Far-Ranging Festival – film fest screens short flicks from…

Far-Ranging Festival

film fest screens short flicks from around state, world

Emily Kinzel

MEDIEVAL MOVIE MAGIC. The short film Onere, directed by UW-Stout professor Kevin Pontuti, will be among those featured at the Chippewa Valley Film Festival on April 22 at Micon Cinemas Downtown.

Grab your popcorn, your Twizzlers, and your oversized soda because it’s time for the second annual Chippewa Valley Film Festival. The CVFF – April 22 at Micon Cinemas Downtown in Eau Claire – is screening local, national, and international short films of all sorts ranging from animation to documentaries, from dramas to comedies. The only rule? Films must be between 1 and 20 minutes of pure artistic expression.

The festival is broken into several sections. An introductory period will kick off the event, followed by the first program, which is composed mainly of U.S.-made short films from Minnesota, Wisconsin – including three from UW-Stout – and even South Carolina. Afterwards, filmmakers will answer questions from the audience. After a short intermission, the second half of the screening will feature short films from around the world, including Spain, Iraq, and Sweden. Each program will be approximately 55 minutes long. When it’s all done, attendees are invited to an after party at The Lismore Hotel.

Mitchell Spencer, who created the festival, said he loves “the reaction of the audience discussing the films afterwards, what they liked, their commentary on the plots, cinematography, sound, etc.” Any and all movie tête-à-têtes are highly encouraged!

While Spencer said attendees should look forward to every film, he added, “This year, we have very good animation films, both on student and professional levels. Also, in a lot of the films we selected, the endings have plot twists to them, and the film really goes in another direction.” Some of the films reflect contemporary issues: A common thread among the foreign films is the topic of refugees. Spencer described the CVFF as “entertainment plus education.” The films are more than just videos: They are artistic interpretations of happenings in the world around us.

What makes this festival stand out? It is the only film festival to incorporate both national and international short films of all genres. The event doesn’t limit itself to a particular genre. As Spencer explains, “We do it all! We have some experimental films, dramas, documentaries, comedies – there isn’t just one direction this festival takes.” He further states, “I’m a photographer and a videomaker myself, along with the person who helps, and in this area, there hasn’t been this type of festival to watch regional and international videos. So we did it last year for the first time and we sold out, so we felt there was a need in the area.”

After being dunked into the imaginations of filmmakers from around the world, viewers will leave the theater with the creativity bug biting at their…

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