The Second Annual Reel East Film Festival is now a thing of the past. For all of us working tirelessly to bring this ambitious undertaking to you, the festival was always a thing of the future. As with most things looked forward to, it went by so fast it was hard to process. So we will spend the next few days slowly processing what we experienced and to present some of those highlights here to you, but for now we present you with our official 2015 award winners. Remember, Reel East hands out six major prizes which can go to either a short or a feature depending on quality. We would like to thank all of the filmmakers who submitted this year. Without your interest and involvement we would have nothing to present. We are proud of all of you for your hard work and discipline. 

EDISON PRIZE-Children of the Night (Argentina) Dir: Ivan Noel
PORTER PRIZE-Revolving Child (USA) Dir: Francisco Cabrera
GOODWIN PRIZE- It's a Frame Up! (USA) Dir: Michael Schlesinger   
AUDACITY PRIZE-  Emily DiPrimio for CARVER                                                                                                                      
JURY PRIZE-Subterranea (USA) Dir: Matthew Miller
REGIONAL PRIZE- Disco Zal (USA) Dir: Sean McKnight                                                                                                                      
 
 
Friday, August 21
7:30 – Opening Film: Carver (Local Horror Feature) with director Emily DiPrimio in attendance for a Q and A

In the tradition of the past returning to haunt the present, Carver features a group of teens who regret a despicable act they committed years earlier. Their actions had left three dead, and now, on the anniversary of the crimes, an ominous carved pumpkin is found at each of their homes. Revenge may come in human or nonhuman form in this suspenseful tale of dread by a fresh new voice in filmmaking.
10:30 – Children of the Night (Horror, Argentina, Subtitled)

Alice, a reporter, is invited to investigate Limbo, where children live with the mysterious disease, Transylvirus, in this new dark thriller from Argentina written and directed by Iván Noel (originally titled Limbo). At first, not sure what to believe, Alice carefully traipses around Limbo with caution, speaking with Erda, the children's caretaker, and observing the children's unique habits. Siegfried, "a sinner with an angel's face" is much too interested in Alice, even knowing some disturbing truths about her pasts. Although Alice wants to leave Limbo, she can't, and she soon finds out the truth about what keeps the children grounded there and inspired their disturbing behavior.

Preceded by the in-Competition Student Short film, Spirit from the Meadow by Joant Ubeda 
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LATE NIGHT

PRIVY by Dave Finkelstein

A young woman is forced to live with an unsympathetic stepmother, and spends much of her time in an outhouse, escaping into books and her own vivid fantasy life. “Privy” uses oblique, poetic language, fanciful images and musical interludes to depict her daydreams and her evolving plans for escape. Based on an improvisation by actors David Finkelstein and Ian W. Hill.
Saturday, August 22nd

10:30AM-Short Film Selections
The Emotional Dimensions of the James River by Michelle Marquez (Student Short)
Revolving Child by Franciso Cabrera (Student Short)
Sliver by Melissa Rillera 
Flower by Lucas Ruderman (Student Short)
11am – Subterranea (Science Fiction)

In this powerful and suspenseful thriller, a man known simply as “The Captive” is released into society from a dark cell where he has spent his entire life. He eventually discovers what occurred during his mysterious past as he confronts people and clues to the puzzle that have been been part of his enigmatic existence. Inspired by an album by British progressive rock band IQ, this stylish and creepy film stars Bug Hall, William Katt, Nicholas Turturro and Lily Gladstone, and was stylishly directed by newcomer Mathew Miller and produced by South Jersey's Eric D. Wilkinson (Jerome Bixby’s The Man from Earth, Mischief Night, which he also co-wrote).

Subterreana was just awarded the Grand Prize at this year's Vortex Sci-Fi and Fantasy Awards.
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1:00pm-Short Film Selections
The Joke's on you by Adrian Colon
Brewing by Nick Corrao (Student Short)
2pm – Crime Double Feature: Black Cat Whiskey (Narrative) and A Tale of Two Thieves (True Crime Documentary)

Black Cat Whiskey – In a small rural town hit hard by the Depression, a gal bumps off her bootlegging husband when she begins to receive inopportune visits by his old business partners about a large shipment of moonshine in her possession. 

A Tale of Two Thieves – In 1963 in the countryside in England, fifteen men pulled off the real-life “The Great Train Robbery” netting today's equivalent of $85 million. Featuring Gordon Goody, one of the instigators of the crime, for the first time ever, revealing the identity of the missing mastermind behind Britain's most famous heist: the elusive and mysterious “Ulsterman.”

Program to be preceded by the documentary short film Bleeding Black and Yellow by Justin Clayton along with a Q and A by Matt Tremont. 
5:30 – A Fuller Life (Documentary)
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Legendary filmmaker Samuel Fuller was a bigger-than-life character, who started working for tabloid newspapers when just a teen, became a screenwriter in Hollywood, captured key battles of World War II with his camera and became the writer-director behind such classics as Pickup on South Street, The Steel Helmet, The Crimson Kimono, Shock Corridor and The Big Red One, based on his experiences during WWII. Fuller also courted controversy for his two-fisted style and tackling sensitive issues like racism, mental illness and patriotism. His daughter Samantha Fuller paints a loving portrait of her father with this documentary in which such admirers as William Friedkin, Jennifer Beals, Joe Dante, Wim Wenders, James Franco, Buck Henry and Mark Hamill read excerpts from his compelling autobiography “A Third Face” while photos and film clips help paint a complete portrait of a bigger-than-life auteur.
8pm – Feature Screening (with awards announced): 7 Chinese Brothers

Jason Schwartzman co-stars with his dog Arrow, Tunde Adebimpe (from the band “TV on the Radio”), Olympia Dukakis, and Stephen Root in this 2015 SXSW film making its local premiere. Schwartzman is Larry, an inebriated sad sack who rides a tide of booze onto the shores of an undiscriminating Quick-Lube. The only bright spot is probably his boss, Lupe (Eleanore Pienta). Will Larry keep it together long enough to win the girl, provide for his French bulldog, laze about with his friend Major (Adebimpe), and do his cantankerous grandmother (Olympia Dukakis) proud? Writer-director Bob Byington’s comedy sports irreverence at its best. 

