Hyart Film Festival organizer Jason Zeller is pleased with the variety of films the festival will showcase this year, Aug. 9-11, at the historic Hyart Theatre, in downtown Lovell.
This will be the third year for the festival, which will present 60 different films from 14 different countries, all carefully selected by a committee and organized into “blocks” for public viewing. According to Zeller, every block has films from at least four different countries in it. Some have films from up to six different countries. The longest film is 43 minutes long and the shortest film is 57 seconds long.
“So if there is something you don’t care for, wait around for five minutes and–just like the weather in Wyoming– it will change,” said Zeller.
The selections were derived from submissions by filmmakers submitted in the drama, comedy, action comedy, animation, music video, science fiction, horror and “mockumentary” genres. The “mockumentary” genre is a new addition to this year’s festival featuring short films presented in a documentary format but with a humorous twist. Zeller noted that there are several films with a religious theme this year and that the festival will also screen a short film created by Rocky Mountain High School’s FBLA students featuring local businesses.
Ten films are slated for screening on Thursday beginning at 7 p.m. A few highlights from this block include some of Zeller’s favorites, “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About School but Were Afraid to Ask,” “The Elevator,” “Be My Baby” and “Sandstone.”
“Everything…is about a student trying to get into, not so much the right classes, but the right clique instead,” said Zeller. “It has a twist that you’d never expect in a film like that.”
Zeller thinks the content is good and humorous and hopes the audience will enjoy the film as much as he did.
“The Elevator is about this guy who is new to a company, who sees a cute girl in an elevator and tries to talk to her,” said Zeller. “Throughout the film the character encounters a physical and mental barrier between him and the girl. This is another film that has an interesting twist at the end.”
“Be My Baby” is a music video with a dark side, said Zeller. “Sandstone” is an action drama with what Zeller thinks are good special effects.
The film by RMHS FBLA students will be screened at the end of the block.
On Friday night, a free screenwriting class will be offered at 5 p.m. at the Big Horn Federal Bank hospitality room.
Then, around a dozen films will be screened in the first two hours starting at 7 p.m. At 9:30, the theme of the films will gradually shift toward topics geared toward a more mature audience and will include some of the festival’s horror films.
“This is a great opportunity for anyone who wants to get into the filmmaking field,” said Zeller. “There is something for everyone offered at this seminar.”
Some of Zeller’s favorites on Friday night are the film “Gibberish,” a comedy with an interesting twist, “Sucker,” an action comedy that was written, directed and filmed in a 48-hour period and “Ultimo Case” and “Forget Me Not,” which are both produced in the film noir format. Both films have who-done-it of plots and are filmed in black and white.
The 9:30 p.m. time block will open with the religious film “Most High,” followed by “Muscle Hawk’s Electric Light,” which Zeller said is a really good music video.
After the first two films, the subject matter turns more toward the horror genre. Zeller also expects a few filmmakers to be at the theatre on Friday and to meet and greet moviegoers between showings.
An arts walk will be held in conjunction with the film festival on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., where patrons of the arts can meet local artists who will be showcasing their work at local businesses around town. Maps are available at the Lovell Area Chamber office.
Similar to last year’s festival, Saturday afternoon will again offer family-friendly films, with many animated films in the mix. The family films will be shown from 3 to 5 p.m.
The evening will also feature a musical performance by singer/guitarist Cynthia Triplett at the Hyart at 5 p.m. that is free and open to the public.
Around 14 films will be shown that evening starting at 7 p.m. Zeller said viewers should expect to see some of the best films of the festival on Saturday night.
At least two filmmakers are expected to attend the showings, with up to six more “maybes” attending, said Zeller.
The festival does not accept films with nudity, bad language, especially the “f-word,” or “super-gory” violence. Zeller hopes that by limiting this content, the festival will remain, for the most part, a “family-friendly” event.
For more information contact Zeller at (307) 272-9048.
By Patti Carpenter