News Local/State

Local Filmmakers Get Their Closeup At New Art Film Festival

The New Art Film Festival logo.

The New Art Film Festival comes to The Art Theater in downtown Champaign this Sunday evening. New Art Film Festival

Central Illinois filmmakers get a showcase this Sunday night, October 29, at the 8th annual New Art Film Festival, showing at the Art Theater in downtown Champaign.

The NAFF --- as it’s called for short --- will present 20 short films, all made by local filmmakers, all shown free of charge. 

NAFF founder and program director Jason Pakoke says the first batch of films, presented at 6 PM, will be suitable for ages 13 and up. He says the 2nd and 3rd batches, shown at 7:30 PM and 9:20 PM, are meant for ages 17 and up.

Illinois Public Media’s Jim Meadows talked with Pakoke about the New Art Film Festival. Pakoke has spent several years writing and reporting on local filmmaking, in the publications Micro-Film and C-U Confidential, and one his blog, C-U Blogfidential. 

New Art Film Festival Schedule 

Sunday, October 29, Art Theater

6 p.m. – Introductions + Film Block 01 [Ages 13+ recommended]

Book Who’s Talking (comedy)
2017, 6 min., Directed by Andy Due, Rubber Chicken Films/RL3 Productions, Charleston, IL
A physical comedy sketch, taken from The Andy Due Show. A bothersome library patron makes life difficult for others around him.

Writer’s Block (drama)
2017, 8 min., Directed by Andrew Gleason and Thomas Nicol for Pens to Lens/CUFS, Champaign-Urbana, IL
An author explains why writing is important. Written by Katarina Blakeslee.

Budding Romance (drama)
2016, 5 min., Directed by Brian Hagy, PT Entertainment/Omniverse Productions with The Prompting Theater/DSC, Champaign-Urbana, IL
A woman navigates the rough rivers of love as the object of her affection has no interest in her.

I Was a Teenage Nosferatu (horror)
2017, 11 min., Directed by Jeff Kacmarynski, Cellar Dweller Films, Champaign, IL
A young woman meets a strange young man who takes her to his sinister home with mysterious intentions. A modern silent short film in the tradition of Nosferatu and Dracula, it will be featured in Silent Terror, an all-silent feature film anthology.

Buckets (drama)
2017, 9 min., Directed by Ben Hoene, PT Entertainment/Omniverse Productions/Haniac Productions, Charleston, IL
A chance encounter between two high school students on polar opposite sides of the school and town's social structure. One is an outcast who is bullied. The other is the star basketball player and most popular kid in school.

A Space Trip (fantasy | animation)
2017, 2 min., Directed by Rowan Fisher for Pens to Lens Student Film Festival/CUFS, Champaign-Urbana, IL
Take a trip to the moon in this Lego animated short.

Four A.M. (comedy)
2017, 5 min., Directed by Andy Due, Rubber Chicken Films/RL3 Productions, Charleston, IL
A physical comedy sketch, taken from The Andy Due Show. After a night on the town, our hero returns home where he attempts to get into bed without disturbing his wife. A comedy in the tradition of Benny Hill and Charlie Chaplin.

The Pooka (comedy | drama)
2016, 15 min., Directed by Luke Boyce, Shatterglass Films, Champaign, IL
In a desperate attempt to aid a lost soul, a benevolent oversized rabbit must find a way to rekindle a forgotten spark.

7:30 p.m. – Film Block 02 [Ages 17+ recommended]

Words (preview | drama)
2017, 1 min., Directed by Jarrod Finn, Malachi Entertainment, Urbana, IL
A young writer's battle with depression and anxiety disorder, and how her writing and community help guide her out of her darkness.

A Corner for August (drama)
2017, 15 min., Directed by Janjay Knowlden, Protagonist Pizza Productions, Champaign-Urbana, IL
August relearns how to connect in a digital age.

Doozies (dark comedy)
13 min., 2017, Directed by Shea Kelly, A Thousand Yard Stare Production, Decatur, IL
Sketch comedy from the shadows.

Woman with a Shovel (drama)
2017, 8 min., Directed by Phil Mayall, PhilMFilm, Clinton, IL
An aspiring political candidate rejects damaging information about her opponent that could help her; her opponent brings out embarrassing personal information about her intended to make her quit the race. Will she be intimidated?

