Local film fest returns to the Fox Valley
By Emmi Colford
Wildwood Productions, Inc. hosted the twelfth annual Wildwood Film Festival at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center in downtown Appleton March 16.
The event included four sessions at 1, 3, 6 and 8 p.m., each one comprised of about ten film screenings.
Thirty-eight local independent filmmakers gathered to showcase their short films to a live audience.
"Honestly, it was extremely terrifying because it was personal. To let someone in, especially an audience, that was not something I was accustomed to but I would love everyone to be in that position and share their own personal story because it's an amazing thing," Jamie Fletcher, star of Marc Golde's short film Introducing Jamie Fletcher, said.
The three men who comprise Wildwood Productions, Tom Thorne, Craig Knitt and Jason Buss, reach out to audiences ranging from high school students to adults, teaching filmmaking essentials.
Wildwood Productions strives to encourage local talent in films, from directors to writers to actors, through the creation of this film festival.
"I use films as therapy to make life decisions," writer, director and producer of the film 3 Miles East Samuel Karow, said.
When the film festival first began in 2001, Wildwood Productions showcased ten films, including a full-length dark comedy called "The Hunt", which was made by the festival's founders.
"Basically, my film class was told to come up with an idea that was very personal to us. I'm really interested in exploring things that trouble us and challenge us and getting out of our comfort zone is something everyone can relate to," writer, producer and director of "Comfort Zone" Ashley Cross, said.
This year premiered a Filmmaking 101 workshop, designed to teach aspiring film artists about lighting, sound, filming, editing and marketing, as well as how to create storyboards and write scripts.
Each film presented brought a new element of aestheticism to the audience through comedy, drama, experimental, science fiction, music video, documentary and western genres.
Audiences best received the comedies Mr. and Mrs. Capulet, written and directed by Patrick Finn, and "Filling In", written by Timothy DeWitt and directed by Kris Schultz.
"Mr. and Mrs. Capulet" is about a news crew who interviews Romeo and Juliet, now in their mid-40s, and shows not all true love lasts forever. The latter short film, Filling In, is the story of Cupid taking over the Tooth Fairy's job after she quits her dental duties.
"Everything the audience saw there was created in two days – wrote it, filmed it, edited it and all the music," DeWitt said.
Wildwood Productions hopes to continue the Wildwood Film Festival for many years to come. For more information about the festival, please visit www.wildwoodfilmfest.com.