Tuesday, October 8, 2013

So What Is Dallas VideoFest?

This year we are lucky enough to be able to cover the 26th Dallas VideoFest. It's a festival that features a myriad of films from documentaries, experimental features, and short films. VideoFest is put on every year by the Dallas Video Association, whose mission is to "promote an understanding of video as a creative visual art medium and culture force in our society, in addition to supporting and advancing the work of Texas artists working in video and electronic arts." From the sounds of it, VideoFest is the perfect outlet for local artists to display their work to the public.

Artistic Director, Bart Weiss, shared some insight into the festival at a recent roundtable discussion, "For those of you who have been around this festival for a long time, I can say that this year will be very different. First, we're excited to be the first festival at the Alamo Drafthouse DFW. All the screens showing the films will be beautiful with the Alamo screens." Weiss also said another major difference is, unlike the past where the films were scheduled in various locations, all the films will be screened at the Alamo. All screens will have upwards to a 30 minute break between screenings giving festival goers plenty of time to choose their next screening.

In the past, VideoFest has given out the Ernie Kovacs Award, named after the pioneering television personality. It's been years since VideoFest has given out the award, but this year, they have found a recipient that represents the spirit of Kovacs...George Slaughter, the creator of Laugh-In. "Slaughter has been responsible for hundreds of hours of television shows and changed the face of television," Weiss said. George Slaughter will be presented with the Ernie Kovacs Award on Friday, October 11th at 7:15 at the Alamo.

One aspect that makes this festival unique are the satellite programs scheduled as various locations around the Metroplex. Weiss believes "video is not about what you see in the theatre, but about what you can see in all different places." On Friday, October, 11th, the McKinney Arts Contemporary will hold a special performance by the group, NoiseFold. NoiseFold is an live cinema and electronic music ensemble who "use sensor-activated computer systems and complex audio-visual feedback circuitry to synthesize a mesmerizing array of biomimetic visual forms that generate sound." They rarely perform in Texas, so this will be one event that must not be missed.

One problem I can already foretell is there just won't be enough time to fit everything in! Since the festival only runs for four days, most films are only playing once. We're excited to be experiencing this festival for the first time, and my cohort put it the best when he said that VideoFest feels like a place that we will discover some real hidden film gems.

Other Random Tidbits:
  • When you get to the theatre, you will get a number to the movie you want to see and will be let into the theatre based on that order.
  • Full festival badge holders will have full access to the festival lounge.
  • There will be a presentation on Google Glass where you can meet locals who have the technology and possibly let you try them out.
  • The festival lounge will also hold mini screenings in the Video Cafe.
  • On Saturday, you can bring your old home movies to the Video Cafe, and there will be a place to drop them off to be converted into DVDs by the Texas Archive.
  • There will be a high school showcase called Emerging Filmmakers Shorts. 
Be on the lookout for our most anticipated films later on today!

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