The house lights go out, the projector light warms up and the sound of the film sliding through the projector ticks into the room to give the film a quiet sound track.
Now that’s a cinematic experience you don’t get everyday, but the Moonrise Festival, at the Sunset Theatre in Wells, kicked off the weekend with that old 16mm film in a projector, to set the scene.
The first annual event set a great precedent, festival organizer Daniel Jefferey said.
“I was very happy with the people who have come and I think the experience was at least registered. I think it will be passed on and I’ll definitely do it again next year,” he said.
The festival criss-crossed genres across the weekend, from documentaries to some very abstract animation, giving cinephiles a grab bag of selections.
Jefferey said 30 – 40 people attended each showing, which included anywhere from 7 – 10 of the film makers themselves.
The intimacy of the festival encouraged audience members to stay after and chat with Jefferey, the film makers that attended and each other.
The directors who made the trip north offered an insiders view to their work with short speeches after their movies. Movie critic Will Ross introduced the headlining film, It’s such a beautiful day and added a scholastic reading of the movie.
Attendees were encouraged to vote for their favourites in five categories: drama, comedy, documentary, animation and experimental.
Converse, a short about a women having relational troubles, by local film-maker Brendan Nagel, was voted Audience Choice in the drama category.
In the comedy category, I’m Sorry, an absurdist tale of one young man’s life getting away with him after a blind date by Kane Stewart, came away with the audience’s vote.
Imme Ein Lerch, a portrait of an independent 86-year-old women by film-maker Natasha When, captured audience members hearts and the audience choice for best documentary.
The experimental film Live Forms, by Hayley Gauvin, juxtaposing the sound track of babies burbling and crying with the creation of a vase at the hands of a potter, was voted crowd favourite in its category.
Wells film-maker Bill Horne’s typographical journey in Ocean Picture garnered the fan’s choice for animation.
The festival happened thanks to a lot of volunteer work, not only from Jefferey, but the community.
Jefferey would like to thank, Natalia Stanczyk, Brendan Nagel, Mackenzie Warner, Devan Scott and Will Ross for all the hard work and help during the development of the festival as well as their help over the duration.