In case you'd forgotten, last night was the first half of the competetive Shorts Program of the 2007 Three Rivers Film Festival right here in Pittsburgh, PA. The rest of the 21 films will screen on Wednesday, but they were kind enough to make sure we saw the winning films from that group, so we've got a pretty good idea of where gravida falls overall.
Sadly, we did not come away with any prizes, but you'll have that.
The program was a mix of narrative, documentary, and avant-garde, so it's difficult to compare, but here goes. The judges were all film professors from the city, and the shorts program is more or less put on by Pittsburgh Filmmakers, an organization known for focusing on "art" over narration, which is part of the reason I thought L'Attente would get in and gravida might not.
Anyway, the best film of the 3 winners was clearly Adam Taylor's Adam Taylor's Dracula, a simple comedy that images Count Dracula as a janitor at Pitt. It was a simple premise that was well-written and didn't strain itself in trying to get your attention. The audience loved it.
But it didn't win. The winning film was Elizabeth Henry's Through These Trackless Waters, a montage of wildlife footage representing sex. There wasn't a single shot in the film that didn't come from stock footage, meaning at no point did she use a camera. Some would call that less filmmaking and more editing (actually, it's entirely editing). Numerous people walked out, and I don't blame them. It wasn't very good, even for what it was trying to be. It's the type of film that makes people hate avant-garde cinema.
Third prize went to A. Wallace's El Otro Lado, a documentary about the fence on the U.S./Mexico border. Basically a series of voiceovers paired with a long, tracking shot of the fence, it was interesting, but hardly award-caliber.
Other notable films were Kun-I Chang's Fission, Justin Crimone's Wooden, but wonderful, and Jose Munian's Sampsonia Way: City of Asylum.
As for gravida, something was amiss in the projection, as the film was very dark and the color washed out so that the red light at the end was mostly pinkish. It certainly didn't look as good as it did at the premiere. Despite that, audience reaction was pretty good. You could sense that they were uncomfortable at times, and no one booed, which is always nice. I'd say it was probably one of the 3 or 4 best films of the 12 shown last night. So it goes.
Of course, you can always purchase your very own copy of gravida from the webpage
In other news, Trent Wolfred tells me that the "un filme" shirt will be featured more prominently in this week's "Something to be Desired", so keep an eye out for that.
It isn't up yet (well, it might be, depending on when you read this), but it should be sometime today. Make sure you check it out.
And buy one of the shirts for yourself.
That's all for now.