Lost Dogs (drama | thriller)
2017, 15 min., Directed by Cullan Bruce, Los Angeles, CA
A woman ridiculed by her family longs to escape. Striking a deal with her brother to clear his illegal debt, she delves deeper into darkness. Director of photography Lucas D. Miller is a graduate of the University of Illinois.

Monster (experimental)
2017, 6 min., Directed by Brian Robertson, Glass House Studios, Urbana, IL
Monster is a momentary window into a life impacted, but not defined, by a degenerative disease. The viewer is taken inside the frustration of struggling with the most basic of tasks, the joy-filled moments of success, and the power of living your passion. Is our protagonist a monster or a miracle? Or both?

The Sheriff’s Children (drama | historical)
2017, 22 min., Directed by Michael Boedicker, Roselawn Productions, Ltd., Danville, IL
Based on the 1889 short story by Charles W. Chesnutt, The Sheriff's Children dramatizes the conflict between duty and family as a sheriff guarding a prisoner from a lynch mob faces a crisis of conscience.

9:20 p.m. – Film Block 03 [Ages 17+ recommended]

Devotion (preview | horror | experimental)
2017, 2 min., Directed by Jessie Seitz, Capricorn Rising Films, Decatur/Champaign, IL
After the suicide of her best friend, a young woman is drawn to a city with a dark past that holds the key to a sinister mystery.

Greene (drama | experimental)
2017, 32 min., Directed by Keenan Dailey, 7MovementsStudios, Champaign-Urbana, IL
Greene is a student-made, no-budget psychological drama that tells the story of 28-year old gallery owner, Marcus Greene, who is struggling to find peace with the fractured remnants of his life. Despite the efforts of his brother-in-law and largely due to Marcus’s depressive state, his gallery has begun to fail and is slipping into obscurity. This story follows Marcus’s journey through his subjugation.

The Room: A Haunting Tale of Agoraphobia (horror | fantasy)
2017, 12 min., Directed by C. Jay Wallace, Red Lens Productions, Champaign-Urbana, IL
A man with an intense fear of the outside has become imprisoned by his agoraphobia. He soon notices a series of strange occurrences that quickly become violent. He is faced with the ultimatum. Should he risk taking on the hauntings in his apartment? Or, should he face his fear and leave his apartment?

The Stench of Death (horror)
2016, 1 min., Directed by Joe Taylor, Oakwood, IL
Two zombies have lunch. One must contend with bad table manners.

Below Decks (horror)
2017, 12 min., Directed by Paul A. Brooks, Into the Night Motion Pictures, Los Angeles, CA
A young woman moves onto a sailboat in an effort to leave behind her traumatic past. Director Paul Brooks is a native of Normal, IL.

Daughters (drama | thriller)
2017, 12 min., Directed by DeShawn Hill, HD Productions Media, Champaign, IL/Los Angeles, CA

Three young women are kidnapped from prom by a madman in this gripping thriller of forgiveness and revenge.

Knock, Knock (horror | comedy)
2017, 5 min., Directed by Cody Prough, Red Lens Productions, Champaign-Urbana, IL
When three children become a little too excited and start trick-or-treating in July, they're met with less-than-friendly response and take matters into their own hands.

Bad Blood (horror | comedy)
2014, 5 min., Directed by Colin Gabriel Price, Champaign, IL
A comical reconciliation between two vampires which includes a mysterious bottle of "wine."

Ripper the Clown vs. Security (comedy)
2016, 12 min., Directed by Ripper the Clown (Jake Aurelian), Danville, IL
In this silent film spoof, Ripper the Clown tries to do a good deed for Dick Van Dyke only to get harassed by security. Based on true events!

Mitchell Robert’s House (comedy | experimental)
2016, 13 min., Directed by Dakota Pruemer, Charleston, IL
Mitchell Robert's House is an absurd dark comedy that is a satire of children's television and sitcoms from the 1950s through 1990s. The show centers around a cult-like leader who puts on a show using adopted characters from different generations of television. In the pilot episode, he teaches the characters an important lesson about death after the janitor has mysteriously died.

Titles and sequence are subject to change without notice.