literature before heading to KC, this was one of the films I was most looking forward to and it surely didn’t disappoint. I caught the last 40 minutes and was completely blown away. I won’t give anything away, but I will suggest to anyone that loves good music, to try to find this film as Brad goes through the process of getting it distributed. I did purchase the sound track and have been listening to it all day. Good stuff, I want to see the rest of the film.


This film was in the last round of films for the night, so afterward we snuck into the end of the screening of “Creepshow” (full access passes are great) and got to see the last couple vignettes of that fine (ahem) film. It was cool again to be in an audience of horror lovers with George Romero and Tom Savini in the building.

Did I mention KC Masterpiece for dinner? Well, I should also mention Gates BBQ for lunch as well. Does it get better?

Day three, here we come.


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