Sunday, August 19, 2012

Film Festivals - Screening With Love, Marty and The Wheels

Before the new semester starts, I want to write briefly about my experiences with a few film festivals over the past year. I have had the pleasure of screening my last two films - The Wheels and With Love, Marty - theatrically at festivals in New York. Earlier this summer, I received notice that my film The Wheels won the Best Student Film award at the 2012 Metropolitan Film Festival of New York City. The Wheels premiered at the festival on Saturday, July 14th at The Producer's Club Theater on West 44th Street, screening alongside two other films in the final block of the evening. I was very lucky to have some of my collaborators on The Wheels accompany me to the screening, including actor Tom Corbisiero (who played the father in the film), cinematographer Benjamin Dewey and sound designer and mixer Bobb Barito.

Together, we accepted the Best Student Film award, and I participated in a brief Q&A with the audience after the screening (along with the other filmmakers whose work screened with The Wheels). I was so honored to receive this award for the project, and it was fantastic being able to have a "premiere," of sorts, for the movie (although I showed The Wheels alongside a few other student films at a small screening in Tisch earlier this year). If you want to see the full list of winners from the 2012 Metropolitan Film Festival of New York, please click on this link to their official website. If you are interested in seeing the official pictures from the festival (including me accepting the award), please click on this link. I will include some of the pictures from the festival in this post (and other pictures in a later post).

At the same time, my film With Love, Marty was nominated for the Best Student Film Award at the World Music and Independent Film Festival in Washington, D.C. I will not be able to attend the festival, which takes place from August 19th to August 25th, but I am excited for a film I finished over one year ago to still be nominated somewhere! If you want to see the full list of nominees for the World Music and Independent Film Festival, please click on this link to their official website.

Last November, With Love, Marty first premiered as an Official Selection of The 2011 Big Apple Film Festival in New York City. The movie, which was nominated for Best Student Film, screened at Tribeca Cinemas on Thursday, November 3rd in Program 16, along with five other films. In fact, With, Love Marty screened back-to-back with my good friend and roommate Bobb Barito's film Lead Me To The Clouds, for which I served as Assistant Director (the movies were both shot around the same time in April of 2011). It was a bizarre coincidence that our films screened back-to-back, and we had a great time attending the festival together and participating in a brief Q&A after the screening with the audience.

With Love, Marty was a particularly fun festival premiere because not only did Benjamin Dewey and actress Karen McFarlane join me for the screening, but the lead actress, the wonderful Alexis Gay, brought a large group of her friends and family members to the screening, ensuring that With Love, Marty had a large support group in the audience. Before and after the screening, we took some pictures in the cinema alongside the posters for With Love, Marty (designed by the endlessly talented Mr. Dewey). After the festival, the Marty crowd went to Alexis' apartment for post-screening food and drinks. It was an incredibly fun evening, and a wonderful festival experience for both Bobb and me. To check out The Big Apple Film Festival's 2011 Program Guide (including information about With Love, Marty and Lead Me To The Clouds), please visit this link to their website.

With Love, Marty also screened as an Official Selection of the Emerging Filmmakers Series in Rochester, New York last December. Because I was in Austin at the time, I was unable to attend the screening, but I recently came across an online blogger who had some kind words for the film. Read what Jason Olshefsky had to say about the movie by following this link to his blog. Here's a brief quote from his review:

"Starting out was With Love, Marty by Jack Kyser in which Kyser plays the central character: a college-age man desperate for the affection of a specific woman. I found his presentation to be brutally honest from all angles - I know from experience how it is to desperately desire someone, and to resort to honest, direct means that work only to sabotage any possible relationship."

I want to thank all of the great people who made these two movies with me. I'm thrilled to work with so many talented people, many of whom also did outstanding work on Jake the Cinephile just recently. I'm hoping to hear back from some more festivals in the near future, but until then, I wanted to give you a brief rundown of my experience with New York film festivals thus far. Bobb and Ben are similarly sending out their Intermediate Narrative films, Max Ages and Quitting, to many film festivals currently, and I look forward to seeing their pictures premiere at festivals (I had the honor of working as Assistant Director on both of those films, as well as editing Quitting). It's really something else to screen your work for a live audience - unnerving, certainly, but also quite gratifying. Thank you so much to the festivals for screening my work. 

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