Preceded by the short film, Disco Zal by Sean Mcknight
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10:30pm – King and Company Horror Short Films

This series will feature our second annual selection of short films based on the work of Stephen King. Known as "Dollar Babies" since King charges a mere dollar for the non-exclusive rights to adapt his work for educational and festival screenings, these rarely seen adaptations will be presented along with the following independent horror shorts in competition:  

Step One: The Esoteric by Dennis Paullin (Student Short)
Klaus by Daniel Scarpati (Student Short)
The Monster by Han Cheng (Student Short)
#10-32:Drowning by Yuyeol Chun (Student Short)

Sunday, August 23

10:30am – Orson Welles’ Chimes at Midnight (1965) 
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Orson Welles' brilliant but largely unseen film restructures Shakespeare by using both parts of Henry IV, with pieces of Richard II and Henry V and reinterpreting the famous character of Falstaff, one of Shakespeare's greatest comic characters (and a father figure to the future King of England). With Falstaff as the central figure, this tragic-comic story of friendship and inevitable betrayal displays wonderful performances and Welles’ cinematic virtuosity. The intense and dazzlingly edited battle sequence influenced countless films from Braveheart to Saving Private Ryan
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Sunday's program will open at 10:30am with IT’S A FRAME-UP! a short film from the makers of A Dark and Stormy Night,  The Lost Skeleton Returns Again (a sequel to the acclaimed The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra) and Trail of the Screaming Forehead.

“I can't think of any other intentional comedies of recent years that have given me so many, or so many varied, big laughs in the space of 30 minutes. It makes what has basically been a dead art form for the past 50 years feel vital once again.”—Tim Lucas, Video Watchdog

The movie that sets comedy back 80 years--to when it was, y'know, actually funny. Those merry madcaps of mayhem, Biffle & Shooster, star in an all-new made-in-1938 short (in B&W, of course) that finds them landing jobs in an art gallery--on the very day a priceless painting has been delivered. You can figure out what happens next. Renowned classic film distributor and independent producer Michael Schlesinger pours his love of Old Hollywood into an authentic-as-possible recreation of the glory days of comedy teams, replete with snappy dialogue, grievous puns, plenty of slapstick, familiar-seeming character actors and even impressions--plus a plot twist or two. Who says they can’t make ‘em like they used to? 

(2013, B&W, 1.33:1, 28 min.)
Scr/Prod/Dir: Michael Schlesinger
Cast: Nick Santa Maria, Will Ryan, Daniel Roebuck, Robert Picardo, Andrew Parks, Alison Martin, Sybil Darrow  
1:00PM-Short film Selections
Lily by Eric Henry (Student Short)
The Distinguished by William Martinko (Student Short)
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2pm – The Phantom of the Opera (1925) silent feature with live piano accompaniment by Steve Weber, marking the 90th anniversary of this silent Lon Chaney horror classic
 
 
The decision to screen A Fuller Life, the documentary about maverick filmmaker Samuel Fuller continues the Reel East Film Festival’s interest to create a platform to look back to film history. Last year’s inaugural edition of the festival saw screenings of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Lodger (1927) and Humphrey Bogart’s All Through The Night (1942), alongside April Wright’s new documentary Going Attractions (2013) that celebrated the story of the American drive-in movie. This year’s festival presents one daughter’s tribute to her filmmaker father.

Samantha Fuller has painstakingly merged the words of her father’s autobiography A Third Face with the moving image, marrying words and pictures that were along with music Fuller’s primary colours. Whether it was non-fiction news reporting during his newspaper days, recording the events of World War II from the front lines while serving in the infantry or even narrative filmmaking, Fuller was a natural born storyteller with a nose for a good story. As Samantha explains: “What really triggered his enlistment was that it was the biggest crime story of the century, and instead of becoming a war correspondent which was offered to him, he decided to go on the front lines as an infantry man to experience it the most.”

This tribute to her father has afforded the first time director an opportunity to more intimately understand the filmmaking process that was a significant part of his life. “It is the best schooling that I can get because even though I was raised on film sets and in the film industry, it is very different to being hands-on.”

In conversation with The Reel East Film Festival Fuller took us behind the scenes of the making of A Fuller Life to discuss creating a parallel journey between words and pictures, connecting the passages with the individual speakers, her expectations versus the realities and how she is far from done in bringing Samuel Fuller’s life to the screen.

Sam Fuller was a newspaperman who then went into films. So from the written word to the stills camera and then onto moving pictures, A Fuller Life which is adapted from his autobiography feels like a fitting tribute in which you have taken the autobiography on a similar journey. 

Right, and it just felt so natural. I never had to overthink it and once I had the idea that I was going to make this film then there was nothing that was going to stop me. But I really didn't know what would come of it. I haven't been to film school let alone make a documentary, and so I put my own spin on this film in the sense that it is not your conventional documentary format, which also seems so fitting to my father who didn't make conventional films. So just compiling interviews and telling his life story with someone else's narrative didn't feel right. But yeah, it just felt very natural. 

Honestly it felt like he was channeling this film, and so much so that despite the fact that many institutions have asked for his archives, there is a reason I left his office untouched for all these years. Somehow I couldn't part with it because it is just a great place for me to go and spend time with him still. It is sort of like a shrine. You walk into the shack and you feel his presence in there to the point that when I enter I still say: "Hey dad.” It is like living in his grave. You see all the research and all of the materials he's compiled over the years and so it's a great set for a film. I don’t think any art director could have put that together because there are so many authentic items and it just felt like he was: okay, let's do this honey. You want to party, come party in the shack. [Laughs]

It was a great celebration in the sense that it took us about a year to get the film made. The biggest challenge was coordinating everybody's schedule, but once we got together in one place it was magic. It had a natural flow to it, but it was difficult to get the cast and the crew to volunteer their time because everyone is very professional, employed and busy. So once we got together it took about a year to get all the shooting done and the average time would be one reader a month. So we basically spent the year of 2012 - the year of his centennial - celebrating that entire year. And honestly, we spent more time having drinks and wonderful meals that my mother cooked every time we had a shoot. We spent more time just having fun and commemorating my dad than actually shooting, and in the spirit of my father I did a lot of shots in one take as I really wanted to train myself in the Fuller film school. So even though we were shooting digitally I felt like it would be a challenge to try and get it right the first time and keep it as natural as possible. I really didn't want anyone to over prepare and so I sent the readers the text, they came in, sat in the chair and we just hit roll.

