Films about relationships, films that make you think, films that make you cry, films that make you laugh and a few that are sure to make your imagination soar are all slated for this year’s seventh annual Hyart Film Festival. The festival’s creator and director Jason Zeller said 21 films have been carefully selected out of 150 submissions to be shown during the festival, June 16-18, at the historic Hyart Theatre in Lovell.
As in past years, films shown during a particular session or “block” will be loosely grouped by genre, with Thursday night reserved for science fiction, Friday night for relationship films and Saturday afternoon for films to make you think. Saturday evening will include a live concert by actor/comedian/songwriter Kirby Heyborne. Well-known in Utah, Kirby has been in multiple films including “The Three Stooges” and “Pirates of the Great Salt Lake.” He has released four albums and has many golden voice awards for his audio books.
This year’s film selections include three from first-time filmmakers, four student films and four films from filmmakers who have previously shown films at the Hyart Film Festival. Three of the films are being shown for the first time anywhere in the world.
According to Zeller, the lineup of films on Thursday evening includes one “true sci-fi” production and a number of others that border on the genre.
“These films are normally in the realm of science fiction, but only one was called science fiction by the directors this year,” said Zeller. “We will start off the night with a heartfelt drama, followed by a comedy before diving into the science fiction. Three of the films have a definite sci-fi feel to them, although only one technically is sci-fi.”
Zeller is referring to the film “Kyro” about a couple who try to cheat death by getting cryogenically frozen, to preserve their bodies for the future. Following Kyro is a film entitled “Thornbird” about acceptance. Zeller said “Thornbird” has an “X-Men” feel to it. “Circle” is the last of the films in the sci-fi genre to be shown on Thursday night. Zeller said the film is about a girl and her dreams and is “visually stunning.”
Zeller is calling Friday evening “Guys and Gals” night. He said the lineup of films isn’t like in the past, where a film geared toward guys was alternated with a film geared toward gals. Instead, he said, the evening’s lineup is geared more toward “the relationships between guys and gals.”
“We start off with another heartfelt drama from previous Hyart Film Fest submitter Damien Patrik,” said Zeller.
Zeller said Patrik, who has attended the film festival in the past, plans to be in the audience listening for reactions to his latest submission.
That film is followed by another submitted by Lovell High School graduate, Ethan McDowell. McDowell has been a regular contributor to the film festival in past years, as well.
“In this film, McDowell plays a German soldier in World War II,” said Zeller. “He only speaks German in the film.”
Zeller cautions that the film comes with a parental warning since it has violence and blood.
Zeller said the next film in the line-up, “Sllip,” which is the word “pills” spelled backward, is a film that will “hit home just about everywhere.”
“It looks like it could have been filmed right here in Wyoming,” said Zeller. “Sllip hits home because it is a film about getting hooked on prescription drugs.”
Zeller cautions that the film also comes with a parental warning since the subject matter deals with drug abuse.
The next film to be shown on Friday night is called “Jewish Blind Date.” Zeller said the movie, submitted by a Swiss director, “illustrates just what people will do to get married.”
A film entitled, “In Hydria” will also be shown on Friday night. The film is the only movie considered to be in the horror film genre in this year’s lineup.
The evening ends with the film “Bis Gleich,” translated to mean “Till Then.”
“It is a drama out of Germany with very few spoken words,” explains Zeller. “It’s a film that can make you feel without telling you how to feel and that is a great film.”
Zeller said Saturday afternoon promises to bring films that will “make you think.” Since Saturday is traditionally the kid’s block, Zeller said the block will have some well-made animations in it.
The Saturday afternoon lineup begins with a film called “Ahco on the Road.” The film is about an elephant that gets separated from his mother and has to make it on his own. Ahco was submitted by Soyeon Kim, a Korean filmmaker who has shown her work previously at the Hyart Film Festival.
Ahco is followed by a film entitled “The Love of Bee Boy and Flower Girl.” Though dubbed as a comedy, Zeller said it’s the first of the “make you think” films. With a similar ending to the classic “Romeo and Juliet,” the film tells the story of what two people in love will go through just to be together.
Next among the afternoon showings is a film called “Lift.” The film is also animated and, according to Zeller, includes “wonderful stop motion animation.”
Up next, a film out of Iran entitled “Blue-Eyed Boy” is about a boy who only sees blue.
“Everyone wants to change him because he is not normal, but in the end it is what the blue-eyed boy sees that is most important,” Zeller said.
Next up on the Saturday afternoon lineup is a film entitled “Natural Attraction.” Zeller describes the film, which is about the creation of the world, as “visually stunning.”
“Natural Attraction” will be followed by “Zombriella,” a film about a 10-year-old boy who befriends a zombie his same age.
Next up is “Hansel and Gretel,” another animated film by Kim with what Zeller describes as “an animated avant-garde take on the classic tale.”
“The Book Artist,” a silent film, is up next. The film is about a man trying to publish a book.
The last movie of this year’s festival is out of Spain and is called “I’ve Just Had a Dream.” According to Zeller, the film shows the stark differences between different cultures.
Zeller said each film in this block gives a different perspective on certain aspects of life and makes the viewer think of how life could be different.
Individual tickets are on sale now for $15 dollars or $50 for a family of four at www.qbee.org. Tickets can also be purchased at Queen Bee Gardens or the First Bank of Wyoming. Tickets are $25 each at the door. Tickets for the film festival will also be sold at the door before each block of films. Zeller said that the best seats would be assigned first, so there is more than just a cost advantage to buying tickets early.
For more information, go to the Hyart Film Festival Facebook page or contact Zeller at 307-272-9048.
By Patti Carpenter