Someone (I know who) Stole My Web Site!!!

In case you are wondering what happened to the official Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat. A person I know and paid to work to work on developing another new site for me – hacked and stole it.

Parties are looking into it. It will be corrected with the appropriate actions.

This person has no claim, does not own the site or anything related to it but took it and my email accounts associated with it. He has interrupted and damaged my ability to business and communication. There are remedies for this.

The official site will be back, rest assured.

Discussion on air continue: Next up Peter Marshall Dec 4 11aE 10aC 8aP. See the posted link on Peter’s page in this blog site. Meet you on the air and in the chat room!

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Weyauwega Int’l Film Fest, Year Four, 2014: Aftermath

film reels weyauwega window

Sunday morning after the 4th Annual Weyawega International Film Festival 2014 had concluded Allan Katz and I met for coffee about 8:30 at The Green Fountain Inn where we each had rooms. Around 9am Kathy, Ian and Holly arrived to join us for breakfast. It was a delicious breakfast and fascinating conversation about movies, and making movies and the future.

About 10:30 Allan left for Chicago, Kathy, Holly, Ian and I headed to the Gerold Opera house where (Anne joined us) we continued our conversation about future plans and screened their fascinating feature film ‘Mint Julip’ on the large screen. They made the movie a few years ago and among the cast members are James Gandolfini and David Morse.  It was good to see it again ON the big screen.

Shortly, after the screening completed and we chatted for a while we headed out. I returned so I could get to Chicago on Monday. I again want to thank everyone at Weyauwega Film Festival for their hospitality and dedicated hard work. I thank each for making my stay as pleasant and comfortable as possible – it was a delightful stay. Great people all around and I miss them all already!

weyawega opera house 2014

Thanks to Cynthia, Barbara, Dottie and Sahara at The Green Fountain Bed and Breakfast in Waupaca. It was marvelous to stay there again and was great to see each of you again! Thanks for everything.

KUDOS to the filmmakers who submitted and the people I know and those I met for the first time, and all the fans who attended, it was wonderful. Glad to have met up and caught up. It was good fun to be all together in one place and celebrate film and filmmakers and the people for whom we tell stories for – the audience. Kudos to the filmmakers who submitted but could not attend.

weyauwega film fest 2014

Bottom Line the festival was another good one this year. I am pleased to have been a part of it again, saw some good films and met some wonderful people. I look forward to 2015 and for making all the plans we made a reality in between.

The award results forThe 2014 Weyauwega International Film Festival are as follows:

Best Animated Film: BIG BAG from Spain Directed by Ricardo Martin Coloma $100

Best Documentary Feature: OLD MAN Directed by Dan Schniedkraut $250

Best Documentary Short: THE KING OF SIZE Directed by Peter Dowd $100

Best Narrative Feature: PROUD CITIZEN Directed by Thomas Southerland $250

Best Narrative Short: REJECTED Directed by Craig Knitt $100

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Outstanding Foreign Language Film: MOUSSE from Sweden Directed by John Hellberg

Outstanding Acting Ensemble: WHEN THE KING TILTS Directed by Drew Britton

Outstanding Screenplay: BOY MINUS GIRL Written & Directed by James Lawrence

Festival Spirit Award: BUCKY AND THE SQUIRRELS Written & Directed by Allan Katz

And there you have it. Come join us next year.

Here is the Weyauwega International Film Festival Facebook Page

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OH By they way some of my upcoming guest on Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat include; producer Rocky Lang, director Bill Rebane, director Peter Marshall, writer, producer Michael Frost Beckner, Actors Michael Spears and Eddie Spears, Allan Katz and others. So be sure to stay tuned and I’ll keep you posted.

*** Please also visit Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Official Website.

Stay up to date with the live shows on Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat. You can join us and listen live as the show records. You can hang in chat and ask questions. All shows are recorded and archived at the official site.

Updates will be posted at this blog, at the official site,  on the RSMB Friends page on FB,  through twitter and elsewhere.  When you can’t join us live you can still  listen to archived show from official site, from blogtalk radio and you can subscribe to the podcast at itunes.

