As you probably know by now, our first festival happened over the summer (the recap's not on the blog, but I did write a little bit about it here). Since then, we've been keeping busy with our $5 Film Nights, a monthly event we started soon after the film festival ended so we could continue screening films throughout the year (and so you wouldn't forget about us in between festival seasons).
So far we've had four great months of film nights (almost five--November's will be this coming Saturday the 18th). Each night's proved to be a totally unique experience, as each night has featured a unique amalgamation of showcased feature-length and short films ranging from sci-fi to drama to rockumentary. Here's a brief run-down of what's been happening the past couple of months and what's coming up for the Ocean City Film Festival.
July: Films for a cause
Our first $5 Film Night was back in July, so of course now it feels like it happened an eternity ago (and it was also more of a $20 Suggested Donation Film Night, but for a good cause). We screened Dan O'Hare's feature film "Rehearsal," preceded by two short films by local filmmaker Zak Seidman of Unicorn Propaganda, to a huge crowd. All proceeds from the "Rehearsal" screening were donated to Athletes Serving Athletes, a non-profit dedicated to athletes living with disabilities. There was also popcorn and homemade cake thanks to Dan and his crew, which made for an excellent after-party.
August: Locals-only double feature
Many, if not most, of our screenings have been and will be for local filmmakers, of course--but this one was especially personal because I directed "Shady Shadows," the first film we screened at August's $5 Film Night. I also did production design on the second film, Erich Gelling's "Take Away," and BL was the director of photography on both films. This screening was super fun, and I consider it to have been a success because only two people walked out midway through my film! (There are some gratutitious bathroom jokes in Shady Shadows, but I had to write those in for the sake of the Art™.) This was my directorial debut and, more importantly, it was the acting debut of me and BL's dog Gypsy, who really shines on the big screen.
September: A trip back to 1984
We first screened Rudy Childs' rockumentary "1984: Riding Into Hell" at the film festival in June, but Childs' film--an examination of mid-80s world news and politics, pop culture and the rock n' roll scene as told by metal band Forcer--was such a hit that we brought it back for an encore screening in September. Coincidentally the screening date fell during Ocean City's Bike Week, so attendees were able to rock out with Rudy before biking off into the night. \m/
October: The spookiest night of your entire life
Whether the name of the party proved to be true or not, we did break some literal skeletons out of our closet to decorate the Art League with.
The Spookiest Night of Your Entire Life took the usual spot of our $5 Film Night, because we really wanted to have a Halloween party, while also raising money for the upcoming festival season. We screened five short films, including "Emily on the Lake" by Jordan Gibson, which had won Revival House's Horror Trailer Challenge earlier in the month, "Sleeptalker" by Jillian Lebling, "Suburban Skeleton" by BL, "The Scare" by Torrez Wise and "Undertow" by Rob Waters. We also gave away a good number of passes to our 2018 festival, and were happy to see at least some of the crowd came out in their Halloween costumes.
We were also happy to host a screening of the Rocky Horror Picture Show earlier in the month. Rice was thrown, songs were sung and money was raised for New Beginnings, a non-profit that hopes to build an addiction recovery house in West Ocean City.
This Saturday, we'll be screening the works of Salisbury filmmaker Torrez Wise. In December, we might just have to throw an ugly sweater Film Festivus holiday party (stay tuned for updates) and as for 2018, the January and February $5 Film Nights leading up to the '18 festival will certainly be special.
We're also working hard to ensure that the 2018 film festival is the best one yet. Of course, it'll only be the second one, so we only have one previous festival to compare it to...But regardless, it'll be a great time.