What was the process behind choosing the different readers and did you have a wish list?

It's amazing how I feel like everyone is very connected to the passage that they read, even though some of them were not my first choice nor my first thought. But it wound up being that those who did get the part just fell into place with it. So that was again another challenge because as I was saying about everyone's timing, there were certain people like Scorsese - just to mention one - that I would have liked to have had because he was a big admirer of my father and he wrote the introduction to his autobiography. But I just couldn't fit him into the schedule and I was determined to shoot this film during 2012. So if someone told me I'd have to wait six months to get it done, I just moved onto the next thought. So everyone was cast in a very subtle manner, but I can give you an example of somone who had not worked with my father directly and the reason why I chose to give him the part.

Since they never worked together and hadn't even met for that matter James Franco is the most disconnected out of everyone. Franco was a very young man the first time he came up to our house. He was eighteen and my father had already passed away. It was during the time he was doing the James Dean part for Showtime. We had a friend in town who was interested in casting him in a feature film. Franco came up and had the meeting with this French director in our home, as they were our houseguest at the time. Franco's eyes lit up when he realised he was in Fuller's house and he knew all about my dad. For such a young man - and a lot of times these days you'll meet these actors who don't have so much film culture - he his a true cinephile, and it was very impressive to see to what extent he knew about my father. So I chose him to be in this film and I wanted to kick-off the film with the youngest actor onboard. But I could also feel a lot of connections between Franco and my father in the sense that he's a renaissance man and so was my dad - fearless and ready to take on any job. Between writing and directing, and while okay my dad wasn't an actor, he was a cartoonist and James is also an artist; a prolific artist and just as open to all the forms of artistic channeling that he can take in. My father was like that too - ready to explore any artistic medium. So that's the reason James was in the film.
Jennifer Beals made a film with my father in the nineties for French television [The Madonna and the Dragon (1990)] where she played a young journalist and my father played her editor. And so when it came time to speak about his early crime reporting years she was very fitting to read the part, although initially it was going to be James Ellroy, because he wrote a whole series of books called Underworld USA (1995-2009) that were inspired by my dad's film. But we were playing ping-pong on scheduling and I was very happy in the end to have a woman to channel my father because he was a woman's filmmaker and he adored Jennifer Beals. They had a great time working together and we have remained friends for all these years. My dad actually worked with her ex-husband too [Alex Rockwell] and they made several films together. So we go way back with Jennifer and Alex who are good family friends and so she was very fitting to read that crime reporting segment. I was very pleased when she showed up in a men's suit... I didn't actually tell the actors what to wear, I just said: "Be yourselves." Those who really knew my dad well like Wim Wenders knew that my father loved a white jacket, and so he came dressed in one [laughs]. So did Bill Duke actually - he came in a cream colored suit. My father loved light jackets and his role model was Mark Twain who always wore a white jacket. So Wim Wenders and Bill Duke both knew that and surprised me by coming in a white jacket, which was really fun. So yeah, somehow when I chose the passages to read in the book and I thought of the reader who would be reading them, I tried to feel who would connect to each passage the most.

The focus was on channeling Sam by which you move towards that feeling, and in doing so the audience get that same sense. It strikes me that you were methodical in your approach.

Yeah, and somehow it was methodical, but it was not overthought. It happened almost magically somehow in which these passages related so well to the reader. It happened to be a couple of years ago that my mother, daughter and myself went to visit the Czech Republic. We went to the Karlovy Film Festival and Monte Hellman who is a dear family friend was one of the guests. We happened to be together at the festival at the same time and so we went out and retraced my father's footsteps when he was in Czechoslovakia during World War II - when he freed the camps. So Monte Hellman was present at the time that we revisited the camps and it also happened magically that I had him. He happens to be my neighbor here in Los Angeles and so he couldn't be more fitting to read that passage about the camps having recently experienced the visit there. Not that he looks like a camp survivor himself, but we were always joking [laughs] and he was: “I know what you really wanted me for that part for.” No, it was because he could relate to that having been there. Everyone just fell into place and it was so gratifying to just get this done despite not even knowing that I'd open it at a film festival. I honestly thought I had to make it no matter where it was going to wind up. Once again it was my film school and so I really didn't know, and it was a real challenge to foresee what was going to happen with it. But it didn't matter to me where it was going to land and it was to my great surprise that the Venice Film Festival took it into their Classics Selection in 2013. This was great because that really boosted the film and kicked it off to a worldwide festival tour that has played everywhere from the Midnight Film Festival in Lapland, South Korea in Jeonju to São Paulo in Brazil. I am thrilled for my dad who I made this film for that it is getting such great exposure. He was an exceptional man and I am not saying that just because I am his daughter. Just seeing him from a more objective perspective he's one of a kind and he was so generous with his stories and willing to mentor anyone he liked. He mentored many young filmmakers and writers, and I think he his just such an inspiration and motivation. You ‘d just want to conquer the world after spending time with him and that's how I grew up every day - fearless and always ready to take on a challenge. And this is the message that I wanted to come through in the film.

Speaking with you I realise how the people closest to the artists or the filmmakers themselves see something so radically different to what we see, and it makes one appreciate the work all the more for its individuality.

I've got to say that I'm passionate and I feel so blessed to have that because it is such a privilege. Not so many people have parents who leave so much behind. A lot of people lose their parents and are lucky to have some photographs and memories, but for me the fact that I have all of his films, the great interviews with him and his journals is such a blessing. I feel so privileged in that sense to be the daughter of someone who would record everything. 

