Shhhh.... the M60 Film Festival registration party is this Friday!
If I wasn't in another country right now, I might have let selfishness overcome me and kept this to myself: one of the most interesting, most open film festivals in the world is holding its registration party this Friday (July 23rd) at Casa Del Popolo. The first 120 people to sign up will have the opportunity to produce and show their own 60-second film at the festival's grand screenings in October. There is no sign up fee and no selection jury; no one will be turned away for lack of experience. Spots will be given out on a first-come, first-served basis, so all you have to do is show up early, and BAM, you're a filmmaker.
I've admired the M60's egalitarian spirit since its first run two years ago, when I spent about an hour and a half in a packed makeshift movie theatre at Sala Rosa watching rapid fire nuggets of film genius. Some M60 participants have been professional filmmakers (like the Oscar-winning animator John Weldon) and some have been famous individuals from other professions dabbling in a different medium (like folk icon Anna McGarrigle). But the vast majority of participants have been regular people trying something they never thought they'd do, or perhaps finally making that film they'd had bumping around in their heads for years and years. In that first screening, all participants, professional and amateur, young and old, hung together seamlessly in one beautiful mixture of hilarity, absurdity, and occasional drama. It showed that anyone can be a great filmmaker given the right opportunity.
I swore that night that I would participate the next year, but dammit, I found myself in the States when it came time to register. Guess what? Same story again this year. So while under different circumstances I would keep this event secret, using any means necessary to sneak into that pool of the first 120, now I figure I might as well spread the word.
Registration starts at 8:30, but I'm guessing those interested in procuring a spot should show up earlier. Just some common sense. That said, the evening will be a party in its own right, with performances from storyteller/comedians Adam Gollner and D'Arcy O'Connor, DJ sets from the dudes behind Said the Gramophone, a screen-test booth, a compass-building workshop (WTF?! that's awesome), and a couple more top secret headliners. Sounds peachy keen to me.
Update: One of the festival organizers has just informed me that the secret headliners "include lizards, turtles and a boa constrictor."
Go here for more information on the festival, including guidelines, previous themes, and other tidbits of important information.