While we are yearning for spring here in NY, what better way to stay warm and toasty than enjoying a film? The Third Annual Winter Film Awards Independent Film Festival brought 61 diverse documentaries, shorts, narrative features, animation, student films, music videos and horror films together.
The best part of watching an Indy film (other than the fact that you might get to help discover the next Martin Scorsese) is all the different stories one can learn . Blockbusters are great, but it is impressive to see what these directors can do on a much smaller budget. The Winter Film Awards featured films from over 20 countries, (and yes, some had subtitles). In addition to global representation, there were 17 female directors whose work was featured as well as 8 student films!
While we were unable to see all the movies selected, we did check out Hipster! The Musical, the brainchild of Adam Blair. Hipster! The Musical is a satirical look at this generation’s tight jean wearing, cheap beer drinking, latte loving counterculture. Hipster! Follows Dave and Lily, a pair of long-term best friends. Dave is ready to take their relationship to the next level but Lily is content being “BFFs.” But, when Lily falls in with an alternative crowd, Dave realizes he needs to change to fit in her new lifestyle. After studying up on all things vintage things seem to be going well for Dave who is blissfully unaware of Salinger, leader of the hipster clan’s nefarious ploy to keep them apart. Check out Hipster! Before it goes all cool and mainstream: hipsterthemusical.com
Other films worth noting include Best Picture winner, Behind Closed Doors. Directed and produced by Nicolas Sicurella, Behind Closed Doors follows three main stories in a small Long Island town: A couple trying to define their relationship, an elderly man suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and his daughter who is fighting for their financial survival, and a family with a younger daughter. These seemingly unrelated stories collide when one horrifying event changes everything.
From Queens to Cairo, a documentary, which shines light on the problems of the Egyptian Revolution of 2011 by following filmmaker Sherif Sadek and his family as they travel back to Egypt a year later, is also worth mentioning. After visiting slums and talking to residents, Sherif examines the political climate of his native country. He shares the violence, the way the media twisted the events of and leading up to the uprising on January 25th, and the hopes and prayers of the Egyptians all while appreciating his own fortune and making memories with his family. Unable to foresee the long-term outcome of the revolution, Sherif makes a few predictions of the future of Egypt, realizing he wants the same for his children as he does for his country.