Looking back on the experience how did the reality compare to your original expectations? 

Oh, it was so much better. Once again I didn't know what I was getting into. I hadn't been to film school, but luckily when I did this I was working with professionals. To be able to direct Billy Friedkin, Wim Wenders, Tim Roth… Everybody put me at such ease and gave me so many tips. Seamus McGarvey who was our main DP is just a master of lighting, and when we discussed about bringing the room to life and trying to shoot as many angles as possible he did such a great job. So I learned everything and in fact right now I am doing my own distribution - I am signing with Criterion and I am doing all my own distribution deals. I am learning from A-Z; from the initial thought to getting it out there. It is the best schooling that I can get because even though I was raised on film sets and in the film industry, it is very different to being hands-on. Every time I would be on my dad’s set as a kid I would really be hanging out at the craft service, with hair and makeup and wardrobe. I'd look at storyboards and look at a distance as my dad would shoot, but I really wanted to stay out of his way on the set. So he never trained me in that sense and even though I had witnessed it growing up, it is a very different experience to actually doing it. I honestly really have a knack for it and I really enjoy the whole process… I love the show. But the business is way more difficult. It takes a lot more psychology than I thought and right now I am in the middle of dealing with the numbers game when it comes to signing distribution contracts, and that's more stressful than anything else. 

And looking ahead to the future, what does it hold for you?

What happened also is I had already had the idea of making the film when I started to really dig in deep to my father's archives, to find material I could use for the film. This was when I came upon this box under the desk with over an hundred reels of 16mm film. I wound through them and to my big surprise it was film of him during World War II - just a few seconds here and there of him on film while he was in the infantry. And it was almost like my dad had said: “If you are going to make a film about me then you had better include this footage.” [Laughs] Now is the time to look through this box. 

You've seen the shack through the film, but there is draw after draw and stacks and rows of books. There is so much to go through and I am alone in this - I don't have any siblings and it pretty much breaks my mother's heart to go in there. So I am alone in there and it is a huge legacy and it is very time consuming. This is why I have only been doing little dabs at a time when I want to spend time with my dad. I have another job - I am a glass artist and rent a home business. So I didn't have a full time schedule to be able to go into the shack. However, when we started making the film I really put more time aside to dig through the material and that's when I came upon these films. I had them transferred and it's about two and a half hours of him on location scouts and of footage of him during World War II. Now I was only able to include a couple of minutes of this in the film and so I have all these remains of awesome archival footage that he shot with his camera. So I have now started a second documentary that goes a little more in depth into his war experience. We are using the rest of his war footage and tearing it up with readings of his war correspondence that he wrote back to his mother and brother from the front lines. It is called Organized Insanity and I don't know where that is going to go. It could also become a special feature for the DVD release or it'll probably have a little festival life of its own. We'll see what happens with that, but I'm in the midst of editing over three hundred letters and cartoons, wonderful illustrations and the funniest... He was such a great satirical cartoonist and I have such funny sketches of Hitler as a soldier. He lived through every major battle: North Africa, Sicily and D-Day all the way through to the camps and he documented everything in writing through his journals, war letters and cartoons. So I am going to revive all of this material as well.
-Paul Risker
 
 
Friday, August 21
7:30 – Opening Film: Carver (Local Horror Feature) with director Emily DiPrimio in attendance for a Q and A
In the tradition of the past returning to haunt the present, Carver features a group of teens who regret a despicable act they committed years earlier. Their actions had left three dead, and now, on the anniversary of the crimes, an ominous carved pumpkin is found at each of their homes. Revenge may come in human or nonhuman form in this suspenseful tale of dread by a fresh new voice in filmmaking.

10:30 – Children of the Night (Horror, Argentina, Subtitled)
Alice, a reporter, is invited to investigate Limbo, where children live with the mysterious disease, Transylvirus, in this new dark thriller from Argentina written and directed by Iván Noel (originally titled Limbo). At first, not sure what to believe, Alice carefully traipses around Limbo with caution, speaking with Erda, the children's caretaker, and observing the children's unique habits. Siegfried, "a sinner with an angel's face" is much too interested in Alice, even knowing some disturbing truths about her pasts. Although Alice wants to leave Limbo, she can't, and she soon finds out the truth about what keeps the children grounded there and inspired their disturbing behavior.
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Saturday, August 22

11am – Subterranea (Science Fiction)
In this powerful and suspenseful thriller, a man known simply as “The Captive” is released into society from a dark cell where he has spent his entire life. He eventually discovers what occurred during his mysterious past as he confronts people and clues to the puzzle that have been been part of his enigmatic existence. Inspired by an album by British progressive rock band IQ, this stylish and creepy film stars Bug Hall, William Katt, Nicholas Turturro and Lily Gladstone, and was stylishly directed by newcomer Mathew Miller and produced by South Jersey's Eric D. Wilkinson (Jerome Bixby’s The Man from EarthMischief Night, which he also co-wrote).

Subterreana was just awarded the Grand Prize at this year's Vortex Sci-Fi and Fantasy Awards. 

2pm – Crime Double Feature: Black Cat Whiskey (Narrative) and A Tale of Two Thieves (True Crime Documentary)


Black Cat Whiskey – In a small rural town hit hard by the Depression, a gal bumps off her bootlegging husband when she begins to receive inopportune visits by his old business partners about a large shipment of moonshine in her possession. 
A Tale of Two Thieves – In 1963 in the countryside in England, fifteen men pulled off the real-life “The Great Train Robbery” netting today's equivalent of $85 million. Featuring Gordon Goody, one of the instigators of the crime, for the first time ever, revealing the identity of the missing mastermind behind Britain's most famous heist: the elusive and mysterious “Ulsterman.”
5:30 – A Fuller Life (Documentary)
Legendary filmmaker Samuel Fuller was a bigger-than-life character, who started working for tabloid newspapers when just a teen, became a screenwriter in Hollywood, captured key battles of World War II with his camera and became the writer-director behind such classics as Pickup on South Street, The Steel Helmet, The Crimson Kimono, Shock Corridor and The Big Red One, based on his experiences during WWII. Fuller also courted controversy for his two-fisted style and tackling sensitive issues like racism, mental illness and patriotism. His daughter Samantha Fuller paints a loving portrait of her father with this documentary in which such admirers as William Friedkin, Jennifer Beals, Joe Dante, Wim Wenders, James Franco, Buck Henry and Mark Hamill read excerpts from his compelling autobiography “A Third Face” while photos and film clips help paint a complete portrait of a bigger-than-life auteur.
8pm – Feature Screening (with awards announced): 7 Chinese Brothers

