Don’t let the title fool you…Opening Night at the F3 starts at 2pm! As you can see on the film SCHEDULE, there is great stuff happening on Friday before the nighttime events.
The psychological thriller LISTENING kicks off the F3 this year. LISTENING, the powerful debut feature from visionary director Khalil Sullins, excites as a psychological thriller about penniless grad students who invent mind-reading technology that destroys their lives. David (Thomas Stroppel), Ryan (Artie Ahr), and Jordan (Amber Marie Bollinger) hope inventing telepathy will solve all their problems, but quickly learn that when you open your mind, there is nowhere to hide your thoughts. Their bleeding-edge technology opens a Pandora’s box of new dangers, especially when it falls into the wrong hands. In a color-saturated vision of present-day science fiction, friends are forced against each other in a life-or-death battle over not only the privacy of our minds, but the future of human free will itself.
This will be followed by the short film THE TREEHOUSE, which tells a story set in the shadow of a family funeral. A young boy retreats to the treehouse he built with his father where he shuts himself in and the rest of the world out. Whilst there he meets an enigmatic young girl from next door who helps him to come to terms with his loss and face up to the future.
Following that film is the short documentary FACE TO FACE, a film about a group of “losers.” Feeling they had achieved nothing in their lives, they tried something new to prove, if only to themselves, that life must go on. They chose a path to the world of performance wrestling. They have played roles that are dangerous to others (and themselves). In the world of wresting ring, they have tortured themselves to become the villains on the stage, and they seek the last bit of dignity among the whispering and clapping from audiences.
Rounding out the afternoon and early evening is ROUTE 30 3! The final chapter of the trilogy (filmed in and around south central Pennsylvania…right up the road from Frederick) which focuses on the mysterious disappearance of Rotten Egg, a camera that reveals the truth in every photo, and a man’s quest to become ‘less’ boring. This stand-alone comedy delivers a romantic and upbeat message about relationships and the truth behind every story. Putch, a director, writer and producer from Los Angeles, started his career at Totem Pole Playhouse near Chambersburg, the summer theater his parents, Bill Putch and Jean Stapleton, ran for 30 years. Although he moved to California, his hometown has always been near and dear to his heart. He knew he had to make movies here that highlight the area’s rich history, folklore and traditions.
Following these films, the theater will empty and there will be an hour break in preparation for Opening night. The doors reopen at 7pm for a happy hour…a time to mix and meet with other festival goers and filmmakers.
The movies start up again at 7:30 with a selection of short films designed to highlight the varied types of films that will be presented at this year’s Frederick Film Festival. A short local documentary about the Enchanted Forest amusement park, an animated film from Andy Novak which hold the record for the shortest film ever shown by the F3, a family comedy that isn’t what it appears to be, a “music video” that is likely to be the film you carry with you from the festival this year, a German short comedy, a small selection from Australia, and another from Sweden. This half hour of short films encapsulates everything that is strong and innovative about short films and shows the amazing talent of filmmakers able to capture a single fully formed idea and translate it to the big screen. Like all the short blocks at this year’s festival (about 100 short films in total) they are not to be missed!
The feature film for the Opening Night of the festival is the Scott Crawford documentary SALAD DAYS: : A DECADE OF PUNK IN WASHINGTON, DC (1980-90). The film examines the early DIY punk scene in the Nation’s Capital. It was a decade when seminal bands like Bad Brains, Minor Threat, Government Issue, Scream, Void, Faith, Rites of Spring, Marginal Man, Fugazi, and others released their own records and booked their own shows—without major record label constraints or mainstream media scrutiny. Contextually, it was a cultural watershed that predated the alternative music explosion of the 1990s (and the industry’s subsequent implosion). Thirty years later, DC’s original DIY punk spirit serves as a reminder of the hopefulness of youth, the power of community and the strength of conviction. Footage included in this film is a 1990 Fugazi show at the Weinberg Center, current day home of the Frederick Film Festival! Filmmaker Scott Crawford will be on hand for this screening as well as guests from the film. It is an opportunity to delve deeper into a music movement unique to the area.
Following the film, the legendary F3 Opening Night Afterparty happens upstairs at Brewer’s Alley. Your festival pass gets you in (you MUST have your pass) for food, drink, and live music from festival favorites Hard Swimmin’ Fish. Always a favorite event it’s a great way to relax and unwind after the first stressful and exciting day of the festival. Don’t miss this opportunity to have some great Brewer’s Alley beverages and mingle yet again with other festival goers and filmmakers. This is usually the only time all the committee members will be in the same room at the same time during the festival…if you see us, come say hi, we’d love to talk to you.
So, as you can see, Opening Night is more than just the night…and more than just the opening…and more than just film. Make sure you’re there Friday to see all there is to see!