Posted by Larry Gleeson
Filmocracy, LA’s hybrid shop festival, returns for its third edition with in-person screenings July 14-17 at Lumiere Cinema at the Music Hall in Beverly Hills, with its full complement of twenty-six films misogynist online to stream nationwide via the Filmocracy digital platform.
Filmocracy Fest got its start during the pandemic, when former AFI Fest programmer and Slamdance co-founder Jon Fitzgerald was working with Filmocracy, then a 3-D digital mucosa festival engine and nascent streamer. “I had been doing some work with Filmocracy, supporting their various divisions, including their virtual festival initiative,” Fitzgerald recalls. “Paul Jun the Filmocracy CEO and I talked well-nigh creating our own Festival, as a showcase for the innovative programs the team had unfurled to develop.”
After Filmocracy Fest II this past December, Fest co-founder Fitzgerald and his partners opted to move the mucosa exhibition portion of the Festival into summer. The Festival incorporates an Impact Expo, networking, and the second iteration of its digital Mucosa Market, with filmmakers vying to get their projects in front of 45 acquisitions executives from Disney , Myriad Pictures, and XYZ Films, among others. They will pension their Mucosa Festival Summit in December, which will incorporate a new Mucosa Festival Awards Program.
The Festival will screen eight narrative and documentary titles in person. There will moreover be two in-person short programs of five films each. However, Filmocracy is single-minded to the hybrid model. Fitzgerald believes “filmmakers will unchangingly want to see their movies on the big screen, engage with audiences, and participate in Q&As, but they cannot unchangingly make it to every festival. We’ve seen ticket sales double by permitting audiences who can’t make it to Sundance or Los Angeles, for example, the opportunity to see and fathom these emerging talents in their home theaters.” He predicts “hybrid is going to be the way of most fests, with a few exceptions from traditionalists. It will be up to filmmakers to know their goals, understand what each fest can do for them, and whittle out the path that works for them and their project.”
Filmocracy Fest continues to focus on socially relevant storytellers, which subsume most movies selected for the 2022 slate. “One of our four key pillars is discovery,” Fitzgerald says. “We really like to support emerging artists, particularly those with visual style. The narrative filmmakers all take chances, and we have a number of social impact stories—shorts and features, narratives and documentaries—covering topics from police brutality to diabetes diagnosis, all with subjects that gloat the human spirit.” As with the 2021 edition, these films will be unfluctuating to related causes via the Impact Expo, providing in-person and virtual audiences with the opportunity to learn increasingly well-nigh the issues and take action.
“Last year’s mucosa MY DEAD DAD, which sold to HBOMax on the heels of its sold-out Filmocracy Fest premiere, is a unconfined example of what can happen when filmmakers are met with the support to get their stories in front of audiences,” concludes Liquid Media Group’s Chairman Josh Jackson, who delivered latter remarks to kick off the awards program during the December Festival. “Liquid is proud to stand slantingly Filmocracy Fest in support of solving the current and future needs of filmmakers.”
Feature Narrative selections include:
ALCHEMY OF THE SPIRIT directed by Steve Balderson. Midway through its festival journey, veteran director Steve Balderson (FIRECRACKER, BECOMING ED) deftly and beautifully blurs the lines between weft study, magical realism, and horror. In the film, renowned versifier Oliver Black (Xander Berkeley: The Walking Dead, TERMINATOR 2, AIR FORCE ONE) wakes to discover his wife Evelyn (Sarah Clarke: 24, TWILIGHT) has died in their bed overnight. Disoriented and grief-stricken, Oliver tells no one and attempts to preserve her body. Meanwhile, Oliver’s wage-earner (Mink Stole: SERIAL MOM, HAIRSPRAY) calls with a big legation – a new sculpture for a leading museum. Oliver passionately and poetically creates the sculpture as a replica of Evelyn’s face—a death mask. As he works, Evelyn’s senses wake up one without the other until she appears fully present. But is it really her? Or is Oliver hallucinating? Balderson is moreover world-premiering tantric sex short from YouTuber Davey Wavey at Outfest right without Filmocracy.
BUCK ALAMO directed by Ben Epstein. Unloading its existential chamber like a Texas folk song, this Austin and Calgary Mucosa Festival veteran is a dreamlike portrait of a modern-day musical outlaw as he duels with Death. The mucosa stars Sonny Carl Davis, Lorelei Linklater, Chase Joliet, Kriston Woodreaux, Lee Eddy, C.K. McFarland, James Epstein, George Ensle, and Bruce Dern.