Jason Schwartzman co-stars with his dog Arrow, Tunde Adebimpe (from the band “TV on the Radio”), Olympia Dukakis, and Stephen Root in this 2015 SXSW film making its local premiere. Schwartzman is Larry, an inebriated sad sack who rides a tide of booze onto the shores of an undiscriminating Quick-Lube. The only bright spot is probably his boss, Lupe (Eleanore Pienta). Will Larry keep it together long enough to win the girl, provide for his French bulldog, laze about with his friend Major (Adebimpe), and do his cantankerous grandmother (Olympia Dukakis) proud? Writer-director Bob Byington’s comedy sports irreverence at its best. 
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10:30pm – King and Company Horror Short Films
This series will feature our second annual selection of short films based on the work of Stephen King. Known as "Dollar Babies" since King charges a mere dollar for the non-exclusive rights to adapt his work for educational and festival screenings, these rarely seen adaptations will be presented along with other independent horror shorts both in and out of competition.  
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Sunday-August 23rd
10:30am – Orson Welles’ Chimes at Midnight (1965)

Orson Welles' brilliant but largely unseen film restructures Shakespeare by using both parts of Henry IV, with pieces of Richard II and Henry V and reinterpreting the famous character of Falstaff, one of Shakespeare's greatest comic characters (and a father figure to the future King of England). With Falstaff as the central figure, this tragic-comic story of friendship and inevitable betrayal displays wonderful performances and Welles’ cinematic virtuosity. The intense and dazzlingly edited battle sequence influenced countless films from Braveheart to Saving Private Ryan.   
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Sunday's program will open at 10:30am with IT’S A FRAME-UP! a short film from the makers of A Dark and Stormy Night,  The Lost Skeleton Returns Again (a sequel to the acclaimed The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra) and Trail of the Screaming Forehead.

“I can't think of any other intentional comedies of recent years that have given me so many, or so many varied, big laughs in the space of 30 minutes. It makes what has basically been a dead art form for the past 50 years feel vital once again.”—Tim Lucas, Video Watchdog

The movie that sets comedy back 80 years--to when it was, y'know, actually funny. Those merry madcaps of mayhem, Biffle & Shooster, star in an all-new made-in-1938 short (in B&W, of course) that finds them landing jobs in an art gallery--on the very day a priceless painting has been delivered. You can figure out what happens next. Renowned classic film distributor and independent producer Michael Schlesinger pours his love of Old Hollywood into an authentic-as-possible recreation of the glory days of comedy teams, replete with snappy dialogue, grievous puns, plenty of slapstick, familiar-seeming character actors and even impressions--plus a plot twist or two. Who says they can’t make ‘em like they used to? 


(2013, B&W, 1.33:1, 28 min.)
Scr/Prod/Dir: Michael Schlesinger
Cast: Nick Santa Maria, Will Ryan, Daniel Roebuck, Robert Picardo, Andrew Parks, Alison Martin, Sybil Darrow
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2pm – The Phantom of the Opera (1925) silent feature with live piano accompaniment by Steve Weber, marking the 90th anniversary of this silent Lon Chaney horror classic

Short Films in Competition 
Disco Zal by Sean McKnight 
The Joke’s on You by Adrian Colon 
Bleeding Black and Yellow by Justin Clayton
Privy by David Finkelstein 
Revolving Child by Franciso Cabrera 
Sliver by Melissa Rillera 
#10-32:Drowning by Yuyeol Chun 
Encounters with Hope in Cambodia by Chae Yoon Jang and Chae Youn Jang 
Klaus by Daniel Scarpati 
Lily by Eric Henry
Flower by Lucas Ruderman 
Step One: The Esoteric by Dennis Paullin 
Spirit from the Meadow by Joant Ubeda 
The Distinguished by William Martinko 
The Emotional Dimensions of the James River by Michelle Marquez 

Short Films will be separated into groups to be played before selected feature films throughout the festival. The times will be listed soon...

 
 
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CARVER, Local Horror Film Phenomenon, to Open Second Annual REEL EAST FILM FESTIVAL, August 21-23, 2015

Oaklyn, NJ –  Carver, the horror film phenomenon directed by teen wunderkind Emily DiPrimio, will open the Second Annual Reel East Film Festival (REFF) for a 7:30 screening on August 21, 2015 at the historic Ritz Theatre in Oaklyn, NJ. South Jersey native DiPrimio will introduce the film, with a Q and A to follow. The full festival will run from August 21-23, with more featured guests to be announced.

In the tradition of the past returning to haunt the present, Carver features a group of teens who regret a despicable act they committed years earlier. Their actions had left three dead, and now, on the anniversary of the crimes, an ominous carved pumpkin is found at each of their homes. Revenge may come in human or nonhuman form in this suspenseful tale of dread by a fresh new voice in filmmaking. 

Carver will be one of many features filling out the festival. Submissions are still open: along with our features, we are looking for unique short films to program, 40 minutes and under, in the following categories: Narrative, Documentary, Experimental, Student and Animated. We are also accepting feature films of 60 minutes or longer in two categories: Independent Feature Film and Regional Independent Film. International submissions are also welcomed. The short films, the student short films, and the feature films will be in competition for several awards, including an Audience Award, to be presented on the day of the festival.

