The Statesboro Herald and the Averitt Center for the Arts are teaming up again for the Eighth Annual Statesboro Film Festival to find and honor the best locally made films. The festival is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday, April 15, at the Averitt Center in downtown Statesboro.
And, as technology continues to improve, the quality of entries in the Film Festival has done the same. So, for the 2016 event, Festival producer Matt Bankhead said he is adjusting the rules a little bit to reflect the talents of today’s filmmakers.
“There’s no question we’ve seen a commitment to make better films,” Bankhead said. “From better sound, lighting, cinematography and storytelling, every aspect of film entries is seeing a marked improvement. That’s a trend I expect is going to continue.”
With that in mind, Bankhead said for the Eighth Annual Statesboro Film Festival, the maximum length allowed for a film entry is increasing by four minutes – from 8 minutes to 12 minutes.
“Again, the increase is a reflection of our faith in local filmmakers to create a work that audiences will find engaging and entertaining for up to 12 minutes,” Bankhead said. “Also, we received several requests from filmmakers who are confident they have a story that needs a little more time to fully develop. However, I would remind all filmmakers most of the films that earned Best Film honors at previous festivals were in the four to seven-minute range. Please keep that in mind.”
As in the past seven years, the festival offers everyone a chance to do what Hollywood does — make your own film. Also, the cash prize that will be awarded to the maker or makers of the work named “Best Film” will increase from $500 to $1,000.
Festival founder Bankhead, who is a video producer for statesboroherald.com and the lead producer for “The Statesboro Herald Report” on Northland Cable and the Studio Statesboro vodcast said:
“One of our goals in starting the festival was to provide a creative outlet for filmmakers in the community. That remains our goal every year. I really encourage everyone to give it a shot.”
Simply put, the Statesboro Film Festival wants your films.
Last year, top honors at the festival went to Joe Guglielmetti and Yashar Alamdari, who produced the film "Sunny Side Up." The film told the heartwarming story of an older man who is having some issues with memory and possibly dementia as he remembers his deceased wife. He eats breakfast every morning at a restaurant where his daughter is a waitress, but he doesn’t recognize her.
Bankhead said the festival is a great venue for not just experienced filmmakers to show their work, but for anyone who has always liked shooting video for fun but wants to take the next step.
“I urge anyone with an itch to see what they can do with a camera to give it a shot,” said Jim Healy, the operations manager for the Herald. “It’s amazing how good films can now be made using just an iPhone or an Android. The key is having a good story and a passion for wanting to tell that story in a short film.”
Some of the basic submission rules for the festival include: all films can be no longer than 12 minutes, there is a $15 submission charge for films submitted by April 1, and $18 after that through 5:30 p.m. April 8, the final deadline. Also, entered films cannot be shown on YouTube, Facebook or any other mass media site until after the April 15 festival.
All rules and information about the festival can be viewed at www.statesborofilmfestival.com, the festival's official website.
Selected films will be shown at the 2016 Statesboro Film Festival inside the Averitt Center on April 15. Awards will be given for Best Film, Best Director, Best Cinematography and Best Editing.
“Even if you don’t make a film, come to the festival,” Healy said. “For $5, you get to watch about a dozen films, enjoy a delicious catered intermission spread and have a great time.