Saturday, March 31, 2018

Phil attends Cinequest 28: Day 9 - March 7, 2018

Hello everybody and welcome to Day Nine of my trip to Cinequest 24! Again, because of my new job, I only got to attend one screening, but it was one that I have been anticipating since it was announced during the Cinequest Media Launch Party back in January! After getting my grub and drinks on at the Cinequest Soiree at the Cafe Stritch, I made my way to my one and only screening of the night.

I made my way over to the 3 Below Theater for the groundbreaking and innovative traveling film festival LUNAFEST SERIES. The series of short films were all made by talented female filmmakers that will no doubt be making a difference in the male dominated Hollywood. Moderated by Carly Severn, the screening consisted of nine extraordinary shorts:

YOURS SINCERELY, LOIS WEBER: Introduced by Elizabeth Banks, the short is a tribute to silent filmmaker and trailblazer Lois Weber, who was then the highest paid director at Universal Pictures. Infusing social commentary and feminist issues, some of Weber's most famous films include THE BLOT, SHOES, and THE DUMB GIRL FROM PORTICI, which are available to purchase from Milestone Films and Flicker Alley.

GIRLS LEVEL UP: A documentary about a young Muslim woman who sets up a special camp for middle grade school girls. Here, they are taught how to design their very own video games. A powerful message that girls are gamers too, and are a force to be reckon with!

WAITING FOR HASSANA: In this dramatic short that's set in 2014, 276 teenage girls came together for exams in Chibok, Nigeria -- by dawn, nearly all had disappeared and their school was burnt. Jessica, an escapee, shares her haunting account of a friendship violently interrupted by Boko Haram.
LAST SUMMER, IN THE GARDEN: An animated short about nature, seasons, cycles, and the unavoidable speed bumps in the road of life.

FANNYPACK: A young Indian-American woman who wants to follow her dreams, and a fanny pack clad Indian father who chases his daughter through an airport hoping that she will follow his.

JOY JOY NAILS: Sarah manages Joy Joy Nails with a cheerful iron fist, but she gets her manicured claws out when Chinese Mia, a manicurist trainee, looks to be stealing the boss's son's affections, soon discovering that under the varnish, everyone's a victim.

TOYS: In 1930s farm country, a father wants a son, but he gets a little girl. He tries to toughen her up by giving her toys intended for boys. His efforts backfire when she proves a little too capable for comfort.

BUTTERCUP: As Maggie struggles with her mother's death a surprise visitor helps her find joy again.

JESSZILLA: Jesselyn "Jesszilla" Silva is serious about boxing, and at 10 years old trains seriously with dreams of becoming a professional fighter. Her father, Pedro, finds himself caught in between supporting her dream and worrying about her future as she tries to master a combat sport.

After the program, Carly Severn interviewed director Svetlana Cvetko and Erin Palmquist, whose film FROM BAGHDAD TO THE BAY was screening at the festival. After a very informative and insightful interview, they participated in a fun Q&A with the audience.

And folks, there you have Day Nine of Cinequest 28! To view the festival's film schedule and purchase tickets and passes, visit their website at

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

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