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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, 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.

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

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

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Kathy Fehl lived in NY, writing plays, directing, and producing theater. She created a five hundred seat theater at 79th and Riverside, the heart of the Upper West Side; the first show she directed there was Waiting for Godot, starring David Morse.

The theater looked out under stone arches at the Hudson River, and denizens of the park, homeless vets and others, watched the show nightly, mingling with the rest of the audience, and touchingly identifying with the characters.

Kathy studied with several brilliant teachers, including Lee Strasberg, Geraldine Page, Christine Lavren, and John Guare. She believes that these people and others, with their passionate understanding of theater as more than the sum of its parts, inspired and led her toward her strong sense of the very important role the theater arts have in our civilization.

TO LISTEN CLICK THE BOLDED LINK BELOW:

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats w Kathy Fehl and Ian Teal of Weyauwega International Film Festival

In addition to the fourteen plays of Fehl’s that were produced in NY, she has had shows produced on Martha’s Vineyard and in Wisconsin. She co-wrote ‘Mint Julep’, a feature film, with Ian Teal. She would like to make more films. Currently, she enjoys developing programs in various types of theater and film at Wega Arts, in Weyauwega, WI.

Ian Teal is the Executive Director of Wega Arts and is glad to be back on the stage acting as well as directing. He studied improvisational theater in New York and was a founding member of the comedy group Afterwards, which wrote skits and presented comedy in clubs in NYC and on Martha’s Vineyard.

Ian taught improvisation to kids and started an outdoor amphitheater in conjunction with the Vineyard Playhouse, on Martha’s Vineyard. He worked with theater companies in Manhattan, and was part of the group that created the People’s Playhouse, on East Fourth Street, NYC, where he wrote, directed and produced.

He co-wrote, directed, and produced ‘Mint Julep’, a feature film. Originally Ian is from Oconomowoc, WI, Since 2007 he has led the renovations of the Gerold Opera House, and has worked to bring Wega Arts programs to the area.

For Festival Films Line Up and more information visit:  Weyauwega International Film Festival Official Website  

The Weyauwega International Film Festival runs from November 12-15, 2014 136 East Main Street, Weyauwega, Wisconsin.

*** 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

Flyway Film Festival Oct 26, Day 4 Final Day 2014

flyway film fest

This day started as the previous days have.  Up early, got ready and drove to Maiden Rock for breakfast. Worked on computer. Published yesterday’s blog and began today’s. Beautiful sunrise.

Waited on friends for breakfast while working and chatting with waitstaff. Shortly, friends arrived. Jeremy Wilker, Jerry Bell, Jake Stetler and Perry showed up to eat.

First short of the day ‘Nostalgic’ (USA) directed by Ronald Eltanal provided a intriguing look into the deterioration of memory.

The first feature of the day I attended at The WideSpot in Stockholm was the well made and engaging ‘North Passage’ (USA) director Kevin Pontuti who answered questions afterwards. Kevin is instructor at UW-Stout.

Spent time chatting with Anna Weiss and others out front of the filmmaker lounge. Then David Potter and I sat along the river front discussing film projects enjoying the gorgeous weather. Jake arrived, David had to run Jake and I dined at the fabulous Harbor View and had an incredible dinner.

Back to the WideSpot to see the final feature of the festival. Caught Michael T Vollman’s touching short ‘Before You’. I have known Michael for many years but haven’t chatted with him for some time. He did not attend the fest but I was so glad I caught this delightful film about his first child.

Alex R Johnson answered questions after the showing of his gritty, violent, festival winner ‘Two Step’. I liked this film too.

The Flyway Film Festival official closed. Those of us remaining returned to the filmmaker lounge.

There were more people than I can remember or name but those I am able to included, Rick and Diana Vaicius, Allison, Beth, Jerry, David Potter, Kristjan Knigge, Jim Brunzell, Vince Colombo and his wife (forgive me I can’t recall her name), Jake Stetler, Frederick Thornton, Alex Gioulakis,  Alex R Johnson, and others (forgive me).

Food and drink and hanging out late is how our evening ended. I returned to the cabin I stayed at – now the only person at the camp grounds which proved spooky cool.

A huge hug and thanks to all the festival volunteers and staff who made Flyway number 7 a big hit with all of us filmmakers and fans. A big round of applause to all of you AND to all the filmmakers who showed movies. I understand there were many good shorts, docs and features from all the discussion that was had.

Programming is excellent at Flyway and makes it a wonderful festival for that reason, but not that reason alone. A big hug and thanks to all the filmmakers and fans who attended, those who screened films and those who didn’t and to all the fans. A truly fabulous Flyway for 2014 and I am already looking forward to next year.

