Short Films

Sick Chick Flicks Film Festival Recap

I just finished my weekend at Sick Chick Flicks Film Festival in Cary, North Carolina where “The Gaze” screened. This was my third year with a film in the festival but my first time attending. I’m glad I finally got to experience it. Overall, I had a nice time. There were only a handful of filmmakers in attendance, so while not watching films, I mostly experienced a quiet weekend exploring what turned out to be a really cute town.

As for the fest itself, you can tell it’s run by filmmakers because the picture and sound projection of all films were excellent. It’s also held in a beautiful venue, The Cary Theater. The festival is not as well attended as it should be. The festival staff seems to do a good job promoting it. But I think it hasn’t gotten the word of mouth it needs just yet. My screening had 35 people, and it was the most attended block as a whole. What’s nice, though, is that all but 5 people in the audience seemed to be locals not affiliated with the festival, so the films definitely reached people they probably wouldn’t otherwise. I hope that as the fest grows (it’s only in its 4th year) locals will come out to see the films.

My block had 11 shorts in it and I really appreciated that my film and the one other with filmmakers in attendance were programmed at the end so that they were fresh in the attendees’ minds for the Q&A. The Q&A itself was very brief, unfortunately, but I did get cool compliments one-on-one after. My favorite moment was 2 girls, one in high school and another in middle school, coming over after to tell me how much they enjoyed my movie and that they’re both aspiring filmmakers. It was also cool being reunited with Dycee Wildman & Jennifer Bonier in the same block with their short “Coming Alive.” Their previous film “Inside The House” was one of my favorites in 2017, which I saw at Ax Wound 2 years ago.

Other highlights:

  • getting to see festival director Christine Parker again, who I worked with at my old job I Was There Film Workshops

  • making new filmmaker friends, like Trinity Vélez-Justo, who gave a great presentation on the significance of sound & music in horror

  • watching 4 compelling pitches all by women in horror where the fest awarded one $400 from the festival’s ticket sales

  • and finally getting to meet & spend time with Megan Peterson, who drove from Wilmington to see my short and my Crowdfunding presentation. I helped launch her crowdfunding campaign for her feature Drought back in 2017, and she’s now joining my education team at Seed&Spark.

-Christina

Local Vegan Treat:

  • I didn’t really find anything great but they at least had food options that weren’t just chains!

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Fem.Cine.Anarchy Recap

Last Thursday, I attended a screening of “The Gaze” as part of Fem.Cine.Anarchy in Portland, Maine. Fem.Cine.Anarchy is a free popup screening event celebrating "diverse, intersectional, edgy, female-driven, short narrative films, directed by female-identified persons." It’s run by Kate Kaminski, the founder and festival director of the now discontinued but well-remembered and recognized Bluestocking Film Series; and it was born out of the #DirectedByWomen celebration every September. I had such a great time at Bluestocking last year (screening “Enough”), that I knew I wanted to submit “The Gaze” and attend anything affiliated with it and Kate. I was really honored to be one of only 9 selections for the event.

It’s not an official festival, really just a single night out for locals to discover and enjoy some films that they’d probably never see otherwise. None of the other filmmakers were planning to attend, so I knew it wouldn’t be the kind of screening with a Q&A or for-filmmakers feel (though Bluestocking definitely was). It’s ultimately for film-lovers in the community, which I was totally down for because, Bluestocking aside, I also really loved the vibe in Portland last year and wanted to go back. So, I figured Justin & I could just make a min-vacation out of it with the mindset of getting a break from NYC at a time that happened to coincide with this little screening. Considering that, it really exceeded my expectations. The venue, on Slab’s outdoor patio, was great. They have excellent pizza (with an amazing vegan special), which was a surprise for us New Yorkers. And the space was really well equipped for the screening. The picture quality was solid and the sound was really good upfront where we sat. And best of all, despite it being a very chilly evening, people really turned up! There were over 50 people there who stayed through the end even though it was basically freezing below 60 degrees by the end of the evening, which is a real testament to the quality of the lineup and the communal atmosphere Kate has created over the years through Bluestocking and this pop-up. Overall, in spite of a bit of shivering, we had a wonderful time. It was so lovely to see Kate and her partner Betsy again, and to get such fun reactions from the audience as a whole.

Our short time in Portland after the screening was also a treat. Our one full day there had great weather (it’s a little unfortunate that the evening before wasn’t as warm - but at least it didn’t rain), so we were able to walk around a ton. Some highlights were seeing the local passion for progress and change during the Climate Strike at Portland’s City Hall, grabbing delicious donuts at The Holy Donut (they’re made from potatoes yet so light and fluffy), spending some time by the water, and happening across an unexpected concert in the little park outside our hotel where a community dance class showed off their skills. It was a fun trip. I definitely recommend checking out Fem.Cine.Anarchy next year if you’re in the mood for a breather by the water in a cool little city with a night out featuring an entertaining and thoughtful selection of shorts. 

-Christina

Local Vegan Treat:

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