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The Reeler Blog

Coming Soon: Fall Fest Madness!

By S.T. VanAirsdale

Jesus. The fall movie season isn't even, what, six or seven hours old (add a couple of days if you count Telluride), and the Reeler transom is already clogged with heads-up about local festival happenings:

Before the fall: Heather Graham and Jeremy Sisto in Broken, the opening night film of Visionfest 2007 (Photo: Walk on the Beach Productions)

--Visionfest returns Sept. 19-23 with a 56-film line-up, including the opening-night selection Broken, starring Heather Graham as Hope, whose sweet dreams of L.A. stardom implode when her " ‘bad boy’ lover, Will (Jeremy Sisto), drags her down into a dark, stagnant world of drugs and obsessive love." If you're in a more serious mood, consider James Pasternak’s Jonathan Winters doc Certifiably Jonathan, featuring Robin Williams, Sarah Silverman, Jimmy Kimmel and others.

--Tropfest @ Tribeca returns on Sept. 23 for its second year of shorts -- and its first go-around untethered from the program of its lower Manhattan flagship. If you haven't read up on its 2006 debut, I had a bounty of star-studded coverage both on this site and The Huffington Post; this year's judges (so far) include Rose Byrne, Griffin Dunne and Capote director Bennett Miller, and well over half of the 16 finalists competing for the $10,000 grand prize are from NYC. Congrats to all; it costs zilch for you to head down to the World Financial Center in a couple of weeks to support their entries.

--A week later on Sept. 30, at what I think is the city's last outdoor screening of the year, the Manhattan Short Film Festival runs off its 12 finalists in Union Square. It's a strong international program as usual with nine countries represented overall; I'm not sure what all you win beyond bragging rights and a nice resume blurb, but there are far less distinguished accolades in this town, believe me.

--The online video network Babelgum is launching its own event on the Web next February, this one with Spike Lee as a "Honorary Judge of the Babelgum Online Film Festival jury of industry experts drawn from around the world." Sure, it sounds like a club the South Park kids would start, but these guys are playing for a total of about 120,000 euros (or $165,000, according to The Hollywood Reporter) so don't laugh.

--The annual New York Times State of the Hamptons Film Festival piece is out now, featuring a fraction of last year's artery-hardening earnestness. Foreign perspectives are still eagerly sought post-Raj Roy, but it sounds like programmers Josh Koury and David Nugent have a promising domestic slate lining up for the '07 crop. Fun fact: "Nearly a third of the more than 20,000 visitors who saw its 120 features and shorts last year were in the film industry." And that whole time, I was thinking that smell was just a nearby cannery. Now I get it.

Posted at September 4, 2007 5:05 AM

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