Festival Roundup: Full Frame Announces Lineup, Newport Beach to August, and More
April 1, 2020 by Screenmag
Here is a quick rundown of the latest from the U.S. festival circuit...
The Full Frame Documentary Film Festival announced the official feature and short film selections for the festival’s 23rd edition. Originally scheduled to take place April 2-5 in downtown Durham, the four-day event was recently cancelled amid COVID-19 public health and safety concerns. Nevertheless, the Full Frame laurels are a tremendous honor and here are a few Midwest-made features in the lineup:
The team for FEELS GOOD MAN includes Chicago filmmaker and Emmy-nominated editor Aaron Wickenden and Chicago native Caryn Capotosto, and the feature was supported by the Chicago Media Project. When indie comic artist Matt Furie’s creation Pepe the Frog is co-opted by the alt-right, the formerly carefree amphibian becomes an involuntary symbol of hate.
9TO5: THE STORY OF A MOVEMENT is the latest from Ohio's Oscar winners, the co-directors of AMERICAN FACTORY, Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar. This film tells the stories of the millions of low-wage, virtually invisible women who populated the clerical pool, served coffee, and suffered sexual harassment before it was recognized as such.
CITY SO REAL is the latest from Chicago's Kartemquin Films and Oscar nominated director Steve James. This four-hour series captures the city of Chicago at a pivotal moment, as residents grapple with a divisive mayoral election alongside the trial of the policeman who killed Laquan McDonald.
Mark your calendars for 24th annual Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, scheduled for April 8–11, 2021.
Newport Beach Will Go On! In August!
A slight delay is much better than a permanent delay. Due to the unprecedented outbreak of Covid–19, the Newport Beach Film Festival announced the acclaimed annual event will now be held August 6th – August 13th in and around Newport Beach, CA.
Original set for April, the Festival made the decision to reschedule based on the current CDC guidelines but looks forward to a successful 2020 and beyond.
LA's Dances With Films Still A Go for June!
The 23rd annual festival, recently named Top 10 in North American by USA Today, has laid out its hopes to move forward with its originally schedule June dates: "No one knows what lies ahead in fighting this pandemic. While we have every belief that DWF:LA will launch June 11th, 2020 at the TCL Chinese Theatres - we are monitoring these ever changing events that have crippled the country. All submissions will remain valid. If the decision is made at a later date to postpone the festival - it will only be a postponement and not a cancellation."
So one way or another, this show will go on, hopefully in June.
Bentonville Eyeing August
Among the film festivals opting to postpone rather than cancel is Geena Davis' Bentonville Film Festival, which focuses on amplifying female, LGBTQ+, people of color, and people with disabilities in entertainment and media. The fest issued the following statement, "We are reaching out to let you know that out of an abundance of caution, travel restrictions, and public health concerns regarding COVID-19, the Bentonville Film Festival has made the decision to move the festival’s dates from April 29-May 2 to August 5-8, 2020. This decision comes after careful consideration with our partners, our number one concern is the safety of our content creators and our community of attendees."
Regional Festival Julien Dubuque Now Set for June
The 9th Annual Julien Dubuque International Film Festival, postponed from late April due to the COVID-19 outbreak, has been rescheduled for Wednesday-Sunday, June 17-21.
“We’re optimistic that the crisis will ease in plenty of time for us to complete arrangements and host the festival in June,” said Executive Director Susan Gorrell. “But our first consideration continues to be the well-being of everyone associated with the festival.”
JDIFF will continue to monitor and follow recommendations and directives from health and government officials regarding public events during that time frame.
LA Asian Pacific Film Festival Pushes to Later This Year
The Oscar qualifying festival is pushing their dates to later this year: "In keeping with directives from our local, state, and federal health agencies, we are rescheduling the 36th Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival (LAAPFF), originally slated for April 30 - May 8, 2020, to later this year. We are committed to the well being of our volunteers, artists, and audiences.
We acknowledge that this virus has been racialized and has incited hateful acts towards our communities. While we are seeing anti-Asian sentiments that perpetuate perilous narratives, Visual Communications and the Festival will continue to be a space for expression, engagement, and empowerment. We look forward to celebrating our artists and stories with you at a later time."
Seattle Is Cancelled, Staff Laid Off
Statement from SIFF, which had been scheduled for May 14 - June 7: "It is with great sadness that we announce the cancellation of the 46th Seattle International Film Festival amid the COVID-19 pandemic. SIFF is committed to being a part of the solution to help slow down the recent spike in numbers of COVID-19 cases in the state and across the country, and we remain committed to the safety of audiences, staff, and the community at large. As a result, SIFF is now on hiatus after the majority of staff is laid off." Hopefully better days ahead and a very successful festival in 2021.
Chicago Critics Film Festival Postponed
Originally set for early May at the Music Box Theatre, the Chicago Critics Film Festival is postponed until further notice, in response to the developing public health concerns around COVID-19 and its impact on presenting a safe, enjoyable experience for attendees, guests and organizers. Following the announcements by Governor Pritzker, Mayor Lightfoot and other government leadership, festival organizers acknowledge that hosting a week-long gathering in the midst of a developing situation such as this is not in the best interest of those involved or those who would attend. At this time, festival leadership are evaluating the best course forward and no determination has been made regarding whether the Chicago Critics Film Festival will take place later in the year, if at all.
Check back here at screenmag.com as additional film festival updates become available.