Over 400 hours of professional filmmakers share their expertise and tips and secrets with you. All discussion may be listened to live and archived from the Official Site too! Check the INTERVIEWS

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Official Site

Weyauwega Int’l Film Fest, Year Four, Day 4. Nov 12-15

weyauwega film fest 2014

Day 4 began with a delicious breakfast at the The Green Fountain Inn, Bed and Breakfast.  Then as  I was leaving I encountered director Drew Britton whose film I enjoyed last evening, coming into eat. We had the chance to converse for about 20 minutes and I then drove to Gerold Opera House in Weyauwega where the morning was bustling.

I met, in person, for the first time some Facebook friends, Diane Richardson and Brett Houdek who had roles in the first feature ‘Boy Minus Girl’. Diane also appears in ‘Bucky and the Squirrels’ and Brett stars in a Wisconsin made movie, now in post, that features Kevin Sorbo and Stephen Baldwin. It was great to meet in person for the first time and see them perform.

I said my hellos to staff and to friend Jason Buss who is here with the same feature. He was an associate producer. movie was and directed by James Lawrence who also had a role. It got big laughs from the audience and a lively, funny Q & A ensued afterwards with 14 members of cast and crew. It was a humorous and enjoyable morning.

Shorts followed this feature. ‘Rosie’ made by Wisconsin director Alexander Kohnstamm was well made and a touching look at the role a father plays in a child’s life.’

Great to see Vancouver/Wisconsin filmmaker, mutual friend of Peter D. Marshall, back for another day. He traveled to Milwaukee and back since last night.

Sweden’s offering, ‘Mousse’ got big laughs and gasps. Well acted and well made. Subtitles didn’t prevent people from finding the humor about this robbery on the outskirts of town. This 40 minute short appeared to have all the right ingredients and great production value. The film is directed by John Hellberg.

Dan Davies returned with a short he stars in, ‘Beyond Goldenhill’ directed by filmmaker South American Filmmaker now at UCLA Nicolas Pinzon Fernandez. I was impressed with this film all the way around.

wegabannerlogo

Since it is weekend attendance again increased. Lots of food and drinks purchased and people chatting.  The first half of today was quite enjoyable!

Wisconsin filmmaker, comedian and artist, Craig Knitt, (and festival director ofWildWood Film Festival with Jason Buss) screened his delightful short film ‘Rejected’. It is funny, well edited, animated at times, and included nice special effects. The audience enjoyed very much. Craig answered questions during Q & A.

I enjoyed the four minute animated short from France ‘Une A La Mer’ (A Ride To The Sea) directed by Damien Stein and Tim Guinee’s ‘One Armed Man’, a US narrative short film starring Charlie Haid (I had the good fortune to work on a show with Charlie for CBS when I was 18 or 19) and Terry Kinney (co-founder of Chicago’s Steppenwolfe Theater). Guinee’s well made, well acted, short was executive produced by Philip Seymore Hoffman.

I have to state, and really want to point out, that this has been an excellently programmed film festival. Not all things are equal and not everything shown is to my taste or everyone else’s. Still, I can honestly write that I have not been disappointed by anything screened. I haven’t mentioned everything, and I am not reviewing any films, so I don’t mean any commentary by not commenting on a short or feature. I am very pleased with the selection offered this year. Every filmmaker who screened here was talented and should be proud.

allan katz weyauwega 2014 upfront

I just had a very fascinating conversation with Joey Larsen, who acted in ‘Boy Minus Girl’. Part of our discussion focused on making and keeping film work alive in Wisconsin. Joey lived in L A and worked in the film business before coming to Wisconsin. It is always marvelous and great fun to discover people here who appreciate the lifestyle and magic of the Hollywood Basin. Truly magical out west and we shared stories of synchronicity.

Now, no sooner than I typed that last sentence, that director Allan Katz surprised me with a tap on the shoulder and a hug ‘hello’! Allan arrived from Los Angeles to screen ‘Bucky and the Squirrels’. Besides directing the comedy feature shot in Wisconsin Mr. Katz has written, produced and directed various television series and shows including; ‘Blossom’, ‘Mash’, ‘Roseanne’, ‘We’ll Get By’, ‘Cher’, ‘Rhoda’, ‘Sanford and Son’, ‘Laugh In’ and more!

He has many wonderful Hollywood stories. More than most people can imagine. It is great to see him again! It has been a year since I last saw him in person and I am so glad to be in the same place at the same time with this gentleman TV and filmmaker again.

