Interview with James Lee, Filmstock Festival Director
James gives us a little history on Festival and what makes it unique.
“It started in 2009 as a festival to show local films, by local filmmakers, to local people. It was a monthly festival back then, and we showed a whole slew of local independent films. Then, over the last year and a half, we started to grow that, and grow the amount of films that we show to people, national and international. In the last year we’ve also grown where the festival actually is. Even though we were founded here in Tempe back in 2009 at the Pollack Tempe Cinemas, this last year we’ve actually had Filmstock in Albuquerque, Denver, and Salt Lake, as an initiative to get more filmmakers exposure to more audience members outside of the community that they would usually have exposure to. It’s pretty easy to show your movie to friends and family members, but what isn’t always so easy is getting your short films seen by people who would never otherwise get a chance to see you. That’s kinda what we are all about at Filmstock now.”
“There’s plenty of good feature film festivals here in Arizona. You have the Phoenix Film Festival, and they’re fantastic and a great place to see some feature length films, as well as shorts. And you’ve got the Scottsdale Film festival that focuses more on some of the more independent Hollywood feature films. But there was really a need to show short film making here in the Southwest and really exhibit it, because a lot of these directors are able to play around with ideas that feature filmmakers aren’t necessarily able to play around with. You’re able to have a 10 minute concept piece, make it really entertaining, it’s really fun and easy to watch, but the material that it is, isn’t necessarily something you’d want to drag out to 90 minutes. It’s just a different kind of festival experience that we’re showing.”
I had an opportunity to preview a few of the shorts being showcased at the Festival and the variety between each is staggering. From silly comedy, to short documentaries with stunning visuals, to some quiet, emotionally resonating, shorts. One that I thoroughly enjoyed, which James also mentioned as one of his favorites, “Inseparable,” stars Benedict Cumberbatch in a dual role. With very little dialogue, and a run time of under 10 minutes, it’s amazing the weight it carries.
Speaking to James it’s apparent he has a passion for film and I’m convinced the Filmstock Film Festival will be a highly enjoyable cinematic experience!
The Festival starts Thursday night and runs through Sunday at the Pollack Tempe Cinemas on Elliot & McClintock.
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