To submit your film, visit www.filmfreeway.org/festival/ReelEastFilmFestival

DEADLINES:


All Short Films excluding Student Shorts:

Regular Deadline: July 17, 2015

Better-Late-Than-Never Deadline: July 31, 2015

Student Short Film:

Regular Deadline: July 17, 2015

Better-Late-Than-Never Deadline: July 31, 2015

Independent Feature Film:

Regular Deadline: July 17, 2015

Better-Late-Than-Never Deadline: July 31, 2015

Regional Independent Feature Film:

Regular Deadline: July 17, 2015

Better-Late-Than-Never Deadline: July 31, 2015

About the REFF:

In its second year, the Reel East Film Festival is committed to providing a forum for both established and up and coming filmmakers to showcase their work. Presented by the Camden County Board of Freeholders and Rutgers-Camden Film Studies, REFF screens independent films from around the world, while also focusing on the work of local filmmakers in the Camden County and Southern New Jersey area. The Reel East Film Festival will be held August 21-23, 2015, at the Ritz Theatre in Oaklyn, NJ.

New Jersey’s rich cinematic history continues to provide an inspiration for great films. Located just miles from Philadelphia, the REFF will feature screenings of new and classic films, discussions and related events. Over the course of three days/nights in August, this weekend festival will give viewers the opportunity to meet regional and visiting filmmakers. The REFF serves area residents, visitors, students, local businesses and the regional film community. Committed to a global perspective and the power of storytelling, the festival will feature independent films of all levels and genres. We’re proud to offer an insider’s view of a democratic industry.

Contact: reeleastfilm@gmail.com
Short Film Submissions at Film Freeway (Fee: $25, Students: $15)
Feature Film Submissions at Film Freeway (Fee: Independent Feature: $50, Regional Independent Feature: $45)
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TO ORDER TICKETS FOR CARVER and other REEL EAST FESTIVAL SCREENINGS:
 
 
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I don't know if I really need to introduce you to this movie called THE ROOM. If you haven't heard about it, you probably wouldn't be interested in it and if you have heard about it, there's little I can add to what has already been said. Almost obscuring the film itself is the gigantic personality of its writer/director/star Tommy Wiseau. 

Wiseau is in Philadelphia this week to present the 12th Anniversary screening of THE ROOM over two nights-this Friday night July10th and Saturday night July 11th at midnight at the Landmark Ritz at the Bourse. For more information or to order tickets go to THE ROOM at the Ritz.

Tommy Wiseau was kind enough to let me toss him some questions. I must admit that I had some preconceptions about how the interview might go after years of watching other interviews with him but he was surprisingly honest, direct, and quite likable. 

Hello Tommy Wiseau! How are things going? Do you like Philadelphia?


Oh yes, I’ve been here several times before. Lots of beautiful architecture, I think you could compare some of the areas to San Franscisco..

I’d like to start off by talking about some of your newer projects. The Neighbors for example? Can you tell me what that’s all about?


It’s a situation comedy/soap opera of sorts about a group of characters who live in the same apartment building. I play Charlie who is actually the building manager and there are relationships between the various characters. It’s basically relationships and interaction between different people. 

Is it still streaming on Hulu?


Yes. Absolutely. We have a contract with Hulu and you can go to www.theneighborssitcom.com to see the trailer. There’s also a “Neighbors” channel on youtube where you can see various clips. We will also be screening it after THE ROOM this Friday and Saturday night.The program has been submitted to the TV Emmy Awards-so cross your fingers everyone! 

Now THE ROOM has been talked about and analyzed about as much as CITIZEN KANE at this point . But just on a basic gut level I have to tell you that when I first saw it, I was so stunned and overwhelmed by it. I don’t think I laughed so hard since I saw MIDNIGHT 2 by John Russo. So on a basic level, I think that there has to be something said for creating a film that has inspired such enthusiasm and given such pleasure to so many people. Was entertaining the audience first and foremost on your mind when you made the film?


Yes, Brian, that was what I had hoped for the film. We actually just had the 12th anniversary of THE ROOM so I guess I did something right because people still enjoy it.  You know it’s a different cookie cutter from Hollywood. Always tell your friends that if they are seeing THE ROOM for the first time, it’s a different cookie cutter from Hollywood so you may not like it but that’s OK with Tommy. 

I’ve heard that THE ROOM started as a play, then became a novel before finally becoming a film. After all that time with the story and characters, when the film was finished, did you expect the reaction you received?


No. Not at all. As a filmmaker my vision was slightly different. The way it came out, I think it was sort of destiny I would say. But when I made the movie, I always thought about how to make it different. People are always complaining how the movies from Hollywood are the same-over and over. Lets just try to do something different. You probably heard the stories too-which are true-of how I had to replace the cast and crew several times in order to make the film I wanted to make. I actually had 4 Directors of Photography. Years later people would come out of nowhere asking for credit on THE ROOM and I would say, “Who are you?” because they quit or whatever. But it was really intended to be something for me to show my acting and directing and writing . Now with something like THE NEIGHBORS I think you can see some flavor ofTHE ROOM in it. That’s my style. 

Was it your writing, directing or acting that you really wanted to feature with the film?

Well, I had studied acting for years with Jean Shelton. 85 years old and still teaching now. So yes, I wanted the acting but it was really the script, the story. It’s strange but for years people were trying to claim that there was no script, that it was all just made up on the set, so I said enough is enough and we just put the script up on the website for everyone to see. So you can go to www.tommywiseau.com and you can read it. 

So those people who are bashing THE ROOM or putting my personality down, they are losers basically. Because I am open about everything. I am right here. I may have an accent but so what! 

Since the time you first made THE ROOM and then saw the reaction to it-people saw it as a midnight movie or a cult film-they clearly reacted to the the perceived camp aspects of it-was this something you intended to do? 

That’s a very good question, Brian. I have to say that lots of people can get in your way. I have a certain vision which I want to present to the public. I want to present something the way I want to present it not the way other people want to influence me. I told you earlier that I had to lay off some people. I had to say, “Hey gentlemen we have nothing to talk about-it’s going to be done my way.”  

