By Devin D. O'Leary
DigiFest Gets Definition—The annual Digifest Southwest Film Festival has wrapped up another week of frantic filmmaking here in the Duke City. Last Saturday night, an estimated 900 people descended on the Kiva Auditorium to watch the festival's premiere screening. Seven short films were shot in and around Albuquerque last week, and all seven were handed in, shot and edited, just under the wire for Saturday night's screening. This year was the first in which filmmakers got to work with High Definition digital cameras, giving this year's Digifest's the most high-tech lineup to date.
When the dust settled and the lights came up, several of the films emerged as clear favorites. “Scarlet Momentum,” written and directed by C. Hawthorn O'Flaherty of Los Angeles won Best Movie, Best Cinematography, Best Music and Best Art Direction (congratulations to local boy Michael Flowers for that honor). Ileanna O'Flaherty (yay, nepotism!) also won Best Actress for her work on the film. “Something Red” by Albuquerque filmmaker Scotty Milder captured the Audience Award for Best Film. Best Actor went to Bill Sterchi for the film “Breakout.” Best Editing went to Ryan Denmark for his cut work on “Drive By.”
Log on to www.digifestsouthwest.com for photos from the winning films and a festival journal, detailing all the behind-the-scenes shenanigans.
New Shorts—If you are an aspiring filmmaker and didn't get a chance to land one of the coveted berths in this year's DigiFest Southwest Fest, you can always turn your attentions to Local Shorts Two: Shorts Reloaded. This is the second go-around for the local short film/video showcase that debuted last summer at the Lobo Theater. Organizers are now accepting submission for the festival, which will take place on Aug. 14. Once again, the screening will take place at the historic Lobo Theater. There will be two screenings this year—“Kid Friendly” and “Not Recommended for Kids”—so do your worst. Length on submissions is recommended at 15 minutes or less. All films must be sent on Mini-DV, DVD or VHS. Deadline for submissions is Aug. 1, so get cracking.
This year's festival will also function as a fundraiser for local charities. Since submission and admission is free, people are asked to bring in nonperishable food, clothing and school supplies for the Homeless Project and APS.
For more information for this and other local short film events, or to download a submission form, log on to www.localshorts.com.