I had fun catching up with Allan in the lobby too. Turns out we are staying at the same place and have plans for breakfast. The audience grew and grew as people filed in to see ‘Bucky and the Squirrels’. Many of them cast and crew and many of them not. The energy was fun and exciting.

allan katz and rex sikes upfront

I was delighted to see ‘Bucky and the Squirrels’ it brought back many memories of cast and crew. It was a fun, family friendly movie too. Allan answered questions from the audience and took photographs with fans and friends. Kathy and Ian announced awards and honorable mentions and the food was made available and of course the cash bar. Lot’s of fun and chatter.

It snowed during the late afternoon and evening so after clearing the windshields, Allan followed me back to where I have been staying and where he will spend this evening, The Green Fountain Inn, Bed and Breakfast on Main Street in Waupaca, Wisconsin. Cynthia, Dottie, and Barb have made my stay very comfortable.

Tomorrow morning after breakfast Allan will head off and Kathy, Ian and I will enjoy a private screening and take care of some things we need to do. Then I will leave Weyauwega before mid-afternoon.

This has been a wonderful festival, great films, great talent, great people and times. I look forward to coming back next year too. If you are at festivals where any of the films I have mentioned show, or online or in theaters, catch them when you are able. The others I did not mention, but are in the festival line-up are worth seeing too.

I enjoyed seeing old friends and meeting new one. Year 4 was a good year for film in Weyauwega!

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OH By they way some of my upcoming guest on Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat include; producer Rocky Lang, director Bill Rebane, director Peter Marshall, writer, producer Michael Frost Beckner, Actors Michael Spears and Eddie Spears and others. So be sure to stay tuned and I’ll keep you posted.

*** Please also visit Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Official Website.

Stay up to date with the live shows on Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat. You can join us and listen live as the show records. You can hang in chat and ask questions. All shows are recorded and archived at the official site.

Updates will be posted at this blog, at the official site,  on the RSMB Friends page on FB,  through twitter and elsewhere.  When you can’t join us live you can still  listen to archived show from official site, from blogtalk radio and you can subscribe to the podcast at itunes.

Over 400 hours of professional filmmakers share their expertise and tips and secrets with you. All discussion may be listened to live and archived from the Official Site too! Check the INTERVIEWS

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Official Site

Weyauwega Int’l Film Fest, Year Four, Day 3. Nov 12-15

wegabannerlogo

Day 3 began way before my delicious breakfast but once that was completed I traveled into Waupaca and stopped on Main Street at the local Nutrition Center for some coconut water to take with me to the Gerold Opera House. One of my favorite beverages and I forgot to pack some for this trip.

Movies began earlier today. 10am and there have been a bunch of really cool shorts. I enjoyed a fascinating documentary feature on the domestic terrorist standoff at the Washington Monument in 1982, ‘Oracles Of Pennsylvania Avenue’. Directed by Tim Wilkerson this appears to be an Egypt, USA joint venture but I am unclear how.

Today the offerings are mostly narrative shorts, a few that are animated, some documentary shorts, a narrative feature and 3 documentary features. Most of the shorts are from overseas, a couple from around US and numerous from Wisconsin.

Given that Scott Walker was again elected to office earlier this month I was looking forward to Wisconsin’s Brad Lichtenstein (and Movie Beat guest) doc short on ‘Wisconsin’s Mining Standoff’. Moves by Walker and his opponents were controversial then and now so I am looked forward to seeing how the situation is covered by Brad.

weyauwega film fest 2014

Because it is a documentary issue pertinent to Wisconsin an impromptu discussion arose concerning what was and is happening inside this state. Questions were raised about citizens’ ability to discern if media reports accurately reflect the issue and to how to be best informed.

People need to be able to determine whether or not some of these actions benefit or harm the land and individuals. We cannot act appropriately or responsibly  if we do not have access to correct information. These days, in my opinion, getting raw data without editorial bias or political agenda is rare, sadly, very rare.

Whether you agree with the filmmaker’s presentation or not I believe this is what good documentary should do. It should stimulate thinking and investigative thinking and action from concerned viewers. That, for me, is a more worthwhile  endeavor, to explore the topic so people can make up their own minds and actions, than to present a biased filmmaker viewpoint telling the audience how it should think. Seems there is room enough in the world for numerous ways to cover topical stories.

I got to meet and converse with Chris M. Jones, who graduated and returned from Vancouver Film School, a student and friend of my friend and Movie Beat guest director and educator Peter D Marshall. The world is small indeed, and I look forward to catching up more with Chris.

