If you are a fan of the big screen and those who bring it to life, Geneva is the place to be this weekend.
That's where the 10th anniversary celebration of the Geneva Film Festival takes place Friday and Saturday, March 9-10, at Playhouse 38 (321 Stevens St., Suite P, entrance in rear) and Penrose Brewing Co. (509 Stevens St.). Tickets are available at www.eventbrite.com (type in "Geneva Film Festival"). Tickets are $8 per film block session.
10th anniversary Geneva Film FestivalWhen: Friday and Saturday, March 9-10
Where: Penrose Brewing Co, 509 Stevens St., and Playhouse 38, 321 Stevens St., Suite P; Geneva
Tickets: $8 per film block session
This year's program includes narrative shorts and features, documentary shorts and features, animated shorts, musical shorts, and student shorts. It also includes films made by recipients of the Emerging Cinematographers Award sponsored by the International Cinematographers Guild.
Scott Rolf, executive director of the film festival, noted 32 films were selected for this year's event out of more than 100 submissions.
"We have six categories and there were three judges per category that rated the films and we picked the films that scored the best," he said. "We picked the best of the best."
Rolf said the shorts presentations will give moviegoers a bang for their buck.
"With the shorts we try and mix them up and include a little bit of everything in a film block, which is an hour-and-a-half," he explained. "We like to expose the audience to a variety of films."
There are two feature presentations on the docket this year. At 9 p.m. Friday at Playhouse 38, "En Algun Lugar" will be showing. This narrative feature is a love story between two young men set against the background of a broken U.S. immigration system.
At 7:30 p.m. Saturday, at Penrose Brewing Co., the narrative feature "Nowhere Mind" tells the story of Ivan, who uses experimental meditation to induce out-of-body experiences that might make it possible for him to escape a mysterious illness. His training takes an unexpected turn when he finds himself getting between the marital engagement of two old friends.
Three documentary features are on the schedule as well, including "Recovery Room," a film that tells the story of Canadian volunteers, plastic surgeons and nurses at a hospital in Ukraine (noon Saturday at Penrose).
"Beyond Fordlandia" is an environmental account 90 years after Henry Ford's Amazon experience. (7 p.m. Friday at Penrose). "Angels of the Sky" (2:30 p.m. Saturday at Playhouse 38) is the true-life story of World War II pilots from the 8th Air Force who were shot down over German territory and became POWs.
There are nine countries represented in the festival and Rolf noted 15 of the filmmakers will be part of the extremely popular Filmmakers Forum, from 8:30-11:30 a.m. Saturday at Craft Urban restaurant, 211 James St. The forum is free to festival attendees. GFF officials caution the 2016 version exceeded seating capacity.
Craft Urban also will be the site of the "It's a Wrap" party. The closing celebration is at 9:30 p.m. Saturday. A photo booth and music are planned and a cash bar will be available. Like the Filmmakers Forum, seating is limited for the closing party as well. Attendees are encouraged to RSVP for both events to FranYoshioka@me.com.
"Every year the festival gets a little bigger," Rolf said. "Last year we had a number of preview events in St. Charles and Batavia and a couple preview parties that introduce more people to the festival. People really are attracted to the quality of the films. Up-and-coming filmmakers who are trying to make it, festivals like ours are how they get started."
For more information on the festival, which is part of the Cultural Arts Commission in Geneva and is run by a team of volunteers, and to view festival movie trailers, visit www.genevafilmfestival.org. or check out the festival's Facebook page.