Addendum: Monday October 27.

Up early. Met Jake at his hotel and separately we drove to Beth’s Twin Bluffs Cafe for a final Flyway breakfast together. Good food, conversation and time spent hanging out. I left to drive back to Milwaukee arriving about 5 hours later and am typing these words.

Jake went back to pick up Fred and Alex and together drive to Minneapolis airport where the two producers return to L A and director Jake returns to Pennsylvania.

Thanks everyone for all the fine films and fond memories.

The Flyway Film Festival Official WebSite

*** 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

Flyway Film Fest Update Oct 25, Day 3

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Day 3 begins. Got up as early usual, showered, waited a couple hours and drove to Maiden Rock Sixth String at 7am for coffee and work prior to friends showing up. Sunrise on the Mississippi again glorious. Breakfast was tasty and inexpensive. Now at 10:30 am it is 63 degrees and sunny. The day is warming up. Jake and David appeared about 8 as planned.

Great food and conversation made our morning until about 10 when David and I headed to the WideSpot In Stockholm and Jake headed across the street for a filmmaker mentoring session offered by some of the film professionals who conducted panels here.

At the WideSpot in Stockholm people gathered waiting for movies to begin. First up the fresh, funny and enjoyable narrative feature from director Kristjan Knigge ‘The Right Juice’. made in Portugal. In from Amsterdam, Kristjan is a delightful funny man with a rapier wit and I’m was delighted to chat with him the previous evening and see his feature.

During Q & A Kristjan related his process for creating the feature using the ‘what if’ method of questioning and the number of contributed ideas and drafts on the way to the feature script. He shot film in 32 days a lengthy schedule for a European micro-budget film.

From here Kristjan, David headed over to Gelly’s. The place was packed, the deck had one table where a gentleman and his wife sat, there from Madison. These two were not attending the film festival Pepin and Stockholm are tourist areas as well so many people come from all around to enjoy the ambiance and the shops. They were gracious enough to let David, Kristjan, Chad, Jake and myself join them. It turns out their son is a filmmaker now living in NYC so they were all ears about this festival so they could inform him. Small world after all.

I will not mention or highlight all films or filmmakers. I apologize to the filmmakers and readers but because, obviously, I can’t be in all places at once I don’t cover all the films or events. Many fine films and people will go without me referencing them. I wish it was otherwise but… I do what I can. Also, I do not review the films.

I have to admit I love film but I really don’t attend film festivals to watch films. I go to catch up with old friends, meet new ones and enjoy the people. If I catch some films great but if not I got to spend time with talented thinkers and doers and learn from them in person.

David ended up leaving to work at festival, Jake left to watch the controversial film ‘The Tribe’ directed by Myroslay Slaboshpytskly while Chad, Kristjan and I talked film philosophy and practice the rest of the day and evening. We dined at the Pickle Factory on the back deck with incredible view of the river and kept talking and hanging out there and at the Filmmaker Lounge until the shorts program at 8pm.

There were other films I really did intend to see but we were unable to get there in time. I hope I am able to catch up on these very soon. Some fine filmmakers presented.

The Saturday Night Short Films Included the animated ‘The Crazy Misadventures of Christ’ (USA) directed by George Bro; ‘His New Hands’ (USA) directed by Sadhanshu Saria; ‘Last Of You’ (Isreal) directed by Dan Sacher; ‘Bernard Le Grand’ (Canada) directed by Phillippe Lupien & Marie-Helene Viens; ‘Decimation’ (USA) directed by Wade Jackson and ‘She’s Having A Baby’ (Australia) directed y Chis & Robert Smellin. This evening’s programming generated much discussion among the cohorts I have been hanging with.

That was it for films I saw.

Back to the filmmaker lounge. Food and drink of course. I got to sit an catch up with Allison Lisk a pleasure at any time. Later I and Jake went over to film office to chat quietly out front because the music got far too loud at the lounge. Dancing and merriment made for late night among the filmmaker friends.

Plotting and planning a few new projects has been the course of this festival and it is exciting to think about collaborating with fine talented friends.

Late night I ventured back to the room for sleep so I can get up early to begin the final day at Flyway. We will be back at Maiden Rock for brekky. All in all a very good day today. From conversations with others I have not mentioned, some pretty wonderful films were screened.

The weather today was fabulous. Sunny, warm beautiful. A wonderful day to be outside between films for all.

