Call for Films!

"Film will only become an art when its materials are as inexpensive as pencil and paper." 
Jean Maurice Eugène Clément Cocteau (5 July 1889 – 11 October 1963) French poet, novelist, painter, and filmmaker.

The DIY Film Festival is now in its twelfth year.  Hooray!

A festival that's dedicated to highlighting "do it yourself" filmmaking, we've been honored to be part of this totally independent movement.  Some of the films we've seen have been part of Kickstarter campaigns, some have been financed by friends and family, and many have been created under the auspices of a film school.

We've also seen films from across the globe; this past year's winners included films from Uganda and Ukraine - and their films tell fresh new stories from the point of view of people living in far flung places across the globe.  Film is a universal language, and whether it's shot in the streets of India, or the streets of Manhattan, the one thing these filmmakers have is a burning desire to tell a story.

We've had the great opportunity to honor documentaries from around the globe - this past year's winning documentary was shot in Antarctica over the course of an entire year.

Here are some notes on the winning films and the finalists from this past year's festival:


Director Keith Reimink

Keith Reimink decided to head down to Antarctica with his Canon Vixia to see what he might be able to discover "down under."  His film is haunting and amazing.


Directed by Matthew VanDyke

Festival winner Matthew VanDyke's haunting portrait of the war in Syria told by two people who are in the midst of it.  The idea of being able to film under such circumstances is pretty astounding, but the heartbreaking visuals of what's happening now in their country is hard to turn away from.  


Directed by John Adams and Toby Poser

Directed by John Adams and Toby Poser

John Adams and Toby Poser have taken DIY Filmmaking to a different level - they enlist the acting talents of their kids while making these moving portraits and telling compelling stories.  The images are beautiful, the characters rich and full of development, and the stories are worth checking out.


Directed by Tyler Bodamer

Tyler Bodamer's haunting portrait of a love affair - with a boy who is trying to find roots in a rootless world, and a girl trying to find her own way on the planet - he creates a haunting portrait of a time and place where two young lovers can find each other.


Directed by Jeremy Etienne and Julienne Rathore (India/Norway)

This film was shot on the streets of India using local kids telling their own compelling story.  A film that looks like it must be a documentary, but is actually great story telling, is reminscent of the films of Satijat Ray, the great Indian filmmaker who also filmed on these same streets.


Directed by Krista Imbesi (Uganda)

Moving and compelling portrait of people working in Uganda to help those that have been neglected by society.  This documentary takes the viewer into the huts and homes of these people, and leaves an indelible impression not easily forgotten.


Directed by Mariia Ponomarova (Ukraine)

Mariia Ponomarova is a filmmaker working in Ukraine, telling unusual and fun stories of everyday people.  Her directing style and artistic sense is evidenced in this unusual tale about a train stopping on a snowy afternoon.


Directed by Godefroy Ryckewaert

This is just a really fun comic take on the idea of a local man who decides to become a super hero.  Last glance, Godefroy had taken down the link to the full film, but hopefully the trailer is still available.  Short but very funny.


Directed by Chris R. Wilson and Zacharia Persson

Former DIY Fest winner Chris Wilson is at it again.  He brings a decidedly surrealistic sense of humor to his filmmaking, and this mocumentary, pretending to be a documentary about some guys trying to think up of a plot for a film, but filming the actors who come in for an audition when there is no script, is firmly out of left field.  


Directed by Eric Hayes

A stylish look at an unusual hit man.


Directed by Ari Grabb

A fun romp into the mind of an offbeat filmmaker with an eye towards cutting edge animation.

Congratulations to all of you filmmakers for finishing your film.  Find a way to get it out in front of the public, whether distribution, or self distribution, or finding a way to put it out through CreateSpace (which then puts it onto Amazon) or KinoNation (which puts it onto Itunes) there are many creative ways to get your work in front of an audience, and to also get your money back from making your film.

However, it's important to remember, we don't always pick up the paint brush to pay the rent; sometimes we're compelled to pick up the brush, to approach a blank canvas with our heart in our hand, to try and express ourselves in a way that only we can accomplish.  It takes courage to dip the brush and face the canvas; there's no time like the present to make that effort!