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The second night of New York City’s Big Apple Film Festival ushered in independent movie lovers to packed theaters at TriBeCa Cinemas. The crowds were larger than the first evening, as over 20 independent films were shown over the duration of the night. There were six programs to chose from, each program containing a group of short films.
This gave viewers a chance to watch a variety of films without ever getting up from their seat. As one of the ticket options, movie goers were able to watch four films. The first film viewed was entitled Theatrics. Directed by David Lewis from Vancouver, Canada, this film depicted two women in their mid twenties as they sat in a movie theater, high off of weed laced with ketamine.
A nervous Austin was paranoid because a combination of the illegal drugs and the news that her mother and grandmother were in the theater as well. A more relaxed Samantha attempts to calm her down, but is unsuccessful. Although the film was only nine minutes long, it kept the audience laughing throughout.
In a short question and answer session at the end of the films, Lewis explained how the film was created. “The whole thing was done for 2,500 bucks” he stated, which was all generated from donation. Theatrics was a comical highlight of the night.
Following Theatrics was a more serious film, Faint by Numbers. Directed by Sean N. Ihne, Faint by Numbers followed the life of Dustin over the course of just a few days, where he learns that his father is dying and his fiance has moved out of their apartment. In an attempt to commit suicide by standing in front of oncoming traffic, Dustin is rescued by Rank, a stranger who pushed him out of the street.
Along with Rank’s roommate, Jessie, they move into Dustin’s apartment without knowing him for more than 48 hours. Over the course of the next few days, Dustin quits his monotonous job and finds out Rank has overdosed on heroin and is in the hospital.
Faint by Numbers was not embraced as favorably as other movies of the night, as the dramatic series of life changing events happened unrealistically quick. This movie was the longest of the group at 35 minutes. Ihne explained that the movie was “a long time in the making.” He wrote the movie three years ago and it had its debut at the Big Apple Film Festival on November 2.
The 16 minute movie entitled Found Art brought back some humor into the movie theater. Janine is an artist who strives to create a video installation by interviewing people on how their intentions of art may not always come across the way they want.
Janine interviews a young woman named Kristy, who was convinced to be photographed by a Connecticut man, and later found out that her picture ended up as a print advertisement for a company that teaches people a second language. Kristy speaks about how her original intentions were just to make a couple of hundred dollars, not knowing she would end up as the model for the company.
Director Yvete Morales explained how the film came about. “A lot of the inspiration was from Lee, my boyfriend, and I, sitting around and talking about people in the neighborhood and making stories.” The final film, Impostor, was a 25 minute long movie directed by Marc Masciandaro.
The main character, Arthur Semple, is a man with a daily routine and an office job that leaves him searching the internet for international vacations. He is a reserved man who takes interest in his beautiful next door neighbor, but is too shy to speak to her. Ray, his charismatic twin brother, comes to town for a long overdue visit.
Ray manages to ask the next door neighbor out on a date, but when he gets into a bloody fight and lands himself in the hospital, Arthur realizes that he can turn into his brother and go on the date with his long time crush. The date goes horribly wrong, but the film was a huge success at the festival. Masciandaro spoke about his film, “I wanted to create something that I could really torture my protagonist.”
Much of the audience at this group of movies came to support family and friends who acted or directed the films. The theater was packed, and this program was just one example of the success of the second evening at the Big Apple Film Festival.