Wednesday, July 30, 2008

OFF in Movie Maker Magazine

printed in Movie Maker magazine - Issue 76, Volume 15 – Summer 2008, page 110
Omaha Film Festival - Hollywood’s New Testing Ground

Forget Peoria. “Will it play in Omaha?” is the question that more and more Hollywood players are asking – and they’re getting their answers at the Omaha Film Festival.

The third annual event, which roared into town February 16-24, brought a handful of Hollywood’s biggest names as it kicked off with a two-day Screenwriting/Filmmaker Conference.

The conference featured discussion panels with screenwriters Shane Black (Lethal Weapon), Jon Bokenkamp ( Perfect Stranger) and Josh Stolberg (Good Luck Chuck), editors Tom Elkins (Wanted) and Mike Hill (The Da Vinci Code) and a two-day workshop with writing gurus Jeff Kitchen and Lew Hunter.

“I think that our education initiative has set us apart from a lot of other festivals in the region, and having that component to what we do has strengthened our attraction,” notes Jason Levering, the fest’s executive director.

The excitement of the OFF’s organizers is contagious. “The people who run it are very passionate about filmmaking, and particularly filmmaking in Nebraska,” says Justin Lerner, who travelled to the event from Los Angeles and won over the crowd to take home the Audience Award for his short, The Replacement Child. “After I won the audience award, the festival staff asked to take their picture with me and have me sign some DVDs, which was surreal. Nobody had ever asked me for that, so I was a bit taken aback, but it speaks to their respect and admiration of filmmakers and artists.”

“We ourselves are filmmakers at heart,” admits Levering. “We all work on our own independent film projects and we provide a lot of support to the local filmmaking crowd. So when we set out to create the OFF back in 2005, we were determined to become a teaching festival so that aspiring filmmakers in the Midwest would have better opportunities to work on their craft right here in Omaha… And believe it or not, this is just the tip of the iceberg.” – Jennifer M. Wood


Anonymous MovieMaker Magazine said...

Thanks for the mention! If any readers want to get a copy of this issue, we have a special rate for readers of blogs we love: Just $9.95 for one year.

Can check it out at

9:13 AM  

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