Just came across this link to article on ‘Bucky & The Squirrels’ and have included the link. The film debuts here tomorrow, Saturday the 15th in the evening. You may want to come on out and check it out.

L A based writer, producer and film’s Director Allen Katz will be in attendance. Other local cast and crew are sure to show up. Read the article it is a nicely done piece.

Comedy Filmed In Appleton Ready For The Big Screen

If you look closely you will see yours truly in a number of pics in the article. Lawrence University partnered to produce the feature, but it was a professional cast and crew who made the film.

weyauwega break time 2014

In 2010 Ronald Kolman directed a pilot, ‘Woody’s World’. I produced, was UPM and had role and we allied then with MATC in Milwaukee to give students an opportunity to learn first hand what it is like to work a professional set and meet real world deadlines.

All things considered, LU had played a larger part int the production of Bucky. Our difficulty was that MATC, who very much wanted the program, couldn’t allow students to work the entire shoot from beginning to end because of class schedule and finals.

Since the students couldn’t take leave of their other courses and be there full time for the duration of the shoot we utilized our own professional crew. A handful of students came in to shadow the pros from time to time. Hardly ideal and not the plan we had all moved forward on.

Plus, we had one instructor who attempt to insert himself into the mix causing us delays and issues. He was out of line and was acting on his own behalf. He came around for two days before we learned that he was not authorized to be there by the school. Still we managed to complete the project ahead of schedule due to the hard working commitments of the pros I brought onto the project.

This is not a reflection on MATC, it is a fine school. Overall, there were challenges but I think it was a positive learning experience for all of us. The students who showed up when they could were awesome as well.

I am looking forward to seeing ‘Bucky and the Squirrels’ for the first time with others I may have met and worked with for awhile. I have made some long lasting friendships because of that project for which I am glad. Let me know what you think of the article. I thought the writer did a nice job.

weauwega sudeince from back 2014

Today the festival attendance grew and by evening audience size was quite nice.

The 5pm narrative directed by Drew Britton, ‘When The King Tilts’ was charming and humorous. Drew was in attendance and answered questions during the Q & A. Listening to him speak about working with actors and the themes of this movie impressed me. I am very happy to have seen and enjoyed this movie.

Weyauwega native filmmaker Adam Zuehlke, in attendance, screened two short films. ‘Sad Clown’ and ‘Evergreen’. He was greeted with a rousing standing ovation by those in attendance as he made his way up front for the Q & A. Both films were very nicely done. Currently, he’s got the financing to shoot a pilot in the Minneapolis area and is developing Evergreen as a feature.

A party with finger food, popcorn and the cash bar followed the final film. It continues as I say good night.

An enjoyable day. I am looking forward to all the festival fun and film tomorrow on the final day! Come on out and enjoy!

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OH By they way some of my upcoming guest on Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat include; producer Rocky Lang, director Bill Rebane, director Peter Marshall, writer, producer Michael Frost Beckner, Actors Michael Spears and Eddie Spears and others. So be sure to stay tuned and I’ll keep you posted.

*** Please also visit Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Official Website.

Stay up to date with the live shows on Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat. You can join us and listen live as the show records. You can hang in chat and ask questions. All shows are recorded and archived at the official site.

Updates will be posted at this blog, at the official site,  on the RSMB Friends page on FB,  through twitter and elsewhere.  When you can’t join us live you can still  listen to archived show from official site, from blogtalk radio and you can subscribe to the podcast at itunes.

Over 400 hours of professional filmmakers share their expertise and tips and secrets with you. All discussion may be listened to live and archived from the Official Site too! Check the INTERVIEWS

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Official Site

Weyauwega Int’l FIlm Fest, Year Four, Day 2. Nov 12-15

weyauwega film fest 2014

Day 2 begins early and then with a delicious breakfast. I had to ask the chef her secret to making her eggs so tasty and she told me. But I promised I would keep her secret. On my way out I got to chat say hello and chat briefly with documentary filmmaker Dan Schneidkraut I told you about yesterday.

I had a delicious Latte at Rhythm and Brew and and wrote my daily blog entry and worked for a couple hours more before leaving for the festival venue.

I drove to the Gerold Opera House, the home of Wega Arts and the Weyauwega International Film Festival. I am recovered from a long day yesterday and I am eager to see today’s line up of films and meet more filmmakers and fans. As expected today the attendance is heavier than the first day.

