Musings from the ever-changing, ever-amazing and occasionally ever-baffling Fort McMurray, Alberta.

Friday, June 24, 2011

2011 interPlay Film Festival

One of the things you notice when you are involved in a creative pursuit are all the others also pursuing their own creativity. I'm one of those people who has always been happiest surrounded by artists, musicians, writers, and the like as creativity seems contagious. I must admit that one thing I know very little about but have always been fascinated by is independent film-making - and people, I am completely delighted that during interPLAY 2011 we will have our own film festival in Fort Mac!

The 2011 interPLAY Film Festival (iFF, what a great acronym!) is the brainchild of the folks at ymmpodcast and Events Wood Buffalo, two of my very favourite Fort Mac entities. I know the guys at ymmpodcast have a definite interest in independent film-making and thus are the perfect guys to partner this with Events Wood Buffalo, who have a stellar track record at organizing events in this city.

There are two aspects to the iFF. The first are independent film submissions to be screened at the festival, and the top film as decided by the organizers will win $1000. The second part is one I find particularly intriguing as it's a 48-hour film-making challenge. Yes, that's right, participants have 48 hours to write, cast, shoot, and edit their submissions! Again the winner will take home $1000. I absolutely love this idea as I'm one of those people who also thinks improv is the finest form of comedy. Creativity under pressure often produces the most interesting results, and I'm quite anxious to see these films.

In case you're wondering what is so great about independent films all I can say is this: creative pursuits are a lot like having a baby. I know as a writer I enter into something with a vision, and sometimes I fight like hell to get it there. I suspect it's the same for film-making (and I know it's true for artists and musicians). There are times I feel like giving up (rather like when I was actually giving birth to my child and announced at hour 18 of labour that I had changed my mind about the whole thing and was going home now - thankfully my husband and the nice nurses talked me out of that). When you finally produce the finished product - an article, a novel, a painting, a film, or a baby, what you really want is people to see it. You want them to see the vision you started with, and you want to see if it resonates with them, too. And in case anyone argues the "baby" point all I can say is there's a reason new parents wander around with tiny infants in strollers, people. You are meant to admire our "product" because we worked damn hard to bring it into the world. So too with films and film-makers.

People, I love interPLAY. I don't think I've missed a single one since moving here, and my husband and child love it just as much as I do. It's our favourite event every year, and I've been known to visit it daily when it's on. I think the iFF just adds another wonderful dimension to interPLAY. The iFF will be an opportunity to see the world through the eyes of an independent film-maker. Maybe you'll like the films, and maybe you won't. Maybe they will make you think, or maybe they will make you laugh. You won't know until you see them, though, and that's the beauty of it all. Take a risk, catch some independent films, and, even better, if YOU are the creative visionary, enter your films or participate in the 48-hour challenge. I'd love to share your vision, people.  Definitely see ya there, Fort Mac!

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