Once again, hometown pride will infuse the FilmDayton Festival, but this year organizers have added a bonus. Themed “From Dayton/For Dayton,” the third annual festival, to be held May 20-22, 2011, will put the spotlight on the 27 filmmakers, screenwriters and producers — 21 of them native or current Daytonians — that are making compelling films in Ohio and beyond. The festival will give film-lovers a chance to meet, mingle and participate in in-depth discussions with these guest artists.
Film-goers can count on Dayton-connected films created by regional filmmakers, as well as the “best of the fests” — compelling films that have been featured at such prominent film festivals as Sundance and South by Southwest — which FilmDayton brings to Dayton first. Audiences are invited to experience and interact with films and filmmakers who are addressing such hot topics as the war in Afghanistan (WHERE SOLDIERS COME FROM), the threat of nuclear meltdown (INTO ETERNITY), life in an American Muslim-community (BILAL’S STAND) mental trauma (MARWENCOL) and more.
The Dayton Connection
The hometown spotlight will be on most of the films and filmmakers. Former Daytonian, Joe Gressis’ HOMERUN SHOW DOWN is a family-friendly little league comedy featuring big-name stars Barry Bostwick, Dean Cain and Annabeth Gish. HOMERUN was partially filmed at Fifth Third Field and includes support (and sly product placement) by Joe’s friends John Stafford, Staffords Jewelers. Former Dayton TV personality, Steve Tatone, living and working in Sarasota, brings the music-themed drama BEAUTIFUL NOISE, whose rocker co-star, Kimber Cleveland, will also perform at Gilly’s on Saturday night. Wright State students Chase Whiteside and Erick Stoll, whose politically-charged documentary shorts have appeared on “The Daily Show,” will present a NEW LEFT MEDIA SHORTS program. Dayton-based co-producer and statewide film community advocate, Karri O’Reilly, brings us the horror film, HUSK. With a trailer that already has been scaring the beejeezus out of folks, the film features a group of friends stranded in a desolate cornfield . . . guess what happens next? And finally, celebrating UD professor and screenwriter, Larry Schweikert’s compelling story of rock and roll’s part in bringing down the Berlin Wall and smashing the Iron Curtain, we’ll present ROCKIN’ THE WALL.
Emerging hometown filmmakers are featured in our two “festivals within the festival,” BIG LENS, featuring shorts from Wright State University Motion Pictures Program students and grads, as well as the SUNDOG & FILMDAYTON SHORTS DOUBLE FEATURE by local High School and college students.
Looking homeward is also the theme of the 2nd annual collaboration with Public Radio Station WYSO 91.3. SCREENLESS SCREENING presents “sound pictures” and sound-rich documentaries prevalent in popular public radio programs such as “This American Life” and “StoryCorps.” Local students from WYSO’s current “Community Voices” training project will present their radio stories for the first time as part of this film festival favorite. In addition, they will attend a master class with public radio personality, Ira Glass who will be speaking at the Victoria Theatre on Sunday evening. Neenah Ellis, general manager of WYSO said, “We are training people to tell the stories of the Miami Valley. Come and support these new radio producers!”
Celebrating more Dayton Reunions – The FilmDayton Screenwriting Conference
The two-day FilmDayton Screenwriting Conference, running concurrently with the festival , features 4 Dayton connections. The conference, held at ThinkTV, will include intensive hands-on workshops and lectures from nationally recognized writers as author and script consultant Dara Marks (“Inside Story: The Power of the Transformational Arc”) Emmy-winning writer/producer and WSU-grad, Erik Bork (HBO’s BAND OF BROTHERS), WSU-grad and Sundance award winning writer/director Nichol Simmons (DRY MOUNT) and WSU-grad and Emmy-nominated writer Kevin A. Kramer (Cartoon Network’s animated series CHOWDER.)
Film Festival offers audiences a chance to meet creators of compelling films
The FilmDayton Festival is proud to present filmmakers, screenwriters and producers for just about every event.
“There is a vibrant film community here, with many Daytonians working in the film industry throughout the country,” said FilmDayton executive director, Eva Buttacavoli. “The festival is an opportunity to showcase our local talent, bring some from LA back to their hometown, and invite the audience out to celebrate them in a full-immersion film weekend.”
Movies and more FROM Dayton — featuring films that have roots or take their cue, from right here in the Miami Valley. Films made by people who grew up and learned their craft here. And films FOR Dayton — featuring the “best of the fests” which FilmDayton brings to you first.
Audiences can participate in filmmaker Q&As after most of the screenings. Audiences can also attend events and parties that include filmmaker, screenwriter and producer guests as well. At PITCH-IT! they can watch the fun as amateur and professional filmmakers pitch their ideas to a panel of industry professionals including Dayton TV personality JIm Bucher, screenwriter and film educator Thomas Girvin and writer/director Nichol Simmons — for a cash prize. At Filmically Perfect: Imperfectly In-Person, J. Todd Anderson — Dayton-based filmmaker and storyboard artists for such directors as the Coen brothers — and George Willeman — film archivist, writer and producer — will record their WYSO 91.3-FM Public Radio show “Filmically Perfect” in front of a live audience. Hosted by Niki Dakota, WYSO music director. And closing the Festival, everyone is invited to the Filmmaker Meet and Greet & Closing Party on Sunday night.
“This very special opportunity allows our audiences to talk directly with the filmmakers about their work,” said Buttacavoli. “We are thrilled that so many of the filmmakers will be here to share their creative processes and discuss their films – all in a very relaxed atmosphere. It’s a chance for film lovers to have meaningful dialogues with the filmmakers whose work they are viewing.”
FilmDayton Board member and film producer Karri O’Reilly said, “One of the aspects of the festival that we have worked very hard on is audience access to the filmmakers. The opportunity to meet with and learn from professional filmmakers brings a dimension to the film going experience that you can’t get from a regular screening or even a DVD commentary,” she continued. “Our past filmmakers have been very gracious with their time in speaking to film students and film enthusiasts, and sharing their knowledge and experience. I anticipate that this year’s group will want to do likewise.”
“Bringing outside filmmakers to the Dayton area not only gives our local film community the chance to interact with talent from around the globe, it gives the outside world exposure to the level of talent we have right here at home.”
All film screenings will take place at NEON Movies. Parties, events, workshops and the Screenwriters Conference take place at venues close by.
Check out the website at www.filmdaytonfestival.com for film trailers, filmmakers’ biographies, a full schedule of events and locations as well as other information.
Film Festival and ScreenCon tickets are on sale at www.filmdaytonfestival.com and may be purchased at NEON Movies during the festival. All-access passes to film screenings, events and parties are $75, and individual film tickets are $7. ScreenCon is $149 for the full conference (includes meals, screenings, parties and a ticket to see Ira Glass) and $15 for single workshops.