By: Annalisa Rodriguez
Source: Daily Herald
After 18 months of planning, the three held the first Naperville Independent Film Festival in 2008.
Now in its fifth year, the festival returns Sept. 15-22 with films being shown at Classic Cinemas Ogden 6, Hollywood Palms Cinema, Hollywood Boulevard Cinema and North Central College’s Smith Hall, as well as celebrity appearances from actress Stefanie Powers, actor Alex Hyde White and actor Michael Madsen.
Each night of film programming begins at 7 p.m., and an awards ceremony will end the festival Saturday, Sept. 22. Tickets are $10 for opening night, $5 the following nights and $22 for closing night, and are available at naperfilmfest.org and on-site at the venues.
More than 100 films by filmmakers from 18 states and 16 countries will be shown, and 50 films and screenplays also have been nominated for awards in best actor, actress, director, feature film, student-produced film, short, documentary, screenplay, music video and animation.
“We took the time to create something that would be long-lasting and create a strong foundation,” Edmond said of the festival. “It has been difficult for us to get across the importance of supporting the film festival, uplifting it. It’s not only about seeing a movie. The film festival is about culture.”
Between 2,500 and 3,500 people come to the screenings each year. Edmond said he has seen an interest in documentaries increase over the years.
“There are two different kinds of people: people who go to the movies to escape for an hour or two and then there are the people that go for the learning curve,” he said. “Most of those people are people that love documentary.”
Films are entered through Without A Box, an online platform that allows filmmakers and screenwriters to discover film festivals and submit entries. From there, the films to be shown and nominated for awards are selected.
“It’s basically finding the perfect movie with the perfect lighting, sound, great angles and great actors who make you forget they are characters,” Edmond said. “There has to be a positive flow of energy coming from the screen to you.”
But the overall purpose of the film festival, Edmond said, is to provide valuable exposure for unknown filmmakers, which sometimes leads to distribution deals. In the festival’s past three years, roughly 20 films have been picked up for distribution.
Read more about the event here.