Thursday, March 25, 2010
KPBS Film Critic Beth Accomando previews the San Diego Indie Fest Film Festival
San Diego IndieFest kicks off tomorrow in North Park. You may know this annual event as a place to find good live music but it also boasts a film festival. Listen to my radio preview and interview with festival co-producer Craig Wilson.
If you want to hear good independent music, San Diego Indie Fest has been providing that for six years. Then, just a couple years ago, the festival started to include film. Craig Wilson says this will be the first year the addition can really be called a film festival.
CRAIG WILSON: In past I’d call it more of a film screening where it was kind of viewed as a place for people to come and rest their feet from seeing all the bands.
Wilson is co-producer of Mental Eccletic’s Indie Film Stage at this year’s Festival. Films will screen Friday and Saturday with an exclusive industry mixer Friday night and a film panel Saturday morning. Wilson says the panel will focus heavily on how filmmakers can use the Internet.
CRAIG WILSON: We have some people coming down from LA and some from Seattle, we’re going to be talking about crowd funding online, how to raise funds for your film online and how to use that, also how to market your film via social networking and we’re also going to talk about distributing your film. Whatever industry you are in in the arts the internet is your biggest tool if you’re going to DIY.
That do it yourself, indie mentality is key to the festival and the films selected. Take the feature film, “In the Darkness.” The film combines the spirit of independence with the potential served up by the Internet.
DETECTIVE: I’ve been looking into a few cases lately, cases similar to this, suspicious disappearances where victims seem to disappear without a trace.
Wilson is excited about this premiere because “In the Darkness” is the first film produced exclusively for Hulu.com. Hulu is a website that offers commercial-supported streaming video of TV shows and movies. As a filmmaker himself, that’s the kind of innovation Wilson likes to see and encourage.
Bold aspirations can be found in one of the superb short documentaries at the festival, “Temporal.” In this film, artist Stephan Doitschinoff travels through the Brazilian countryside to find a small village to serve as his canvas. Here he adorns adobe houses, chapels, and even a cemetery with his vivid artwork. The documentary highlights the way an artist can interact with a community and that’s something Wilson would like to see more of. So at Indie Fest, many filmmakers will be present at screenings and available to discuss their work.
CRAIG WILSON: There’s plenty of opportunities to not just sit and watch the films which is always fun and fascinating and amazing and you are going to see some great pieces and hopefully you will become the fan of a new filmmaker and you can follow their career and let’s face it with social networking it’s easy to just watch someone grow and wouldn’t it be cool to see someone’s short film and then suddenly follow them to the Oscars? That’s what I love about social media.
Wilson sees social networking as a means of extending the interactivity of the festival and providing filmmakers with a means of creating a new fan base. Real rather than virtual networking can be enjoyed at the festival’s new screening venue.
CRAIG WILSON: It’s held at Queen Bee’s Art and Culture Center, which if you haven’t been there is freaking amazing, there are multiple spaces, we’ve got one big screen that’s going to be showing over 50 films in two days and then we have a side room where the Q&A’s with the filmmakers are going to be so you get a chance to sit and talk with the filmmakers and ask them whatever questions you want.
And the films you will find there are a diverse lot. There are animated shorts, documentaries, features, and even a web series that highlights what’s going on in new media and where the future may lie for some filmmakers and artists. And since San Diego IndieFest is known for being about the music, you will also find a selection of music videos such as “Magnetic Baby.”
If Craig Wilson’s enthusiasm for the event is any indication then it should be freaking awesome.