News Column

Grand Cinema hosts "25 New Faces Film Festival"

August 16, 2013


Aug. 16--There are no more directors in independent film. Or writers, or producers, or actors. So says Filmmaker Magazine.

In acknowledging a growing trend, the magazine is no longer applying specific labels in its shout-out about its annual "25 New Faces" of indie filmmaking. The confluence of roles, technology and skill sets has created a new breed of filmmaker who literally can do it all, the magazine says. It's a world that's as likely to be inhabited by writer-directors as it is by actor-producers.

Call them the Hyphenated Generation.

For the next week, The Grand Cinema will celebrate those multi-talented filmmakers at its annual "25 New Faces Film Festival." The festival offers audiences the chance to see the freshest in filmmaking -- both the films and the people who make them. At least 20 of those 25 filmmakers will attend the festival to present their work -- a record high participation for the 4-year-old festival.

"It's growing every year because the filmmakers talk (among themselves)," said Grand director Philip Cowan. The festival has built itself a solid reputation in the film world, he said. As a result, "every screening from Friday to Tuesday will have a filmmaker present."

Some film highlights include:

"Purgatorio" by Rodrigo Reyes. (See accompanying interview)

Short films by Lauren Wolkstein. Wolkstein's films have been getting a lot of play and are being developed into possible feature films. "Cigarette Candy" tells the story of a teenaged Marine forced to play the "war hero" role at his homecoming party until he meets a kindred spirit. It won the jury award at South by Southwest Film Festival (SXSW) in Austin, Texas. "The Social Butterfly" premiered at Sundance and follows an American woman who finds herself out of place at a teenage party in France. "The Strange Ones" entangles two stranded travelers, a girl and a dangerous secret at a roadside motel. It also played at Sundance.

Showtimes are 2:45 p.m. Sunday and 6:15 p.m. Tuesday. Program includes five other short films by various filmmakers. Wolkstein will be at both screenings.

"William and the Windmill" by Michael Tyburski and Ben Nabors. A young man, William Kamkwamba, builds a power-generating windmill from scrap parts in his home country of Malawi, delivering his family from poverty. The film won Best Documentary Feature at SXSW. Also showing is the pair's "Palimpsest" short film about a "house tuner," an apartment feng shui specialist. It will show with Wolkstein's shorts.

Showtimes are 3:40 p.m. Saturday and 1:45 p.m. Wednesday. The filmmakers will be at Saturday's screening.

Two secret screenings. These are films that can't be named because they have yet to be released theatrically, Cowan said. The first is by writer-director Josephine Decker and takes place at a music camp where a young woman uncovers a hidden part of her sexuality. It shows at 8:15 p.m. Saturday. The other, by cinematographer Andrew Droz Palermo, concerns itself with a forbidden relationship between a student and a teacher. It shows at 5 p.m. Sunday.

Craig Sailor: 253-597-8541


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