And now comes the announcement of the first four feature films at the 2013 Frederick Film Festival. Despite being altogether too many F’s for one sentence, the selection of the feature films does seem to garner a lot of excitement.
I’m not sure why that is exactly, because over the last few festivals we’ve found that the films the audience seems to talk about most could just as easily be shorts as be feature films. (For those who don’t know, we…quite arbitrarily…have determined that a short film is a film that runs less than 60 minutes, a feature is one that runs 60 or more minutes.)
The shorts and features issue has been discussed in this blog before, so I won’t rehash the whole thing here. Suffice it to say, we’re announcing the first four feature films TODAY, and we hope our audience is as excited as we are.
As anyone who has had a look at our festival over the last few Credit union online years can tell you, we can, at times, be documentary laden. There are a number of reasons for that with the most obvious one being that one of the missions of the F3 is to bring under-screened films to the region and as any film enthusiast will tell you, documentaries get short shrift at the megaplex.
Also, documentaries provide some of the most incredible stories that have the added dimension of being true.
So, the point to all that is get you prepared: this list of four features is documentary laden. No surprise, but we did want you to know there is a reason.
Skorpionit (Scorpions) – Finland/Cambodia – US Premiere. Director: Simo Hakalisto. Scorpions is a story of a disabled volleyball team from a small Cambodian rural village, Toul Prich. Despite the rather poor training conditions, the CNVLD Kampong Speu Scorpions is striving to become the best team in Cambodia’s CNVLD national disabled volleyball league. Many of the team members have been disabled due to the millions of dud land mines still buried in the country as a result of the Vietnam War.
Deserteur! (Glorious Deserter) - Austria – US Premiere. Director: Gabriele Neudecker. Winter of starvation, 1947. In Austria desertion from the Wehrmacht is still a crime even after the war. The cook, the farmer, the altar boy, and the head pig keeper give insight into the military terror they were subjected to and their reasons for fleeing. The documentary-style film is a montage of the real fates of young deserters and shows moving moments of traumatic memories and the social ostracism experienced after the war.
Cholita Libre: If You Don’t Fight, You’ve Already Lost – Germany/Bolivia – US Premiere. Director: Jana Richter. What THEY want, THEY get. If THEY don’t do it, nobody does it. THEY can lose but that just means, that they will continue fighting. With their colourful, glittering skirts THEY are like flowers on the tarmac. And of course, THEY are stronger than all the men in the world. THEY are Cholitas and they are wrestlers. THEY fight on the stage to show us that this world can change. Lucha Libre is a mix of sport, theatre, athletics and choreography. Cholitas are the offspring of the Quechua or Aymara natives of Bolivia. We get to know Rosita the Heartbreaker, Carmen Rosa the Champion, Yolanda the Passionate and Claudina the Condemned. What they want, they get. If not in reality, then on stage – because the wrestle is just like real life – if you do not fight to stay in it, you have already lost.
Halaw (The Ways of the Sea) - Philippines. Director: Sheron R. Dayoc. A beautifully filmed story of men and women trying to reach Malaysia illegally by boat from Mindanao, the southernmost island group in the Philippines. Despite the seriousness of the story, director Sheron Dayoc provides the viewer with small glimpses into the lives of the people who have left their homeland in search of something a little better, even though the chances of that better life seem very slim. Ethnic and religious differences in the Philippines, human trafficking, poverty…all are displayed while also highlighting the subtle beauty of life in the Philippines.
So there it is…the 2013 Frederick Film Festival First Four Features…the F6 if you will. Do take some time and follow the links, watch the trailers, read up. We’re pretty proud of these selections and we’re appreciative to the filmmakers for their efforts.
Pass them on to others who might be interested as well!