By the way: It is not my intention to write about each fine offering. I do not mean to imply anything by not writing about a film. I simply want to feature highlights while at the festival.

weyauwega audeince 2014

As a filmmaker it is my position to not review other’s films. Since I know the labor and love, the hardship, of movie making I reserve my film opinions for close friends and do not dispense it for the public.

DAY 2 began with a talk by Dr. Jack Rhodes on Stanley Kramer’s ‘The Men’ starring Marlon Brando. Since this is a favorite film of mine, and Brando’s first screen appearance, it was wonderful to listen to Dr Rhodes discuss the film and then watch it.

Some of his points. First, 45 members of the cast were not actors but actual paraplegics. This fact is also pointed out in opening credits of the film.

Brando spent from 2-4 weeks in the hospital preparing for his role. He shared a story of Brando faking a spontaneous healing. A woman seeing the men in a restaurant all in wheel chairs mentioned to them that she wished deeply that they could be healed.

weyauwega anne casey by popcorn

Brando struggled painfully to get up from his wheelchair and took some halting steps  exclaiming ‘I can walk! I can Walk’ while the paralyzed men looked on and smiled knowingly.

Brando received 4 oscar nominations during his first 5 years as an actor. He won for ‘On The Waterfront’. After, ‘One Eyed Jacks’ 1961 his career went downhill until it was revived by ‘The Godfather’, 1973. He won another Academy Award which he declined.

Director Fred Zinnemann made numerous movies focused on this theme: A loan man triumphs over tremendous odds and institutions. ‘High Noon’, ‘From Here To Eternity’, ‘The Old Man and the Sea’, “A Man For All Seasons’, ‘Behold a Pale Horse’, and ‘Day of the Jackal’ among these.

He insisted ‘The Men’  have the gritty look of news reel footage. He went on to use virtually all of the crew, except for the cinematographer, on ‘High Noon’.

Dr Rhodes taught a graduate course  on Rhetoric of Film at the Miami University of Ohio and he teaches seminars on film at Lawrence University, events in Door County and at  Waupaca Library. He was enjoyable to listen to and the audience in attendance acknowledged this with applause. Then ‘The Men’ was screened. Great to see it again ON the big screen too!

It seems we have forgotten much about filmmaking as we advance our technologies. For me, there is nothing more fun than watching movies with an audience on a large screen.  Film instead of digital is still my preference, as is story over CGI, and performance over costuming.  It was great to see this movie again.

The movie ended to applause. Then the shorts began.  I remind you to check the showing schedule for information about the films shown. Plus, you can read more about Kathy and Ian AND listen to my Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat discussion, right here in these blog pages, anytime 24/7. Simply visit the link  below or at the official site (link provided at bottom).

Producers Kathy Fehl & Ian Teal | Weyawega International Film Festival Nov 12-15 

Kathy & Ian 2 copy

Its mid afternoon and Dan Schneidkraut stopped by to say ‘so long’ he is traveling back to Minneapolis to continue to work on his next doc project. It is one I would like to see.  So we friended on Facebook to stay in touch.Kathy and I got to sit and catch up for a while and discuss plans for the coming year. John Pata showed up and we said hello and chatted awhile. I particularly liked his creepy short film “PITY’ shot in Oshkosh last year. Actor Jake Martin did a fine job, a disturbing job. Too disturbing. Thank goodness he is much nicer in real life.

John revealed secrets about the film. Based on a short story inside an album by Pig Destroyer called ‘Prowler In The Yard’ he aptly named the film PITY.I liked to sound design. The sound track score is comprised of the actors voice and breath converted to notes by Milwaukee musician Nicholas Elert.  It was shot on the red it looks great and is well edited. Pata presents a short suspenseful portrait of a very disturbed character in ‘Pity’.

This evening I also enjoyed the well made narrative feature directed by Shawn Telford, ‘BFE’. It appears to be non-union and crowd funded. Well made, acted, edited and entertaining. I liked an animated short by Wei lu, ‘Run Crab Run!’ and its score.

