Virginia Film Festival 2005 Ends

By: Venton D. Blandin
By: Venton D. Blandin

October 30, 2005

It's a wrap for the Virginia Film Festival as film-makers close another
chapter of the annual event in Charlottesville.

While the film festival is in its 18th year, the 'Adrenaline Rush' is only
in its second. Still, it's the talk of Charlottesville as it sets the bar for amateur film makers.

What do you get when you take 10 film-makers and boundless creativity?

"This was really an amazing opportunity," said Kim Bonner, a film-maker.

"Insomnia. I've heard them say that, too," said Shea Sizemore, another
filmmaker.

Little sleep along with several cups of coffee makes the title 'Adrenaline Rush,' the perfect name.

"I slept maybe three hours every night," added Sizemore.

The annual Virginia Film Festival, currently in its 18th year, is known for
showcasing films and featuring guest speakers. However, the show-stopper is quickly becoming the 'Adrenaline Rush.'

"The word is out that it's a great thing to do, and a great way to learn," added Rita McClenny, or the Virginia Film Office.

Over the course of the festival's 72-hour run, filmmakers get the
opportunity to create a short film to be judged by professionals. The work done at a rapid pace is a crash course in film making.

"It just gives them some real world experience of working under pressure, and in an intense environment to edit, write, produce, and screen a film in 72 hours," added McClenny.

The test may give filmmakers a rush of adrenaline, but it also gives a rush of knowledge.

"I learned what strategies are more important than others. I learned quicker techniques--ways to get fast locations and fast actors," added Sizemore.

Once the films are made, they're shown to those attending the last day of the festival, and it's more than just an ordinary experience.

"They know the ins and outs. They know what we've been through. I t was really cool to be able to, not only just make this film, but to have all this really good feedback," said Bonner.

In addition to the amateur filmmakers getting critiqued from professionals, they also face judging by the audience watching their film.

The winner chosen by the audience was a group from Charlottesville High School who created 'Sweet Dreams.' The filmmakers walked away with IPODS and gift certificates.


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