omplete QPORIT: HOBOKEN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2011 - WRAP-UP

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

 

HOBOKEN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2011 - WRAP-UP


Jensen Bucher
Best Actress at HOBOKEN IFF 2011
CALENDAR GIRL
Photo by Eric Roffman



The HOBOKEN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL was very successful. It fulfilled the promise of the Opening Night.

One major objective of the festival, according to Festival Chairman Kenneth Del Vecchio, was to give developing filmmakers an opportunity to be seen and present their films. And in this it was very successful.

Certainly the best part of the festival was the opportunity for filmmakers to see their films with a public audience and to network with other filmmakers. The films were well chosen, and there were opportunities given to a total of about 90 films: features, documentaries, short films, and TV pilots. And there were also five (unproduced) screenplays selected and highlighted at the festival (but not presented with a reading). The scheduling of the films and the pairing and groupings of films was outstanding.

At each time slot there were two theaters showing films. And each film got a single screening. So there were about twice as many films as any one person could possibly see.

By and large the audience consisted mostly of people who had a somewhat direct connection with some film in the festival. There did not seem to be very many people who were purely there as a “civilian” audience for film. Most screenings during the day on weekdays seemed to have an audience of a couple dozen.

There was considerable publicity generated by and for the filmmakers on local media outlets during the festival. However, the enormous amount of publicity before and during the festival necessary to bring large numbers of civilians into the theater would have been orders of magnitude more than an independent festival could possibly manage.

Probably the weakest aspect of the festival was the projection. It was not terrible: the films were all watchable and the sound was understandable. However, there were problems with both the sound and the visual images. The screenings were all at the Cedar Lane Cinema in Teaneck, NJ; the normal projection booths there are set for 35 mm film, and the screens are large. For this festival, as for many independent film festivals, the films were projected from standard DVDs or Blu-ray disks. So the festival had to provide its own projectors, and hook them into a sound system. DVD’s do not have resolution really capable of providing a perfect image – no matter what the projector – on a large screen. Blu-ray disks are obviously better. But the problems were slightly worse. The color was washed out -- desaturated -- on many films I saw; on some the aspect ratio was distorted, stretching the characters sideways; and the projector was not centered, causing additional distortion. The sound was sometimes set too loud, sometimes too soft, and sometimes muddled – sometimes changing during the screening of a single film.

For most films the projection was more than adequate to understand and enjoy the story. But for some filmmakers, for whom the visual and sound presentation is an essential part of the art of the film, better quality of projection is very important.

Hopefully the festival organizers will set up better projection equipment next year – and more of the filmmakers will provide Blu-ray (or even computer hosted) HD digital copies of their films.

On closing night there was an awards ceremony. I was only sorry the festival did not last another day, with the nominated films getting a second screening, so I could catch up on some excellent films I missed.

The awards ceremony for the winners was a rehearsal for their eventual Academy Award speeches.

The only egregious error in the jury awards was that they omitted Andrew Serban's WEST SIDE GIRL, a terrific short film, from the list of nominees. It is a tense film shot on location at night with brilliant wild, natural light cinematography. The acting by the actress playing the West Side Girl, and by her low-life friends, was excellent. The story is well-written, complex and sophisticated. I am completely objective in this opinion. The fact that I have a role in the film, as the landlord being stalked by the dangerous tenant, is completely irrelevant to my opinion.

The most celebrated films (roughly in this order in terms of their nominations and awards) were:

Calendar Girl
Big Guns
Der Sandmann
The Girl from the Naked Eye
Walk a Mile in My Pradas
Vulnerable
Mortem
All God's Creatures
The "A" Plate
Uncle Melvin's Apartment


At the Awards Ceremony, the Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Carroll Baker (who celebrated her 80th birthday on May 28th)! Distinguished film critic Foster Hirsch gave a fascinating introduction to her long and distinguished career, and showed a terrific compilation of film clips from some of her most important films.

