August 17, 2012 at 3:19am
Reading about 25 promising talents of independent film on a magazine page or tiny smartphone screen is one thing. But getting to interact with these talents and seeing their work in a theater makes the experience much more ... I don't know ... 3-D perhaps?
For the third year in a row, The Grand Cinema has, like the film adaptations that occasionally run there, brought words to life - in this case, an evolving article Filmmaker Magazine has published since 1998 entitled "25 New Faces of Independent Film."
We all know The Grand can put on a show; its upcoming Tacoma Film Festival rises in prestige every autumn. So in 2010, executive director Philip Cowan decided to harness his theater's passion for all things indie and construct a new kind of festival, one that celebrates the emerging artists profiled in the article.
"I'm still surprised that no cinema tried this before we did," Cowan notes.
All the fun takes places under The Grand's roof, and lasts for a full week, starting today and finishing Aug. 23.
The 25 New Faces festival has achieved something unique - an interactive event aimed at driving scores of movie lovers into the theater, yet still remains personal and intimate. This happens mainly through the presence of the filmmakers themselves. Cowan and his staff make it a priority each year to bring as many of the 25 as possible into Tacoma. (Let's face it: a "new faces" festival without faces just wouldn't have a strong impact.)
Considering these moviemakers hail from all over the country, the fact that 20 will arrive on our shores over the next week is pretty impressive. The Grand covers every visitor's travel expenses and accommodations, making this one event the nonprofit's biggest annual investment. Needless to say, Cowan considers it all money well spent.
In his opinion, "Putting (together) a quality artistic package is something nonprofits should be doing when they can."
Before we get the chance to pick these artists' brains and hear their entertaining behind-the-scenes tales, we take in the hard-won fruits of their labors. Features will play each day of the fest, with repeat showings of collected shorts sprinkled here and there. (See the full schedule and which filmmakers will attend at www.grandcinema.com.) Though everyone will find something worthy to watch, In the Family may draw the biggest crowd on Aug. 21 due to Cowan's very enthusiastic review.
"It just seemed so real to me and it really pulled me in," he says, and admits to feeling "perfectly giddy that we'll be able to have (first-time writer-director-star Patrick Wang) here to screen the film."
Sometimes a film quietly comes along that blindsides you with the force of its message and vision. But you're still here, reading an article about another article that spawned a film festival. Time to buy a movie ticket or two and meet a new face - or 25.
Off duty rules.
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Looks delicious! Thank you Jackie for share ^^
Banff National Park is a breath of fresh air. A small mountain town with world class facilities...
Too many cover-bands play at The Swiss.
Wohoo! Love this and great work! From one Assyrian to another I congratulate you and am rooting...