Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Omaha Film Festival 2008 – Friday, Day 5

The weekend is upon us and the crowds are getting bigger. We showed four feature films, two documentaries, a short film block, and went fully into OFF the EDGE with the remaining three films in that category. Of the ten screenings we held, four of them had filmmakers in attendance so we had some great Q&A sessions.

One of the cool things about this years’ festival versus previous years, was the attendance at the short film blocks. Much more time goes into creating these blocks, starting with receiving, viewing, judging and finally programming all of them, plus the work that goes into screening them with the various formats, aspect ratios, audio levels, etc. These make for a lot more work than almost all of the rest of the festival films combined (huge props to JL this year in the booth!) That being said, attendance this year for all of these short blocks really helps make it all worth while. In the short film block 1 which screened tonight, we had two of the filmmakers in attendance, Kurt Kuenne from LA with his film “Validation” and Jason Beresford, all the way from the UK, with his film “Double Act.” The Q&A sessions are always more fun when there are filmmakers there and both of these guys were interesting and engaging and made the film block a lot more fun.

Luke Eberl, writer/director/editor of the film “Choose Connor” was also in attendance and drew a nice crowd. It was cool for me to see a young filmmaker that put together a pretty impressive film in his first significant effort. I know he’s got a serious future in the film world so it’s good to be a part of his first festival run.

The film “Placebo” played to a decent audience and had filmmakers Keith and Faith Feighan in attendance to do a Q&A. Keith and Faith are OFF’06 alumnus, so it was great to have them back to Omaha with their next film (hopefully we will see them in two more years?!)

The biggest crowd, not surprisingly, was for “The Wretched,” the locally produced OFF the EDGE film. The entire cast and crew were there and it was very much a circus-like atmosphere. The Q&A session was a ton of fun as well and the whole front of the theater had everyone involved answering questions.

Great night and another late night. Conventional wisdom dictates that since Saturday will be our busiest day (literally 1/3 of the entire festival plays that day) that we would be home and in bed early. Well, we haven’t used any conventional wisdom yet, so why would we start now. Thanks to the Regency Lodge for the hospitality suite. Sorry to the other residents around us that didn’t really plan on staying awake until 3:00am every night.


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