The Eau Claire World Film Festival shines the spotlight on local and international films – the Spectator
The third annual Eau Claire World Film Festival is back this year, with a lineup of diverse genres created by filmmakers who live in regions ranging from Eau Claire to Japan.
Breanna Ferraro, director of marketing and communications for the Festival, said this was the first year the film festival will be held at the Pablo Center in downtown Eau Claire.
The event will take place on November 8 and 9, with some free screenings on Friday 8.
Ferraro said viewers can expect to see movies from all over the world and across the United States, but especially the Midwest.
âWe strive to include artists and filmmakers from the region,â Ferraro said. “We take admissions from abroad, so we get a handful of films from the Germany-Austria region, which is really cool.”
“Nunchaka and soul” – invented âNapoleon’s Japanese dynamiteâ on the Festival’s Facebook page – made the front page of the comedy evening on Friday.
Next, this year’s feature film “Purple Haze” by David Burton, which was shot in Minneapolis, will premiere on Saturday night.
âIt’s a film that won a grand prize,â Ferraro said. “It immerses the viewer in the year 1968 with the hippie culture, the nocturnal evenings.”
She said it focuses on how music has changed since then and includes songs from artists like Jimi Hendrix and Buffalo Springfield.
Ferraro said the short film lineup for the weekend, however, ranged from comedies and independent films to cultural films and political documentaries.
âI would say having this variety makes the festival more inclusive overall,â she said.
Ferraro said one of his favorites is âThe Last Harvest,â a documentary focused on the immigration crisis.
However, Ferraro said they always try to include as many Midwestern films and filmmakers as possible.
âShedding light on young local filmmakers is really important,â Ferraro said. âSo I think these are going to be a big hit. “
One of those filmmakers is Tim Schwagel, who is in his 20s but has said he has been making films since he was in college.
He has said he’s one of the few narrative filmmakers in Eau Claire, so he’s excited to meet artists from the Chippewa Valley and the Midwest at the World Film Festival.
His short film “Punch Me” will air Friday evening.
âThese are two girls who steal a gas station, badly,â Schwagel said.
He said the movie totaled 6 minutes, but it felt even shorter.
âI called it a dark comedy for a while, but now I don’t think it’s that dark,â Schwagel said. âIt’s definitely a comedy, a heist comedy. The point is to have fun while you watch it.
Schwagel said he has released around 5 or 6 short films, but this is the first he has submitted to festivals. He said he submitted “Punch Me” at other Wisconsin and Midwestern film festivals and awaits a response.
âThe reality of festivals is that you’re going to submit to loads, and probably get into like, two,â Schwagel said. âBecause everyone across the country is submitting everywhere. “
He said he was thrilled to see the community’s reaction to âPunch Meâ at the Festival, as most people don’t spend a lot of time outside of festivals watching short films.
âA lot of the time you can watch things without feeling preached,â he said of film festivals. “So it’s a good way to get a new perspective – especially somewhere like Eau Claire, where we don’t really have any foreign or independent films.”
âWe want this to be a festival that everyone can participate in,â Ferraro said, ânot to be as closed as a lot of film festivals are.â
Tickets can be purchased online at eauclaireworldfilmfest.com.
Lopez can be reached at [emailÂ protected]