Friday, April 20, 2012

Sunscreen Film Festival Day 2

By David Salazar

The Second Day of Sunscreen was more jampacked than the first day, and all the more remarkable as well. Unfortunately given the fact that there were always two different things going on in different theaters, we were unable to do much in the way of screenings, but we were able to attend two different workshops, both completely different in scope and to a certain extent attitude.

Marisol Nichols (24, GCB, Scream 2) talked about the business
of being an actor. 
The first workshop of the day featured Michael D. Roberts (Rain Man, Seinfeld) and Marisol Nichols (24, Scream 2, GCB). Nichols got the workshop started by emphasizing the business of acting and the process of landing agents, getting callbacks, and attacking auditions.

Salazars with Michael D. Roberts

Eventually, Nichols left and Roberts took over to field questions from the audience and talked about his experience and his appreciation for the industry. One of the few people that has sincerely NOTHING negative to say about the industry.

Marty Poole talks about getting a sales agent
After the doc block (more below), we were treated to a workshop by Marty Poole on obtaining a sales agent and selling your film. His main points?

-Action, Thriller, Family films (horses/dogs movies) are the big sellers at the moment
-"Drama equals the f-word in the film industry" ( Dramas = tough sells)
-The market for documentaries is growing, but still not highly profitable
-Oh yeah... short films... they are worth next to nothing in the market (but everyone already knew that)

Poole gave a highly comprehensive analysis of the market, though as you'd expect from a sales agent, rather bluntly.

Favorite Films

As has been our working method with past festivals (LIIFE), I will write about my favorite films from the festival on every given day. Usually I go with 5, but I decided to narrow it down to 3 since I saw 5 documentaries and a feature and felt that with 5, one film would be left out. There is no particular order whatsoever here.

"Navarro's Promise"
A short documentary detailing the existential quest of elderly Luis Navarro as he tries to find the murderer of his daughter and granddaughter. The quest has not only dominated Navarro's life for almost 20 years, but has created a rift with the rest of his family; his wife moved away from him to avoid the difficulty situation. The film carefully details Navarro's plight without ever feeling manipulative or overwhelming. Poignancy invades every frame, with some rather intense comments from the Navarro himself. As the film draws to its inconclusive close, Navarro ponders on what life holds for him if he ever finds the killer... As he realizes that he has not lived a normal life for over 20 years and has no idea if he can ever recover it fully, there is a strong disturbance. Powerful stuff.

"My Big Red Purse"
A hybrid documentary based on a childhood story by director Giancarlo Iannota's mother and her big red purse. As his mother narrates, Iannota recreates the scenes and action with utmost clarity and detail that heightens the narration. But the ending, in which his mother has an unexpected emotional response really takes this film to another emotional state. This film packs a nice mix of nostalgia and whimsy in its short 2:30 minutes. You can watch the entire film below:

"Born & Raised"
Born & Raised PosterA poignant story about the desire to expand one's horizons and the dangers of drifting away into emptiness and loneliness. The film centers on young Bubbs (Writer Nick Loritsch) wants to leave Panama City, Florida and travel the world like his grandfather who is despised by all in the town for the grief he has caused Bubbs' mother. The film features gorgeous photography of the Floridian Coast accompanied by a soundtrack featuring country music by Jay Vincent. The film's central focus and probably greatest asset is a tremendous performance by Jackson Pyle as Frank, Bubbs' free-spirited grandfather. Pyle carries himself with a strong sense of gravity, but always pokes in a little joviality when one least expects it, giving an otherwise weighty story some levity. The rest of the cast provides strong support, but it is Pyle who carries the film on his shoulders throughout.

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