News Column

Foster's Film Festival set for Saturday

October 4, 2013

YellowBrix

Oct. 04--Short films and movies may be the last thing that come to mind when you think about Foster's Martini Bar in Downtown St. Joseph.

Owner Nathan Karr doesn't always want it to be that way and is hoping to pique some interests in local filmmakers with the first Foster's Film Festival, debuting at 7 p.m. Oct. 5 at the Downtown bar.

"We're starting something that we want to keep a tradition, and I think people will dig it once we get the word out," he says.

Featuring 10 films, the festival will break each up into different categories, with awards for each in: Drama, Comedy, Documentary, Animation, Music Video and F-Bomb.

Wait, what's that last one?

"It says right on there: 'It's not the number of F-bombs you use, it's how creative you are with the word,'" Karr says.

If an award for using the mother of all profanity doesn't show this film festival is a little different from the usual fare, it's tough to say what would do it.

That's what Karr says he was hoping for when several filmmakers, including Jeremy Lyons, approached him to host the festival.

"They came up with it and said 'Can we do it there?' I said 'Yeah, anything to sell a drink!'" he says, laughing.

The filmmakers took to the Web and placed ads throughout the U.S. for submissions to the contest.

"They did a good job. They put it on Craigslist to all these different cities, contacted these different campuses all over the country which blew my mind," Karr says. "You want to see marketing ... these kids went (crazy). It was great."

Along with some outside submissions, they had entries from local filmmakers including Kelsey Houser, who submitted her short film "Knapper;" Kallie Hartigan, who entered the music video "Deevil Kneevil" by CES Cru rapper Godemis; and Courtney Hopkins, with her documentary "Children of Immy Yethu."

The festival also will feature an entry from Levi Smock, a Missouri Western alum and a graduate from the American Film Institute, with his short film "For Abigail, Love Benjamin."

"You would not believe some of the artists here. They are sharp, talented movie-wise conceptually," Karr says.

Though the winners already have been chosen by the festival's panel, Karr says he has yet to see any of the films. He says he's excited to see all of the entries and is proud to support such a creative medium.

"I mean, if you can get your ideas across in 15 minutes and you can get people really excited -- that's a talent," he says.

As the film festival's bio suggests, it takes the films seriously, while keeping the festival light and fun.

"We are dedicated to producing a festival of the highest caliber or at least a caliber that is not embarrassing ... we hope," it reads.

The festival will be centered around the letter 'F' as Karr will award the winners that grand letter.

"I've got these silver Fs that we're giving to the winners and then the overall winner will get a gold F," he says.

While he has no talent in making films, Karr says he's proud to be able to showcase those that do.

"It's a lot of fun to watch them do it. These kids are good. Just my little part of the world watching these kids operate -- it's good," he says.

If it takes off, Karr says he has big plans.

"Every year, man, it will get bigger. Sometime, we'll have a big screen set up over at the gazebo and show it over there," he says. "Just planting the seed. All we're doing is planting the seed."

Andrew Gaug can be reached at andrew.gaug@newspressnow.com. Follow him on Twitter: @SJNPGaug.

Andrew Gaug can be reached at andrew.gaug@newspressnow.com. Follow him on Twitter: @SJNPGaug.

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(c)2013 the St. Joseph News-Press (St. Joseph, Mo.)

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