Friday, September 03, 2004 - Page updated at 12:00 A.M.
1 Reel Film Festival: long weekend, short films
Seattle Times movie critic
there are bands and jugglers and comedians and dancers and various
sorts of portable food at Bumbershoot, but are there movies? Sure — 158
of them, to be exact.
The 1 Reel Film Festival, one of the largest and best-attended festivals of short film in the country, celebrates its ninth birthday this year in the Intiman Theatre, where films will screen over four days in hourlong themed packages. Warren Etheredge, now in his fifth year as curator, estimates that he screened more than 1,600 submissions — all shorts — ultimately selecting about a tenth of them.
A few of the films are well-known, such as "This Land," the animated musical satire by Evan and Gregg Spiridellis that circulated widely on the Web (featuring singing cut-out heads of George W. Bush and John Kerry). Some feature well-known filmmakers, such as Vicki Jensen ("Shrek," "Shark Tale"), whose short "Family Tree" has won awards at many film festivals.
Other films screening at the Intiman this weekend have less recognizable names but provide the pleasures of discovery. Tim McCarthy's "The Rick," the story of an angry dishwasher passed over for a promotion, is beautifully acted and simmering with tension. "Zamboni Man," by Seth Henrikson, is a charming skating-rink fantasy, featuring a rose-strewn dream sequence that's the very picture of romance. Mark Gustafson's claymation comedy "Joe Blow" is a brief, inventive and very funny tale of a trailer resident seeking mail-order companionship.
Bumbershoot movie preview
1 Reel Film Festival, Friday-Monday, Intiman Theatre at Seattle Center, included with Bumbershoot admission (206-281-7788 or bumbershoot.com).
filmmakers will be well-represented at the festival, with 29 films
from the Northwest (including five from local high-school students).
Six of these are from the Seattle International Film Festival's Fly
Filmmaking challenge, made by local documentarians each taking a
Seattle neighborhood as a subject.
Special events include the world premiere of Dane Picard's two new works, "Portraits" and "Portraits of L.A.," screening continuously between shows at Experience Music Project's Sky Church. And local filmmaker David Russo (a previous 1 Reel winner for "Pan With Us") will be all over the festival grounds, shooting his new Bumbershoot-commissioned film "I Am Van Gogh."
The 1 Reel Challenge returns this year, with 10 filmmakers considering the question "What ... In God's Name?" The results of their musings will be screened 3:30 p.m. Monday. Immediately following that event, at 5:30 p.m., will be the Best of the Fest screenings, with the winners of the live action, animation and high-school categories inducted into the Short Order — complete with a knighting ceremony and fanfare.
Moira Macdonald: 206-464-2725 or firstname.lastname@example.org