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Lights, camera ... action

November 07, 2006|by KELSEY LIDZ

FREDERICK, Md. - The 72 Film Fest is proof that the simplest ideas can be taken in the most abstract directions.

The film festival at Weinberg Center for the Arts in Frederick was a two-day event in late October. It included a showing of short narrative films made in 72 hours, a contest featuring documentary films made about Frederick, and the screening of feature-length films that don't make it to Frederick's mall screens.

For the 72-hour moviemaking contest, filmmaking teams were given topics such as celebration, blind faith, invention and hope as themes for their 60-second to five-minute movies. Some teams put together thought-provoking, imaginative stories, while others left viewers completely confused.

Fourteen teams produced and turned in films within the 72-hour deadline. Festival organizers handed out awards to honor the best efforts. Awards were obviously centered around the idea that everyone's idea of art is different.

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Nine awards were given, recognizing different aspects of filmmaking, such as cinematography and acting. This was appropriate, because some films focused on images, with no acting at all, whereas others were centered around characters and dialogue and not cinematography. Other awards included best hair and makeup, best writing, best music and the audience choice award, judged by the amount of applause each film received at its showing.

"Idolatry," created by Crimson Visions, was like a feature film in its structure - it contained dialogue, had an understandable plot, and was clear in expressing the topic. Other films, such as Bran Flagger's "Death with Levity," had no characters or plot at all, but used inanimate objects and music in their portrayal.

The most interesting part of the festival was seeing the diversity of the films and the makers' ideas of art. What one team might consider deep or profound might be completely lost on the audience. Some films such as "Death and Reproduction" and "Natural Selection" used humor, whereas others, "Green" and "Hope" were serious and incredibly moving.

Some, such as "Celebration" by Eyelounge Films, really didn't make any sense to me.

The festival was entertaining and organized well. Tying everything together was the comical narration of emcee Mikael Johnson. The festival provided a good opportunity to observe and appreciate the work of local artists in Frederick, while meeting many new people.

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