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.

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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.

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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

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