Sunday, July 17, 2005

AAIFF 2005 Sunday, July 17

Attended the festival today. Checked out three programs...MTV 72 Hour Film Shootout, The Oz Imagination (click on title above for details) , and the feature 'Blue Hour'. Before I say a thing or two about the programs and a truly renegade filmmaker, allow me to sing praises of all the ACV people at the festival. I felt like a star attending their programs, and they were attentive to needs of their guests, and filmmakers...like parents. Everyone is special.

The MTV sponsored 2nd Annual 72 Hour Film Shootout was a pleasant surprise. What a lot of these filmmakers have done in 72 hours is quite impressive. I've participated in a 9 hour film thing myself last year, so I'm aware of the overall quality of films that make it to a screening. I saw a few very well done movies, and one that blew me away. Francisco Aliwalas's 'The Kiss'. This film looked like a million dollars, but in reality was done for $30. Yes, that's right. More on Aliwalas later.

The 'Oz Imagination' program consisted of works by Australians of Asian descent, including the 2005 Oscar nominee,Birthday Boy. Overall, the topics were varied and the stories engaging. I was especially impressed with the quality of sound design on all these films.

I ended the night with Francisco Aliwalas's feature, Blue Hour. Aliwalas will undoubtedly become a big name filmmaker in the near future. There's no stopping this guy. On top of winning the 72 Hour Film Shootout, we learned that his feature was made for $1000...the cost of tape. Again, it was himself armed with a Panasonic DVX-100A (for all you tech buffs) with a Leica lens, and no additional mics. This is guerilla filmmaking at its best. It's fast paced, always moving, always changing locations, never dull. This film is an inspiration for all filmmakers who are strapped for cash, but are dying to tell a story. Aliwalas shot 40 hours of footage, edited on Final Cut Pro, scored it, and used the bells and whistles available on his editing software. The man knows how to use his resources.

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