“The FESTIVAL SCENE Part 1”
— by JUSTIN D. HILLIARD —
Okay, so after having Easter weekend off out of pure necessity (absolute craziness on our end), I’ve finally gotten around to entry #8. I’m going to contribute the second part later this week and really highlight and show some behind the scenes of what a major top-tier festival is actually like and what it can “mean and/or do” for a filmmaker.
I’ve started uploading some footage from the 2010 Dallas International Film Festival; however, I have been completely wiped of energy and deprived of free time to edit the promo piece. So, with this entry, I’m going to set up the whole “nonstop press/filmmaker adventure” we’ve been on and give a few hints on what to expect in part 2.
(But first, check out my lovely wife Arianne Martin in the 2010 DALLAS IFF PROMO below.)
This festival has already been incredible to us. It is mind-blowing what we’ve learned in the past year and have been able to apply to our 2010 experience. I’ve given some direct tips to film-maker friends on how to capitalize on an event SO important (without much success I might add) from a marketing standpoint and how to “fest” to their full potential. We’ve also gotten to see a few films, cover the red carpet, capture some priceless interviews and have a great time drinking free Stella Artois or vodka (lounge video coming) with our friends at the main filmmaker lounge.
“3 Thumbs Up” is covering the fest and has captured some truly unique perspectives on the current independent scene. With all that stated…I’M EXHAUSTED!!! It has been one continuous snowball of amazing yet time-consuming coverage and important meetings. This event has been everything it should have been for us last year with “The Other Side of Paradise” and much more. It’s great to finally chat that film up right and talk “3 Thumbs Up” and “Swallow” at the same time. This whole experience will be continued in the next installment.
There is one film that I want to go ahead and plug and recommend that you watch immediately. It has played Sundance, SXSW and now DIFF. “Lovers of Hate” is a comedy (slash almost thriller) that is such a fascinating and hilarious take on the depravity we’re all capable of when pushed in corner with a little malicious motivation to back our desperate actions. As a filmmaker, artist and film enthusiast, I completely and utterly adored the film. This is the perfect type of “indie” film that if it had been released 10 to 15 years ago in the indie hay-day, it would have made millions and been written about in film school literature. It’s just THAT GOOD.
It’s a film that I can understand why it has a polarizing critical reaction, but I 100 percent don’t agree with a single negative comment. It is so solidly acted and paced and so brilliantly directed that it demands multiple viewings. I loved it. It inspired me beyond description and Bryan Poyser’s dark and twisted script and visual perspective was precise, all too relatable and expertly crafted.
Our friend David Lowery (director of the poetic “St. Nick”) was the cinematographer on the film and captured the heightened sense of painfully-awkward comedy mixed with paranoia perfectly. The film couldn’t have been cast better, specifically Heather Kafka and Chris Doubek. These two actors deserve some major, meaty roles … and if they don’t get them soon, hell … I’ll just have to write them something in a future project. J
I had ZERO issues with this film and have officially added it to my “films that inspire me because they are THAT good list.” Poyser is another one of us hard-working, enduring filmmakers out there … and he did it … he made what is an essentially flawless comedy that debuted on the ultimate festival platform. Congrats. Buy this man’s film and see everything he does from here on out. I know I will. Here is the site for “Lovers of Hate,” where there is a link to watch the film on-demand on IFC.
I’ll be back mid-to-end of this week with Part 2, highlighting the fest and my good friend and collaborators film, “Hold.” Stay tuned and be sure to leave a comment!
Below is my interview with RED CARPET CRASH at DALLAS IFF 2010 – check it out!
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“Making SWALLOW” — a weekly column exclusive to It’s Just Movies — is following the film from pre-production through distribution.
Justin D. Hilliard is a writer/director/producer and co-founder of Striped Socks Productions. He attended the University of Texas at Arlington and received his BFA in Film – Cum Laude in 2004. His previous films are “The Other Side of Paradise,” “3 Thumbs Up Doc” and “Wednesday.”