Indie Film Circuit coming to Jersey City

Tonight, Steph and Dylan have put together an Indie Film Circuit, local to Jersey City. The first screening takes place at Paul Vincent Studios. Proceeds go to the artists, and its something I’d love to see happening here on a regular basis. Its a nice step into the land of DIY production that I think could really grow in JC.

Recent things I have loved on screen:
Phoebe in Wonderland
The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers
The Men Who Stare at Goats
The Pleasure of Being Robbed
Bruce Brown’s The Endless Summer
Control, which I’ve seen about three times now


A recent post from the JC Independent states:

“In the 1980s, smaller bands were able to develop nationwide networks of friends that allowed them to bring their music across the country affordably, albeit meagerly. Whereas starting a band and putting on house shows has always been available in this fashion due to this affordability, film has always been seen as an extremely expensive art form,” Gokhman and Schenker say in a jointly written email. “However, with the advent of so much digital technology today, it has made both exhibition and filmmaking much cheaper.”

Sensing the start of a “total shift in how films get made, exhibited and distributed on a grassroots level,” with social networking and crowd-funding playing key roles, they felt there was a way to embrace that feeling with the series.

“With Fete Films, we wish to nurture a community that is less about the bottom line and more about the people involved whether they be artists or audiences,” they says. “We want to demystify the illusion of filmmaking as something out of reach and expensive to most people.”

The initial screening, which is at Hoboken’s Paul Vincent Studios, will feature work from a number of filmmakers and artists, including Dan McNamara, Pat Byrne, Nick Koenig, Steven Dressler, Kevin Huelbig, Kristina Centore, Biz Lynch, Amanda Thackray and Jessica Lipman. Many of the artists are local to Jersey City and the region, and Gokhman and Schenker say they hope to give the “very talented and creative people who don’t have many opportunities to display their work on this side of the Hudson” a new chance to do so. But they are also open to expanding beyond the local borders as the series grows.

“We have a lot of friends and friends of friends creating film and video art with minimal opportunities to screen informally in front of a familiar audience,” they say. “Our network right now is hyperlocal, not necessarily by design, but because the artists aren’t strangers to either of us.”

Both organizers say the series wouldn’t have been possible without Paul Vincent Gallery, which is providing the space, and Tara Thurber and Virginia Kamenitzer of Spitfyre Productions, who have helped put it all together.

The series aims to collapse prior distinctions between video art and more straightforward films, with all genres and styles welcomed. After tomorrow’s kickoff screening of short works, for example, Fete will be back in late October with a screening of Mike Ramsdell’s feature-length documentary Anatomy of Hate; mark your calendars for October 21.

“There has been a strong divide between the two worlds of video art and ‘straightforward’ film, but we wish to bridge the gap between them within these screenings,” Gokhman and Schenker say. “We’re looking to appeal to a diverse audience of both those who regard art with a capital ‘A’ and those who simply like watching films.”

Fete Films #1: Independent Film Shorts; Wednesday, September 22 at 7 pm; Paul Vincent Studios, 49 Harrison St., Hoboken. To keep up with Fete’s future plans, follow them on Facebook or Twitter.

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