The first day of the Akron Film Festival belonged to the hometown crowd. “The Real Bold Badmen” and “Sincerely, P.V. Reese” were the first movies screened at the third annual festival, and it was only fitting that they were shot locally in the Akron-Canton area, in North Canton and Akron, specifically and respectively.
“The Real Bold Badmen,” directed by Joe Siebert, is the story of the 1949 Filmmaker magazine amateur film contest winner “The Bold Badmen,” about a pair of bank-robbing cowboys who turn on each other over money. It was director Len Zaleski, the director of “Badmen,” who encouraged Siebert and a few of his coworkers to make this documentary.
“I wanted to make a documentary and got involved with this group about making short documentaries about interesting people in Stark Country, where we’re from, and so I thought of Len, who’s the subject of ‘Real Badmen,'” said Siebert. “I asked these guys (director of photography John Pope and gaffer Derek Youri) if they were down with being a part of it. They were, and we went from there.”
In the following video interview, I spoke with director Joe Siebert, director of photography John Pope and gaffer Derek Youri from “The Real Bold Badmen”:
The second film to be screened, “Sincerely P.V. Reese,” was directed and narrated by director Phillip Swift. It is a documentary about death and loss. It also serves as an anthology of the movies Swift and his friends made in childhood through high school, and through the anthology, most importantly, a tribute to a dear friend who passed away.
Said Swift, “The purpose of the film in the beginning is to introduce you to this group of people who made all these films throughout you know, elementary school, middle school and high school, and then introduce this character of our friend Steve, who later passed away, subsequently of leukemia.”
I found this approach to be especially effective because the end of the movie is that much more poignant having developed a connection with these real people through the characters they played as kids and young adults. The first of these films, “Colombian Conspiracy,” is also my favorite, based solely for what it is: a group of 13-year-olds running around Sand Run Park chasing cocaine dealers, and all of them are available at Vimeo.
In this second video, I interview director Phillip Swift and co-stars Steve Bishop and Dave Rich:
So that brings coverage of day one to an end, and it was a very good day of cinema. Tomorrow’s schedule of movies include “New Low” and “Air Doll” — both of which previously were previewed in Trailer Talks by It’s Just Movies (click the titles to view the trailers).
Stay tuned for more video interviews tomorrow …
The Akron Film Festival is taking place Sept. 23 through Sept. 26 in Akron, Ohio. Click here for more information.
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