One of the writers we interviewed in Creative Writing Career 2 (and a former critique group member of mine), Eve Edelson is involved in a pretty cool sounding film festival of sorts, so I thought I’d ask her some questions to share with you all. Enjoy, and check out the event if you’re able! We’d love to hear about your experience.
Q: It’s been a while since we interviewed you for Creative Writing Career 2 (now in Audiobook!). I understand you have a film showing at “Weird Film”? What are the details?
WeirdFilm is a twice-a-year screening of short films — horror, fantasy, sci-fi, suspense, and Just Plain Weird.
It takes place at a working winery, Urbano Cellars, in West Berkeley, on Fourth Street near Channing — and makes for a great evening. We do it in the spring, after the bottling, and in the fall or early winter, after the crush (of grapes, that is).
Round IV is this coming Thursday, May 5, from 7:30pm to 10:30pm.
Q: Tell us more about the films you’ll be screening.
They come from all over the world.
This time we have 13 films, from the UK, USA, France, Australia, and for the first time a film from Iraq, called “Dialing,” a beautiful, sad piece about a mother who wants desperately to communicate with her son, even if he might be a ghost. It works as straight drama or as a kind of ghost story, and is one of the best films we’ve had the privilege to show.
There will be a set of what you might call serious films, then a break for refreshment — it is a winery! — and then a set of more light-hearted films. We’ve got your evil household appliances, a fallen angel, an anxious robot, a post-apocalyptic wasteland, snake charmers, the Illuminati, and of course zombies.
Plus a new film of mine, not an official premiere, more of a test screening and a chance for the cast to get friends in to see it. It’s a sci-fi piece about an alien invader who, let’s just say, didn’t pack her parachute carefully enough!
Q: What kinds of films do you program, and do you have advice for filmmakers submitting to WeirdFilm?
On the horror spectrum, if Teletubbies is a zero and Saw is a 10, WeirdFilm is in the middle. We don’t shy away from blood, but you won’t see anything really grindcore. We also don’t avoid serious themes, but we always include some films on the comedy side. Life can be harsh, and people need some comedy.
As far as advice, apart from submitting interesting, well-acted films to festivals that want your kind of material, the generic advice is good advice:
– stick to the specified time limit
– take care to get good sound. Don’t just hang a microphone and hope for the best. You can skimp on a lot, but not sound, and of course not food!
– answer the film festival! If they have questions, say, about music copyright or anything causing them to question whether they can accept your film, get back to them! And if your film is accepted, don’t make them ask you repeatedly for a download or a DVD. They’ll give someone else your slot.
Q: That all sounds fun (and disturbing). What more can you tell us about an evening at Weird Film?
The screening is in a big room with great-smelling wine barrels, and the wine club members often show up, so there’s a nice, friendly crowd.
Admission is $15 and includes a glass of wine if you’re over 21.
If you don’t drink alcohol, you can bring your own beverage.
The pizza truck comes at 6:30 and there will be popcorn, woo hoo!
So you can come early & hold hunger at bay.
We’ll have filmmaker Q&A and a trivia contest with non-trivial prizes.
So get your post-apocalypse on and come over to Urbano for WeirdFilm IV!
Follow us on Twitter: @weirdfilmfest