At the request of current West Virginia Filmmakers Festival director Caitlin Renee Campbell, I wanted to give everyone a very belated explanation of what’s happening with the festival.
This website is no longer host to the West Virginia Filmmakers Festival. Please visit https://sites.google.com/site/wvfilmmakersfest/ for details regarding any upcoming festivals which may occur. This website will stand as an archive to this previous incarnation of the festival, but will no longer be updated.
In 2010 I was asked to head a committee for the West Virginia Filmmakers Guild to run the West Virginia Filmmakers Festival. Kevin Carpenter who created and ran the festival for over a decade wanted to give the guild a chance to run the festival, which was at the time dedicated to celebrating local filmmakers.
In 2011 I stepped down as head of the Filmmakers Festival Committee of the West Virginia Filmmakers Guild, as it became clear that the organization didn’t have the infrastructure necessary to continue the festival. Shortly afterwords, the board of the West Virginia Filmmakers Guild acted on my recommendation to hand operation of the West Virginia Filmmakers Festival back to West Virginia Filmmakers Festival inc. As of present I have no affiliation with the festival, or the West Virginia Filmmakers Guild.
In 2013, Caitlin Campbell began operating the festival once again under the name “West Virginia Filmmakers Festival.” This festival continues to run. While the festival still screens some films from West Virginia, it has transitioned away from a celebration of WV films towards more regional and international Content. Campbell continues to run this festival’s run in Sutton, WV while maintaining year-round operations out of her home in Santa Monica, CA.
I wish the festival continued success in 2015.
WV FILMMAKERS FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES 2011 WINNERS:
SPECIAL CATEGORY: Out Of Towners Award (Presented by Days Hotel): Get Off My Porch – Patrick Rea
Best Experimental/Music Video/Animaton (Presented by Exodus FX): Flesh Rails – Asha Tamirsa
Best Student Film (Presented by Poncho’s Southwest Grill): Rockstars: The Pete Weaver Experience – Laura Holliday
Best Narrative Short (Presented by Mardi Gras Casino And Resort): Everything’s For Sale: Eric Havi
Documentary Short (Presented by Town Square Market and Cave): The Game – Robert Tinnell
Best Narrative Feature (Presented by Gen11 Studios): The Deposition – Edward Mensore
Best Documentary Feature (Presented by Cafe Cimino Country In): Romeo Must Hang – Bob Wilkinson
SPECIAL AWARD: DIRECTOR’S CHOICE: Lincoln County Massacre – Elaine McMillion
2011 WV FILMMAKER OF THE YEAR – ROBERT TINNELL
BEST FILM – ROMEO MUST HANG – Bob Wilkinson
Congratulations to all our winners.
Standby for winners for the WV Filmmakers Festival.
Want to remind everyone that the WV Filmmakers Guild meeting starts at 11:00 on the dot at the Landmark Studio For The Arts (You know, in case you aren’t from around here and assumed that all meetings start late) http://ow.ly/6GYJk
Our block of music films just started with a music video from the band Grim Jack. That guy really likes to strut!
Night two of the festival was a resounding success. Thanks to the filmmakers behind “Seth Martin & Friends” “Lincoln County Massacre’ “Take One tablet” “Get Off My Porch” “AI Means Love” “Delirifacients” and “Year Of The Donkey” for making this a truly memorable night of film. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to sleep because I have become untethered.
Just got done doing a Q&A with Sun Jae Smith and the crew from Lightsmith Productions, the people behind AI Means Love, which is premiering right now. These are some of the best people I’ve ever met, in terms of the content of their films, but moreover, the content of their souls.
I first became acquainted with the work of Lightsmith Productions in 2008, when I was the judge for the West Virginia International Film Festival’s Student Competition. I immediatly fell in love with their film “Soul Search” a sort of modern retelling of the Faust myth, with a decidedly Judeo-christian slant.
Their films consistently involve a group of generally good people who are encountered with a problem and join together as a community to solve that problem.
What sets Lightsmith pro’s films apart is the makeup of its crew and cast. Director Mie Smith and producer Sun Jae Smith have populated their production company with a colorful assortment of individuals from many different cultures including Katie Tsubata, who has scribed their last three films. Their casts are always very ethnically diverse, and they often feature actors who are clearly speaking English as a second language.
What does this say about WV Filmmaking? First, it says that we aren’t necessarily who we thought we were. These films reflect a new population in the eastern panhandle which is increasingly becoming more cosmopolitan.
I think what most sets Sunjae, Mie, Katie, and the rest of their company apart is the inherant heart and earnestness that permiates their work. There is a level of goodness, sweetness, and open spirituality that is tragically gone from the rest of filmmaking today. Where else are you likely to hear the story of Japanese Christians who immigrate to WV to avoid religious persecution. That’s a whole lot more interesting to me than watching a bunch of white guys play guitar on an abandoned bridge