A fresh wave of local short-film makers get set to do some serious networking in the Southern Californian sunshine.
Quickly establishing itself as one of the most respected independent short-film showcases in international cinema, Indie Fest 2012 will kick off its 3 day celebration of unfettered personal vision on August 17 in the free-spirited Southern Californian enclave of Garden Grove. The event takes on a special significance for our local sector with four Australian short-films selected for this year’s event, second only in number to the host nation’s contingent.
“Submissions from Australian filmmakers to the festival have increased each year and the quality, cinematography and story of these films is consistently outstanding,” says Donald Taylor, Indie Fest’s Festival Director. “While we do receive a lot of international film submissions, we do seem to be an Australian favorite and we love working with the filmmakers. The stories are always fresh, entertaining and interesting and the cinematography is among the best we receive each year.”
The local quartet heading stateside in just over a month are Shaun David Katz, with his noirish-thriller Sleeping in Blood City; Talisha Elger and her dark coming-of-age tale, The Fears of Young Caroline (pictured, above); Darren MacFarlane, director of the relationship dramedy, About Face; and Tez Frost, with his amusingly-titled Two Guys in a Backyard (pictured, below).
Donald Taylor and the Indie Fest team, who this year oversee 27 films from 9 countries, are renowned for the focus they place upon supporting the filmmakers over the course of the festival. “We are unique in that we don’t cater to Hollywood studios and films, (but rather) truly showcase each and every independent film we select to screen,” he explains. “Each year, there are many from the industry attending the festival, including distributors, acquisition reps and film agents, and we get reports back from filmmakers every year telling us they were contacted by these visitors about possible deals.”
SCREEN-SPACE spoke exclusively to each of the Australian directors and posed the question, “Getting festival recognition at an event like Indie Fest means....”:
Darren MacFarlane: “... a true validation of my filmmaking and storytelling. As a filmmaker, you want to tell stories that are unique but more importantly, you want to share those stories and that's where festivals like Indie Fest are so important. The other great thing about festivals like Indie Fest is that they encourage filmmakers to keep making films because there is an audience out there." (About Face, pictured below, screens August 18 at 4.30pm)
Tez Frost: “... not only maximising exposure for my project and myself as a director, but reassurance that the story itself resonates with audiences around the world.” (Two Guys in a Backyard screens August 18 at 8.30pm)
Talisha Elger: “... that I am able to view my film amongst an audience and receive feedback and viewer reaction. I feel ‘The Fears of Young Caroline’ is one of those films where you either like it or you don’t. It has quite a bit of ambiguity, which is something that audiences often feel uncomfortable with, so it is always interesting to see how my film is received. It is a great opportunity to be selected by a film festival like Indie Fest USA, as they pride themselves on encouraging filmmakers to network and promote their films by giving them the opportunities that not all film festivals offer.” (The Fears of Young Caroline screens August 17 at 9.00pm).
Shaun David Katz : “...that effort is paying off and is being appreciated, and best of all Indie Fest takes place near such an exciting part of the film world, so it all has a celebratory feel to it.” (Sleeping in Blood City, pictured below, screens August 17 at 6.30pm)