The Flyway Film Festival Official WebSite

*** 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

Flyway Film Festival Update October 24 Day 1 and 2

flyawayfilm1

WoW ! It is incredible to be back in Pepin, Wisconsin for the Flyway Film Festival. This fest is one of my favs and you have heard me or read me rave about it in past years. Pepin and Stockholm along the Mississippi make it worth coming to the festival just for the view and the ambiance. This year’s expansion into Maiden Rock  allow one to drive up the west coast of Wisconsin which rivals my own beloved PCH in many ways.

I saw a bald eagle this morning on the way to the Maiden Rock venue for a fabulous film presentation on crowdfunding with Erica Anderson from Seed and Spark. Seed and Spark has an interesting feature to their crowdfunding which allows contributors to cover the 5% funding fee which filmmakers should look into.

This makes Seed and Spark unique among other platforms. Illuminating thoughts and ideas, cutting edge practices and principles, and practical must do’s comprised her talk on how to successfully engage yourbaudience and crowdfund  your film project.  A very well thought out and informative presentation.

Okay, into the past. I got to Pepin by car at about 2pm Thursday October 23, 2014. This sleepy haven area is home for artists and others who help put on the festival by volunteering. There are some wonderful eateries, bars, local flavor, pumpkin patches and a couple very delightful wineries.

The drive in from Western Wisconsin and up along the western side of the Mississippi in Minnesota before turning back into Wisconsin is absolutely worth it and I look forward to it each year. Gorgeous!  Upon arrival, checking in at office, running into some awesome filmmaker friends Fred Thornton and Sean Hackett, I spent some time taking in sights until the 6pm Gala began at the local and lovely Villa Bellezza Winery.

Villa Belezza is fairly new. Last year marked it’s inclusion as a venue for the festival. It is good to return there this year. A great hall houses more food and beverages than one can imagine. Free flowing wine, beer, soda, water, coffee all included. The desert table, if you enjoy deserts, I am sure is ‘to die for’.

Musical Entertainment was provided by Sun Gods to Gamma Rays. Rick Vaicius spoke, distributed Axe awards and introduced the keynote speaker producer Nicholas Gonda, co-founder of Tugg, INC.

After eating more than a human can handle and numerous glasses of wine, some soda, coffee and water this little, BIG, piggy made his way with friends to the Filmmaker lounger where partying continued into late night. More free food and drink. Goodness, someone cut me off. Actually, I don’t drink much, so water was what I enjoyed but the food… stop please…

So many awesome filmmakers to catch up with. David Potter and Jake Stetler and I held a corner down for a few hours chatting films and catching up. I’m so glad to see so many.

There is another upcoming panel this afternoon and then another winery hosts a wine tasting and cheese event – evening films begin after. The documentary panel was enjoyed by many. The panel included Jeff Spitz (Food Patriots), Jesse Roesler (The Starfish Throwers) Amy Elliott (Wicker Kittens), Jan Selby (Beyond The Divide).

Maiden Rock Winery and Cidery hosted a great wine, cider and cheese sampling. Jake and I arrived on time and got to feast as others came in for the next couple hours. From there we went to dinner at Gelly’s and then to movies at the Villa Bellezza. One feature I wanted to see at other festivals I saw here, Time Lapse directed by Bradley King proved intriguing and a great demonstration of low budget, one location filmmaking utilizing recognizable SAG talent.

After movies we enjoyed a late after party. MORE FREE FOOD at Cucina Ceci until about 3. The filmmaker lounge open at this time was another venue we hit before retiring for the day. Drinks and food flowed freely and wonderful networking and fun. Said goodbyes to Kim & Matt Garland who have to leave the 25th by noon to return to NYC. So great seeing them.

For regular Flyway Attendees who could not be here this year I include a list of other notables we are enjoying this year. Terry Reed, Anna Weiss, Jeremy Wilker, Fred Thornton, Sean Hackett, Kevin Pontuti & Mimi French, Jamie Carroll, Nick Coleman, Chad McLarnon, Rick & Diana Vaicius, Lu Lipold, Allison Lisk, Kristen Debner, Vince & Kristy Colombo, Brett Harding, Perry Lewness, Kristjan Knigge, among many others I apologize to for not mentioning.

Numerous interns from UW-Stout film department volunteer and add to all the great people and opportunities to network and discuss films and film business. A wonderful time. I share more later.

Flyway is a marvelous get together and some day soon you will have to check it out if you haven’t.

The sun continues to rise and the bluffs along the Mississippi are incredible! I hope to publish a photo to this blog later. Saturday the 25th and Sunday 26th are filled with films, fun, live events and fans! A great time. OK I am off to see the movies.

The Flyway Film Festival Official WebSite

*** 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