A few shorts followed the feature and the evening ended well. Tomorrow  Nov 14, DAY 3 the festival begins earlier at 10 am. I made it back to the lovely inn I am at and am currently enjoying getting cozy in my room. I look forward to what tomorrow brings in general and at the festival. It has been a wonderful couple days so far. Two more days to go.

weyawega from behind right side

On Sunday I have a special private screening to attend  before I return home. I miss my family back there and it will be great to see them. In the meantime more movies! See you tomorrow

OH By they way some of my upcoming guest on Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat include; producer Rocky Lang, director Bill Rebane, director Peter Marshall, writer, producer Michael Frost Beckner, Actors Michael Spears and Eddie Spears and others. So be sure to stay tuned and I’ll keep you posted.

*** Please also visit Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Official Website.

Stay up to date with the live shows on Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat. You can join us and listen live as the show records. You can hang in chat and ask questions. All shows are recorded and archived at the official site.

Updates will be posted at this blog,  at the official site,  on the RSMB Friends page on FB,  through twitter and elsewhere.  When you can’t join us live you can still  listen to archived show from official site, from blogtalk radio and you can subscribe to the podcast at itunes.

Over 400 hours of professional filmmakers share their expertise and tips and secrets with you. All discussion may be listened to live and archived from the Official Site too! Check the INTERVIEWS

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Official Site

Weyauwega Int’l Film Fest, Year Four, Day 1. November 12-15

weyauwega film fest 2014

It is great to be back in Weyauwega, Wisconsin for a delightful film festival in the middle of nowhere. Of course, the locals won’t like me saying that, but if Wisconsin is a flyover state, this area, for me, has been a no stop drive through part of the state, until, at least, last year.

My first time here last year was year three for the fest. I am so happy to have been invited both years. Kathy Fehl and Ian Teal are filmmakers, artists, promoters, festival directors, writers, producers, and more. You name it they do it.

They renovated the Gerold Opera House on Main street and converted it into a full time arts house, theater, and festival destination place. Ian returned to Wisconsin from NYC with Kathy.

You can read more about them  AND listen to my Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat discussion, right here in these blog pages, anytime 24/7. Simply visit the link  below or at the official site (link provided at bottom).

Producers Kathy Fehl & Ian Teal | Weyawega International Film Festival Nov 12-15 

They are both dedicated talented, good people. We became friends and have remained in touch over the course of the past year plus some and it has been to my benefit to know them. You should get to know them too!

So I arrived last evening and returned to stay at an incredible placeThe Green Fountain Inn, Bed and Breakfast on Main Street in Waupaca, Wisconsin. They gave me the largest room, because I am going to be there for the duration, which was fine with me. Very comfortable and cozy. I love this place and the people that run it and will sing their praises on future days here and on Facebook. Breakfasted alone, a delicious one, and good coffee was how I started my official day at 8am.

However, I’d been writing and working in my comfy room much of the night. Always up by four, I got much more finished than I expect and that was good. Snow covers the ground though blades of grass still peak through. It is 20 degrees but other places a little more north received as much as 20 inches. Too early a winter but tell that to the Polar Vortex. Sunny morning it is pretty.

weyawega opera house 2014

Got to the venue early so I took a driving tour of the lakes in the area while speaking to Director Bill Rebane (The Giant Spider Invasion and many more movies) on the phone. So many cool places. I watched a falcon, hover in the air endlessly above the road. Just a flap or two of its wings now and then to keep it in place. I assumed it had targeted something. Whenever I drive near water I open the windows to take in the negative ions and enjoy the relaxing quality of the air.

Got back to the venue and workers had arrived only moments before. I guess I timed that couple hour drive really well. Said hello, caught up with those I’d met last year and took up my blogging station in the back. Because I am near the entrance people stop and say hello.

I had quite the fascinating conversation with a gentleman, Ted, from Chicago. A film lover he comes up here to attend this festival, just because. Yes, it is well worth it.

Small, yes, but well programmed. Plus, it is growing. Kathy and Ian do a wonderful job, around the clock apparently, working for the festival and arts, putting on plays and more through the year. They just completed a sold out run of an original play they both produced and Kathy directed.

So if you want to attend a very good film festival and catch some fascinating features and shorts, narrative, docs and animated, this is  a great one to take in. For other offerings at other times please visit their official website.

Wega Arts & Weyauwega International Film Festival

Situated about a half hour west of Appleton, Wisconsin along Highway 10 this festival is helping put the area on the map as a place to come for quality entertainment and artistic offerings.