So I see you have several new projects-

Yes! I am working on my new film FORECLOSURE which will hopefully be ready by October and will be submitted to the Academy Awards. We actually submitted THE ROOM to the Academy as well but we never heard anything from it. But you have to try. So I have FORECLOSURE , THE NEIGHBORS as well as a music video. I’m editing the music video right now in fact. Very busy these days. 

Now when you are working on your new projects, do you find it hard to approach them as purely as you did with THE ROOM?  In other words have you been affected by the way the world has reacted to your work?

No, because basically I don’t think that way. I don’t think about reaction so much as original creation. So I always think that if you present something original, people can appreciate it. But if you turn around and say what is the commercial value of your product I don’t think that is the right way to go about it. So I don’t think, “let me check this or that”, I think, “What is my approach based on the script?” How do I see this scene myself outside of the way others do it. I think that if you present something original you have a much better chance of finding an audience. 

Ok, so given your approach to filmmaking, what do you make of some of the criticisms of THE ROOM which seem to insinuate that you made the film as a joke? That you were intentionally pulling our legs?

I would say that I believe in my original material. This is why I’ve posted the script up on my website. I want people to understand that it was always my intention to make the film that I made. It comes out of who I am, what I wanted to present to the world. I always say look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself what can you offer the world. I offer the world happiness. At the same time I want the public to learn about themselves.  That’s what you see in THE ROOM.Two’s better but three’s a crowd you know. 

-Brian Holcomb, Reel East Film Society
 
 
John A. Berton teaches at Drexel University. But before he started clocking time at the Westphal College of Media Art and Design as an assistant professor of animation and visual effects, he hung out with dinosaurs and cyborgs.

Berton worked on the the visual effects teams for both Jurassic Park and Terminator 2: Judgment Day (the face-morphing effect? That's all Berton). Both movies receive sequels this summer - Jurassic World (Berton saw it the night before he was interviewed last week) and Terminator: Genisys, in theaters Wednesday. (In addition, he's worked on everything from The Mummy to Charlotte's Web to a 1997 rerelease of Star Wars.)

Berton talked to The Inquirer about why these sequels are coming out now, and about being "spellbound in the darkness."

Read Molly Eichel's interview with Berton at Philly.com 
 
 
The Reel East Film Festival is seeking exciting, uncompromising and unique visions from around the world to present at our Second Annual event at the historic Ritz Theatre in Oaklyn, NJ on August 21-23, 2015. We are looking for short films in the following categories: Narrative, Documentary, Experimental, Student and Animated. All short films must be less than 40 minutes to qualify. This year, we are also accepting feature films of 60 minutes or longer in two categories: Independent Feature Film and Regional Independent Feature Film. Featured guests will soon be announced.

To submit your film, visit FILMFREEWAY.COM

DEADLINES:

All Short Films excluding Student Shorts:

Early Deadline: May 8, 2015

Regular Deadline: July 17, 2015

Better-Late-Than-Never Deadline: July 31, 2015

Student Short Film:

Early Deadline: May 8, 2015

Regular Deadline: July 17, 2015

BetterLateThanNever Deadline: July 31, 2015

Independent Feature Film:

Early Deadline: May 8, 2015

Regular Deadline: July 17, 2015

BetterLateThanNever Deadline: July 31, 2015

Regional Independent Feature Film:

Early Deadline: May 8, 2015

Regular Deadline: July 17, 2015

BetterLateThanNever Deadline: July 31, 2015

About the Festival:

In its second year, the Real East Film Festival (directed by Interview Editor Matthew Sorrento, among others) is committed to providing a forum for both established and up and coming filmmakers to showcase their work.  Last year, famed director, John Sayles (Return of the Secaucus 7, The Brother From Another Planet, Passion Fish and Matewan) screened his film, Go For Sisters, which was followed by a post-screening Q&A. The festival also featured many documentaries that pertained to film and comic book history, such as Inda Reid’s Brotherhood of the Popcorn, April Wright’s Going Attractions and Robert A. Emmons Jr’s Diagram for Delinquents. Sponsored by Camden County Board of Chosen Freeholders, Rutgers-Camden Digital, and Rutgers-Camden Department English-Film Studies, the festival screens independent films from around the world while also focusing on the work of local filmmakers in the Camden County and Southern New Jersey area. The Reel East Film Festival will be held August 21st to August, 23rd, at the Ritz Theatre in Oaklyn, NJ.

Festival Prizes:

The Reel East Film Festival’s prizes reflect New Jersey’s deep cinematic roots and history. Our top three prizes are named for inventors and filmmakers whose work played an integral role in the creation of cinema


Edison Prize – The festival’s top prize. The invention of cinema was a global effort. On American shores, particularly in the Garden State, no name is more synonymous with film’s birth than Thomas Alva Edison. With the critical assistance of early film pioneers and technicians like William Dickson, Edison presented the world with the kinetoscope and the Black Maria Studio. And soon the world was captured by the magic of motion pictures.


Porter Prize – An employee of Edison’s, Edwin S. Porter directed over 250 films throughout his career as a writer, director, cinematographer, and producer. Porter was an innovative and inventive filmmaker. His most well known film, The Great Train Robbery(1903), is a critical American film that pioneered new techniques in production and editing that we still see in today’s movies.


Goodwin Prize – Hannibal Goodwin is a largely forgotten but crucial name in American film history. In a modest house in Newark, NJ, Reverend Goodwin invented transparent flexible celluloid film for roller cameras. Goodwin’s patent application was submitted in 1887, two years before George Eastman’s celluloid film patent, but remained
unissued as it underwent several amendments. Goodwin died in 1900, but in 1913 he was posthumously vindicated when it was ruled that Goodwin’s patent had been infringed upon by Eastman.

Achievement in Student Filmmaking Prizes: 


Audacity Prize – Awarded to the student film that demonstrates a unique vision and a willingness to take risks in order to further film as an art form


Jury Prize – Awarded to the student film that demonstrates extraordinary achievement in film.

For more information, please visit our website: www.reeleastfilm.org.
 