Festival Chairman Kenneth Del Vecchio
With Carroll Baker and Robert Loggia
At the HOBOKEN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2011
Photo by Eric Roffman


In addition, there were seventeen (17 !!!) different categories of awards. Here is the complete list of nominees and winners

1. BEST ACTRESS NOMINEES• Irewne Bruger - Der Sandmann
• Diana Rudychenko - Mortem
• => Jensen Bucher - Calendar Girl
• Jessica Kaye - All God's Creatures
• Emma Leonard - Vulnerable

2. BEST TV PILOT NOMINEES
• => WTFU - Allison Lane & Chris Ritter
Dicks - Tom Archdeacon & Rick Yudt
Odessa - Al Thompson
Chosen - Dave Meketansky
The Robber Barons of Wall Streetons

3. BEST SHORT SHORT NOMINEES
Nobody But Her - Danny Anderson &Phillip Jordan Brooks
• => The Interview - Reinaldo Marcus Green
A Farewell to Arm - Phillip Snyder
Over a Cup of Joe - Marla Hammons
• Nice Tie, Italiano! - Evan Hart

4. NY POST BEST FEATURE TRAILER WINNER: WALK A MILE IN MY PRADAS

5. BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR NOMINEES• Ron Yuan - The Girl from the Naked Eye
• Nick Troy - Calendar Girl
• Sam McMurray - The "A" Plate
• Jackson Heywood - Vulnerable
• => Tom Archdeacon - Walk a Mile in My Pradas
6. BEST SCREENPLAY (UNPRODUCED) NOMINEES
• => Reunion 108 - Billy Sample Chez Noir - Neil Graves
Queen of Vengeance - Mark Winzer
Second Thoughts - Chris Warner
The Game of Life - Mark Sarian

7. BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY NOMINEES
• => Max Da-Yung Wang - The Girl from the Naked Eye • Lorenz Merz - Der Sandmann
• Eric Atlan - Mortem
• Tarik Tanrisever - Free Man
• Chris Kilden - Neander-Jin

8. BEST EDITING NOMINEES
• Eric Atlan - Mortem
• Claudio Cea - Der Sandmann
• Greg Babor & Richard Halsey - The Girl from the Naked Eye
• => Ron Kalish - The "A" Plate
• Florian Steinbiss - Neander-Jin

9. BEST SHORT FILM NOMINEESPerhaps Tomorrow - Sandy Garfunkel
Perry St. - Merry Colomer & Marta Jover
Android Love - Lee Citron
• => The Desperate - Ben-Hur Sepehr Roger's Number - Russel Terlecki

10. BEST DOCUMENTARY FILM NOMINEES
Zero Percent - Robert Fernandez & Tim Skousen
• => Death by Medicine - Gary Null
Through The Roof - Matthew Peters
Adam Blank Gets A Vasectomy - Adam Blank
After The Fire - Anthony Bretti, Guido Verweyen and Michael Huffington

11. BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS NOMINEES
• Sally Kirkland - The Last Gamble
• Samantha Streets - The Girl from the Naked Eye
• => Priscilla Barnes - The "A" Plate
• Kristen Rea - Walk a Mile in My Pradas
• Kym Thorne - Vulnerable

12. BEST ACTOR NOMINEES
• Mitchell Walters - Uncle Melvin's Apartment
• Fabian Kruger - Der Sandmann
• Jason Yee - The Girl from the Naked Eye
• => Steven Bauer - The Last Gamble
• Chris McDonnel - Big Guns

Jason Yee
Best Actor Nominee at HOBOKEN IFF 2011
THE GIRL FROM THE NAKED EYE
Photo by Eric Roffman



13. BEST SCREENPLAY (PRODUCED) NOMINEES
Walk a Mile in My Pradas - Rick Karatas & Tom Archdeacon
• => Uncle Melvin's Apartment - Craig Weintraub & Mitchell Walters
Calendar Girl - Faith Brody
Der Sandmann - Peter Luisi
All God's Creatures - Josh Folan & Billy Fox