It turns out there are a  number of films in this years festival that I am in someway, or another, connected with. Whether it’s because I have worked on it, as in ‘Bucky and The Squirrels’ (this comedy feature is the brain child of veteran television writer, director, producer Allan Katz’s and is his feature film directorial debut. He chose to world premiere the movie here this Saturday evening the 15th) or it might be because I happen to personally know some of the filmmakers.

I am looking forward to seeing friends and their films short and long.

Today is Day 1 and it kicked off with documentaries. Last year people traveled from as far away as Japan and Alaska with their films. I saw some really wonderful movies then and met some fascinating filmmakers from all over. Shorts this year starting off are from Bolivia, Japan and the USA. You can check the blog article I mentioned earlier to track the films offered this year.

Kathy & Ian 2 copy

I will add that the films they program here are worth seeing. They certainly were last year and I expect as much from this years offering. The areas represented by the films are the USA, Bolivia, Iran, Spain, The Russian Federation, Republic of Korea, Taiwan, Egypt, Sweden, France, and Wisconsin. (Okay, I jest, I know WI is part of the USA, still, it is its own world apart).

The selection all over looks good. I must admit I am eager to see the Wisconsin offerings too, either because I know the filmmakers AND/OR because I may want to get to.

Having one foot in LA and the other in Wisconsin always makes my year interesting to say the least. It is wonderful to discover talented people all over, including where one might think it is most unlikely. It isn’t.

I just had another enjoyable conversation with filmmaker Dan Schneidkraut preceding the screening of his documentary feature ‘Old Man’. Currently, Dan lives in Minneapolis. I particularly liked the narration and the cadence.

Back to the venue and the festival offerings.

Ian behind candy counter

Besides movie popcorn and candy there is a cash bar. A dollar for water and soda, up to 5 dollars for a top shelf mixed cocktail. There is also wine, beer and local microbrews. Food is available; vegetarian chili and pulled pork sandwiches are available. I just had an incredible fresh chocolate muffin!

You can go next door to the local corner tavern, the gas station across the street, or the cafe and coffee shop straight across the road to. This is downtown Weyauwega and everything you need is just a step or two away.

I will continue the upcoming days on their own pages, probably close to the end of the day or the morning following. WiFi connection was  pretty slow where I am staying, Perhaps, it will be faster later today or tomorrow. I might just put in a word tomorrow at breakfast and see if they can help speed it up. Anyway, updates will be forth coming.

Join us if you are anywhere near by. I’m sure you will like it here. Ted drove up from Chicago. He is a film lover. Dan drove in from Minneapolis with his feature. You can make the drive  too. Come join us!

All the shorts were well done and fascinating. Some very interesting animation too. Dan Schneidkraut’s movie ‘Old Man’ is quite captivating and even disturbing. Nearly, three hours long it held my interest every moment. Intriguing.

WOW!!! So kind and generous. Been busy at work at the festival and growing very hungry. Suddenly, Jerry who goes by Byrdy, appears with a sandwich he made. He gifted me and boy did I need to be gifted. I was ravenous. THANK YOU BYRDY!!!! That was really cool of you! THANK YOU!!!!

the bar at weyawega opera

Turns out Kathy is the secret provider of the delicious muffin. Enjoyed some pulled pork as a snack around 7:30 pm

Actor, producer, writer, friend Dan Davies accompanied a secret private screening of an upcoming movie. Turned out it  was a fun and fascinating feature. Because it is actually a secret, private screening I can’t say any more about it now, but it looks like it will have some good press in the not to distant future. Hopefully! Both Dan’s in attendance answered audience questions during post screening Q & As.

Most of the photos on the blog are from photographer Larry Peterson. The exceptions is the outdoor poster shot I took with my phone. I don’t know about the one of Kathy and Ian outside the venue.

A great first day and evening. Attendance could be heavier but as the weekend progresses more will be here. All that I met and conversed with were very cool. Filmmakers and fans. It seemed everyone enjoyed themselves and the movies. Afterwards, cocktails and conversations as friends and filmmakers continued to catch up.

I am now back at the delightful Bed and Breakfast. Still have work to do but can do it within the confines of a cozy warm room. I look forward to Day 2 and all the coming days here at the festival. See you tomorrow!

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OH By they way some of my upcoming guest on Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat include; producer Rocky Lang, director Bill Rebane, director Peter Marshall, writer, producer Michael Frost Beckner, Actors Michael Spears and Eddie Spears and others. So be sure to stay tuned and I’ll keep you posted.

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