 
The “Czar of Noir” Eddie Muller needs no introduction. Over the past two decades, he has become what we could describe as a public intellectual for golden age cinema. If not the scholar of film noir that Foster Hirsch or James Naremore may be, Muller has offered his expertise through a series of readable and addictive noir books (his 1998 Dark City opens with a dialog that parodies 1950’s The Asphalt Jungle, in which Muller states that he killed the professor) and a seemingly nonstop campaign to program the films. Recently, he is the programmer of the Summer of Darkness noir series on Turner Classic Movies, which continues today, through July, as a Friday series. Muller took out some time to discuss the series, his work in film promotion, and his other projects. 

To read the rest of the interview click HERE
 
 
This image basically sums up the entire film. 2 hours of mad motion presenting the collision of a circus, a rock opera and a pirate movie. Just add the sound of smoking hot engines roaring inside your brain and you are almost there. Actually the sound design of MAD MAX FURY ROAD almost trumps the visual design. Besides the obvious "VROOM-VROOOM" of all the cars we get the quiet "tick-tick-tick" sound I immediately recognize as my own humble Mazda engine as it settles once I shut it down. It's a subtle detail that you would normally find in a smaller scale Roman Polanski movie but it's here as part of the huge mad mural painted across your Multiplex screens by George Miller. 

Before we get to the hype about what a masterpiece this movie is-we need to take a rare moment of silence to give the proper respect to Dr. Miller. Yes, Australian auteur George Miller is also an MD and you can see this side of himself in his surprisingly good Disease of the week styled film, LORENZO'S OIL. But we all know Miller best of all for basically inventing a genre out of thin air. Whatever you think of MAD MAX and its follow up films, it's clear that Miller's conception of an anarchic post apocalypse based on fuel shortages and roving tribal gangs has had a huge influence on contemporary action cinema. Like George Romero with the zombie film before him, Miller is the direct foundation of an entire subgenre. For many born years after the release of MAD MAX in 1979, this concept probably feels like something that has always existed, burned into their collective cultural memories along with the idea that a shark in the ocean comes with its own two note musical theme. 

Part of what makes Miller's trilogy (Now a quadrology?) unique is that each film in the series basically stands on its own. The first movie is an exploitation film. A bastard stepchild of the biker flick and the western-It's a simple revenge movie packed with as much action and destruction as possible. The second is a mythic western that presents Max as a MAN WITH NO NAME type of reluctant hero-almost supernatural in his ability to give and take violence. If MAD MAX presented its hero as a rogue cop in a relatively realistic manner then THE ROAD WARRIOR is MAX printed as legend. It even frames the story as being told by the Feral Kid (Emil Minty) years later as an older man. The third film has Tina Turner in it and quite possibly the basis for the UFC. It feels less like George Miller than Ken Russell. Now this one has Bane playing Max so it's not really Max anymore. Max was barely a one line description in a screenplay. Which is why he was never really the kind of character who stood separate from the incredibly charismatic actor who played him, MAD MEL. Gibson could make the most of his six or seven lines of dialogue by widening those eyes, or throwing someone a scowl. He looked pretty insane at times but was underplaying incredibly when compared to the circus swirling around him. 

Obviously casting Mel Gibson in this movie wasn't going to happen. Beyond the age problem (which could've worked to the film's advantage actually) there is the little problem that people have judged and sentenced Gibson to exile from movie stardom due to some unfortunate personal issues. So now we have Tom Hardy-a fine actor but in this particular case a kind of black hole for charisma. He spends the first third of the film with some metal mask on (which makes you wonder what it is about Hardy that makes filmmakers want to place metal devices over his head) and then just kind of sleepwalks through the role with line readings at the level of a whisper. It doesn't really matter anyway since Max is really the supporting character here. Charlize Theron's Furiosa is the lead character without a doubt and she is excellent in the role. The problem is with the role itself which is really beyond underwritten, it's abstract. Basically everything in this film is abstract from a narrative cinema 2015 point of view. It would fit perfectly into a new release of 1924 perhaps. Right from the opening scene you quickly realize that Miller isn't going to stop to explain anything. It's up to you to work out the various good guys and bad guys and to ponder if you wish the thematic idea of a lost matriarchy rising up against a dying patriarchy. It does and does not really matter because what we really have is a visual spectacle on the level of classic Fritz Lang. You are plunged into an EXTREME world. Full of sound and fury. Entering FURY ROAD is like walking into the eye of a hurricane while trying to juggle babies and chainsaws. None of us mere mortals would survive in this world past the opening credits.  

Miller hasn't lost any of his skills to storyboard and execute dazzling action sequences--the tanker assault in THE ROAD WARRIOR being one of the most breathtaking pieces of cinema ever made-but somehow this time it feels less. The addition of CGI continues to be a buzzkill for action films. Who cares how awesome a stunt appears to be or a how huge an explosion is when it's just some guy in an air conditioned office creating it on a computer? One of the benefits of limitations is that it inspires creativity. Filmmakers today have to find the restraint in themselves not to use all of the power of the computer. These images are probably what Miller always had in mind but couldn't quite achieve in the previous films. They are certainly dazzling. But dazzling to the mind rather than the gut. The gut can separate the cool stunt from the CG fireball added to make it supercool. That said, you are not going to find a better action film this summer coming from anywhere. This is the action film as auteur film. It's mad and delirious and high on its own supply and Miller knows just how to frame and cut these scenes so you can just follow it. I just wished I got to know Furiosa a little better. Or any of the characters or if the film had three big action set pieces instead of three hundred. I know it's an odd request to ask for LESS in this time of MORE. I am sure most people will love the overkill. But honestly it just wore me down. By the end I wanted it to be over and I didn't care who lived or died to make that happen.

-Brian Holcomb
 

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    The Reel East Film Society is honored to bring independent and upcoming feature films and shorts to Camden County and greater South Jersey

    Reel East Film Festival proudly accepts entries via FilmFreeway.com, the world's best online submissions platform. FilmFreeway offers free HD online screeners, Vimeo and YouTube integration, and more. Click to submit with FilmFreeway.

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