14. BEST DIRECTOR NOMINEES
• => Peter Luisi - Der Sandmann
• Eric Atlan - Mortem
• Terre Weisman - The "A" Plate
• Alan Lock - Vulnerable
• David Ren - The Girl from the Naked Eye


15. BEST FEATURE FILM NOMINEES
• =>; Calendar Girl - Tommy Avalone, Frank Vain, John Guarrere, Derek Lindeman and Anne Qualtieri
Der Sandmann - Peter Luisi, David Luisi
The Girl from the Naked Eye - Jason Yee , Ron Yuan
Vulnerable - Alan Lock
Mortem - Eric Atlan & Marc Bercovitz

16. BEST OF THE FESTIVAL AUDIENCE AWARD WINNER: BIG GUNS

17. BEST OF THE FESTIVAL JURY AWARD WINNER: CALENDAR GIRL


The festival deserves praise for its sense of camaraderie among the filmmakers and participants, the fine parties, and the selection and presentation of a large number of indie films.

It would be nice if the festival reaches out (massively) in advance to the communities near where the screenings will be, to bring in the largest possible number of neighborhood “civilians” to the audience, and share the films with the community.

One possible source of publicity would be for the festival to announce the jury nominations for awards before the festival (since the jury has access to all the screeners in advance anyway). This would allow the festival to promote some “special films” and some “special actors”. It provides a great focus, so the best films do not get missed. Promoting some films especially hard probably helps all films because it draws people to the festival.

A panel session including Q & A with the “special actors” is always a draw and very interesting. (For that matter, all films could have a Q&A with filmmakers and cast whenever possible. It’s good for the filmmakers and the audience.)
Also very useful for publicity would be for the festival to provide -- to accredited journalists in advance of the festival -- production stills and cast / creative credits as well as PR contact info for all the films.

The HOBOKEN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL was very well organized and run by Festival Chairman Kenneth Del Vecchio, with dedicated and hard working Vice-Chairs, Assistants, staff and volunteers.

Nina Transfeld
Actress and Vice Chairwoman of the HOBOKEN IFF 2011
Photo by Eric Roffman


Taking place just outside New York, the festival is convenient for New York, New Jersey and metropolitan area filmmakers; and, for out of town and international filmmakers, it is a chance to network and be seen in the New York metropolitan area.

I think the HOBOKEN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL deserves to be noticed. I think it is a great place for filmmakers to send their films. It was fun. I’m looking forward to coming back next year!


HOBOKEN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
(Note: A video about the festival auto-starts!)
http://www.hobokeninternationalfilmfestival.com/

HOBOKEN IFF OPENING NIGHT - QPORIT
http://qporit.blogspot.com/2011/06/hoboken-international-film-festival.html

COMMENTS ON THE GREAT FIGHT - QPORIT
http://qporit.blogspot.com/2011/06/great-fight-hoboken-international-film.html

COMMENTS ON WEST SIDE GIRL - QPORIT
http://qporit.blogspot.com/2010/03/andrew-serbans-west-side-girl-with-me.html

CARROLL BAKER - WIKIPEDIA
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carroll_Baker

CARROLL BAKER - IMDB
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0004647/


IMDB - FILMS AND PEOPLE FROM THE FESTIVAL

CALENDAR GIRL
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1611816/

BIG GUNS
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1781777/

DER SANDMANN
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1801808/

THE GIRL FROM THE NAKED EYE
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1079360/

WALK A MILE IN MY PRADAS
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1645187/

VULNERABLE
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1661955/

MORTEM
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1697646/

ALL GOD'S CREATURES
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1261964/

THE "A" PLATE
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1669779/

UNCLE MELVIN'S APARTMENT
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1734175/

JENSEN BUCHER
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3102383/

JASON YEE
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0947166/

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