STORY WRITTEN BY BRIAN BINGAMAN
@brianbingaman on Twitter
Independent short films from around the globe will be screened during the ninth edition of the Media Film Festival.
Held April 1 and 2 at the Media Theatre, 104 E. State St., the festival will feature 42 juried films representing 12 countries, including dramas, documentaries, comedies, animation, horror and experimental. The festival’s website has a trailer offering a compelling glimpse at this cross-section of genres at www.mediafilmfestival.org.
In a press release, Dave Scheivert, the festival’s chairman, said, “There are some extraordinary entries and performances from local filmmakers and actors, along with intriguing submissions from around the world, that have come together for what might be our finest festival yet.”
Media native Jessica Graham, an actress and producer now living in Los Angeles, will present a hometown screening of the film “Monkeys,” in which she is one of the film’s two co-stars. In all, there will be 15 films representing Delco and the region.
The Media Film Festival is sponsored by the Franklin Mint Federal Credit Union, the Media Music Theatre, the Borough of Media and Michael R. Rhile Carpentry.
What time does the festival run?
According to the website, Friday will be broken down into a 7 p.m. screening and a Late Night Horror Fest at 10:30 p.m. On Saturday, screening sessions are at 3 and 7 p.m. Check the site for the complete program selections.
When you say short films, are we talking 15 minutes? 20 minutes?
They range from as short as two minutes to 29 minutes.
What’s “Monkeys” about?
Here’s the short synopsis: “Today, Lila’s years of drug abuse have caught up with her. The state is taking her daughter. Gimmie, Kiri’s father, has gotten sober. It’s been three years since he’s seen Lila or his daughter. He has a plane ticket to go see Kiri, but he can’t shake the impossible feeling that Lila is on the other side of his bathroom door.
“Lila is getting dangerously high. She has piles of pills. She has a razor blade. She too, though, is drawn to her bathroom door.
“When they open the doors, they realize they are each alone in their own apartments.
“After taking a final bow to life, Lila fills the bathtub, picks up the razor blade, and closes the bathroom door. At that very same moment Gimmie runs for his phone to call Lila.”
Check out the “Monkeys” Twitter feed at @Monkeysthefilm.
Other highlights with local ties include “One is No One” a documentary created by a student-run production company at Villanova University; “Disco Zal,” director Sean McKnight’s comedy starring Delco actor Gary Gustin; “Gumball,” shot at the DK Diner in West Chester, directed by Kris Theorin and Kurtis Theorin; and “Moths,” a drama produced by Philadelphia’s Madeleine Shapiro.
Any other special guests?
Among the filmmakers having their photos taken on the red carpet will be several Delaware County teens, part of the Media Youth Film Initiative (MyFi), who have four selections in the festival’s lineup. MyFi, a program presented by the Media Arts Council and the Media Youth Center, teaches professional filmmaking skills to local high school students. Four films were produced by MyFi students — “Welcome Home” and “Dream Big” will open the April 1 evening showing; “A Sublime Screenplay” and “Tommy” will open the April 2 7 p.m. program.
Celebrity hosts for the festival, all of whom live in Media, include Fox 29’s Sue Serio and her husband, actor Bill Vargus and Charlie Maxx of “John & Charlie in the Morning” on Wilmington’s WJBR-FM, where she is also program director.
Do I need a ticket?
They’re $12 or $20 for a weekend pass. You can get them at the door, or online at http://mediaartscouncil.org/archives/media-film-festival/9th-annual-media-film-festival.