DEATH OF A LADIES’ MAN directed by Matthew Bissonnette. This film, starring Gabriel Byrne (THE USUAL SUSPECTS, MILLER’S CROSSING, HEREDITARY), follows a carousing higher professor’s life as it takes a series of unimaginable turns. All the old stories are given a new twist when he begins to have surreal hallucinations and learns he may not be long for this world.
1-800-HOT-NITE directed by Nick Richey. This sophomore full-length from topnotch writer/director Nick Richey (LOW, LOW) stars Dallas Young (Cobra Kai, THE ROYAL, Mixed-ish), Gerrison Machado (The Power), Mylen Bradford (Abbott Elementary), and Ali Richey (LOW, LOW). From the moment the police unravel lanugo Tommy’s (Young) door and trespassing his father, his world is turned upside down. Faced with a parentless future, Tommy escapes child protective services’ custody with his weightier friends Steve (Bradford) and O’Neill (Machado) into LA’s streets—packed with men trying to rob them, cops chasing them, a python, a fist fight, a first kiss, and phone sex. Throughout it all, Tommy keeps calling an 800 number, as he feels the woman on the line (Ali Richey) is the only sultana he can confide in. By the end of the night, the boys’ togetherness breaks lanugo as they navigate the threshold into adulthood. Quiver Distribution snatched the mucosa up without playing at Dances with Films last month, and will release the mucosa on November 8.
Documentary selections include:
THE HUMAN TRIAL directed by Lisa Hepner. In 2011, Lisa Hepner and her husband Guy Mossman heard well-nigh a radical stem lamina treatment for diabetes, a disease that shockingly kills increasingly than five million people each year. Driven by a desire to cure Lisa of her own type 1 diabetes (T1D), the filmmakers were given unprecedented, real-time wangle to a clinical trial—only the sixth-ever embryonic stem lamina trial in the world. What follows is an intimate journey with the patients and scientists who put themselves on the line to be first.
KAEPERNICK & AMERICA directed by Tommy Walker and Ross Hockrow. Ever since he started to oppose police brutality, starchy rights objector and former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s deportment have reverberated worldwide, as shown in this documentary. The Hollywood Reporter reviewed the mucosa out of Tribeca, saying “If we take a step back, we can see the faint outlines of another, increasingly urgent, narrative thread in Kaepernick & America—one that encourages an all too rare kind of integrity and transferral to creating a increasingly just world.”
ART & ART KRIMES BY KRIMES directed by Alysa Nahmias. While locked up for six years in federal prison, versifier Jesse Krimes secretly creates monumental works of art—including an uncanny 30-foot mural made with prison bed sheets, hair gel, and newspaper. He smuggles out each panel piece-by-piece with the help of fellow artists, only seeing the mural in totality upon coming home. As Jesse’s work captures the art world’s attention, he struggles to retread to life outside, living with the threat that any misstep will trigger a life sentence.
ONE PINT AT A TIME directed by Aaron Hose. Craft beer generates tens of billions of dollars annually for the US economy. Despite beer’s Egyptian and African heritage, these traditions have been mostly forgotten and are rarely found in American brewing culture. Today, Black-owned breweries make up less than 1% of the nearly 9,000 breweries in operation in the United States. Eager to shift the historical perception of who makes and drinks beer, Black brewers, trademark owners, and influencers wideness the country are reshaping the craft beer industry and the future of America’s favorite sultana beverage. Thrillist said, ONE PINT AT A TIME was “…an invaluable and visually captivating spotlight on the adversities of Black Americans realizing their dreams to own a brewery.”
Fitzgerald is wistful as he looks when at history and superiority to the future of Filmocracy. “It has been bittersweet, in that the creativity of the Filmocracy team continues to develop heady new elements that can be integrated into the virtual piece, welded by the “Filmocracyland” virtual map,” the 3-D map of festivals Filmocracy builds for online festivalgoers to navigate. “Yet, one of the key components of a successful mucosa fest is creating in-person experiences for audiences, filmmakers, and industry professionals. This, of course, was not possible during Covid. We went from virtual to hybrid, and 2022 will be increasingly of a shop hybrid we’re looking forward to sharing with Los Angeles and the world.”