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Frederick festival features 33 films

October 08, 2009|By TIFFANY ARNOLD

FREDERICK, Md. -- Sometimes, anything worth doing is worth doing in three days.

And on Friday and Saturday, filmmakers who entered this year's 72 Fest will find out who did it the best.

This year's 72 Fest is set for Friday, Oct. 9, and Saturday, Oct. 10, at Weinberg Center for the Arts in downtown Frederick.

The 72 Fest is a contest in which filmmakers have three days to make a short film from scratch. The incentive: lots and lots of prizes and the distinction of having your film showcased.

Clark Kline, an organizer and founder, said 33 films were judged this year.

During the Friday screening, all the films will be shown and the finalists announced. The top-judged films will be screened again Saturday, and prizes -- including the Best of the Fest top prize -- will be announced, Kline said.

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The 72-hour clock started ticking the moment organizers announced the theme, "Image of Influence," at a dramatic unveiling Thursday, Oct. 1, at Frederick's Cultural Arts Center (CAC), the Frederick Arts Council's headquarters downtown.

Thirty-nine teams were given movie-making assignments that evening. Finished movies were due back at the CAC by 9 p.m. Oct. 4. Four films didn't make the deadline, Kline said.

This time, filmmakers had to derive a short film from a single snapshot.

"We asked them to act like that image was a major influence," Kline said.

In previous contests, filmmakers had three days to extract plotlines from "Death and Reproduction," proverbs and first lines in literature.

Kline said some people had a hard time with such an abstract prompt, but on the whole, there was a strong showing this year, particularly with horror, mysteries and comedy genres.

Which brings us to Edgar Allan Poe.

Participants could also take the Edgar Allan Poe challenge, a nod to the 200th anniversary of the author's birth. If they took the challenge, entrants had to reference Poe in addition to incorporating their snapshot.

Poe was meant to be just a muse. Simply re-adapting a Poe story won't do, Kline said.

The winner of the Poe challenge will be announced Saturday and would receive a collection of Poe's works from Wonder Book. David Kipen, director of literature and national reading initiatives for the National Endowment of the Arts, will present that award, Kline said.

Reception of this year's theme was mixed during the unveiling cermemony, though some groups seemed open to the concept.

"It's different," said entrant Steve Gibson, of Lewisburg, Pa., on behalf of his team "Open Bar," as the group -- many of them former colleagues at MHz Networks, a Washington D.C.-area television station -- huddled around a Polaroid of a man leering over a table -- so much so that he's nearly resting the side of his face on it -- in order to stare at a pile of wooden pick-up sticks.

Gibson said the group took on the Poe challenge, naming the film "The Golden Bug."

"It's about looking beyond things that are obvious," he said.

If you go ...



What: 72 Fest

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct 9, and Saturday, Oct 10

Where: Weinberg Center for the Arts, 20 W. Patrick St., downtown Frederick, Md.

Cost: One-day tickets cost $10, general admission; $17 two-day pass.

CONTACT: Go to www.72fest.com. For tickets, go to www.weinbergcenter.org or call the Weinberg box office at 301-600-2020.

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