The pandemic threw a sickly wrench into many arts and culture events the past three years, but a few good things came out of it too. The Filmocracy Festival got its start during the shutdown, for one. Former AFI Fest programmer and Slamdance co-founder Jon Fitzgerald incorporates at-home and in-person screenings, a networking expo, a digital film market, and an awards program in this relatively new L.A. fest. You can never have too many film fests if you ask us and providing at-home options is key, especially as COVID-19 numbers rise once again. Hybrid fests also provide more flexibility.
“Filmmakers will always want to see their movies on the big screen, engage with audiences, and participate in Q&As, but they cannot always make it to every festival. We’ve seen ticket sales double by allowing audiences who can’t make it to Sundance or Los Angeles, for example, the opportunity to see and appreciate these emerging talents in their home theaters,” says Fitzgerald. “Hybrid is going to be the way of most fests, with a few exceptions from traditionalists. It will be up to filmmakers to know their goals, understand what each fest can do for them, and carve out the path that works for them and their project.”
Full lengths this year include Alchemy Of The Spirit directed by Steve Balderson (Phone Sex)—a character study with magical realism and horror; Ben Epstein’s Buck Alamo—a portrait of a modern-day musical outlaw; Death Of A Ladies’ Man from Matthew Bissonnette—starring Gabriel Byrne as a carousing college professor; 1-800-HOT-NITE by Nick Richey—about a teen’s coming of age on one wild night; The Human Trial from Lisa Hepner—an insider look at clinical trails; Kaepernick & America directed by Tommy Walker and Ross Hockrow—covering the journey of activist and former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick; Art & Art Krimes By Krimes—Alysa Nahmias’ chronicle of artist Jesse Krimes, who made great works of art while in prison and smuggled out an epic mural he created in his cell; and One Pint At A Time directed by Aaron Hose—covering the history of craft beer and Black-owned breweries.
In-person screenings take place July 14-17 at Lumiere Cinema at the Music Hall in Beverly Hills. Films are also available online via the Filmocracy digital platform. Ticket and more info at festival.filmocracy.com/filmfest3.
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