Guest blogger Danielle Marie Georgiou is a dance lecturer at the University of Texas Arlington. She also serves as assistant director of UT Arlington’s Dance Ensemble.
The Hub Shorts Film Festival: Premiere Showcase at the Dallas Hub Theater this past Saturday boasted an enthusiastic audience and some very talented filmmakers.
Following the success of its first film festival last month, the Hub decided to not wait a year before hosting the next one and began immediately planning for the Premiere Showcase.
“Both [Dallas Hub Theater owner] Tim Shane and I were so pleased with the turnout from the first festival, that we were excited to continue to show the talent in our area,” curator Lauren Guyer said. “There are limited opportunities for short films in Dallas, and we wanted to provide a venue for emerging artists.”
The Premiere Showcase screened 10 shorts from 11 local filmmakers. The highlights were Peter Marsh’s “Rejected,” a surrealist look at broken dreams; Sam Shaffer’s charming view of relationships in “Spare Change;” and Brad Osborne/Eric Vale’s complex and layered story about one man’s quest to discover the source of a strange phone call in “Opal White.”
A series of dance for camera works by Lily Sloan (“Cracks in the Wall”), Bethany Nelson (“Souvenir”) and Rachel Bruce-Johnson (“Deeper”) gave a teaser for what North Texan choreographers are doing with screen dance and what to expect from the next Hub Shorts Film Festival series: Dance for Camera in September.
Student works showed the potential of young filmmakers in Texas to produce high-quality work. San Antonio high school senior Cody Sanders’ “Bessie” referenced campy horror films and The Blair Witch Project. UT Dallas undergraduate Alex Wagner’s “Continuity” experimented with the technical aspects of continuity between frames and with a non-structured narrative. Texas State University undergraduate Katie McGaha’s “Mirror/Light”’ dealt with taboo issues, drugs, sex and religion, framed in a Southern context.
Brent Rotunno’s film, “Johann Bossman Presents,” swept each award category: Box Office, Audience Favorite and Producer’s Pick (voted on by his peers). A seasoned actor, this was Rotunno’s directorial debut. Its humorous take on classic war films, like Spartacus, and irreverent dialogue connected with the audience. Using photographic images and stop-motion animation, and compiled in just one day, it shows promise for Rotunno’s future works.
Other winners include: Shaffer (second, Box Office); Sloan and Shaffer (second and third, respectively; Audience Favorite); Osborne/Vale and Shaffer (second and third, respectively, Producer’s Pick).
The next Hub Shorts Film series will be centered on Dance for Camera works. Look for it on Saturday, Sept. 11.