Friday, July 3, 2009

72 hours of Wis-Kino

(cross-posted from

I've been participating in Wis-Kino's 48-hour "Kabarets" for quite a few years now, always enjoying the sense of urgency and rampant creativity involved in making a short film in just two days. I've liked it so much, in fact, that last year I volunteered to become one of the group's co-directors (along with Josh Klessig), taking over after founding directors Matt Sloan and Aaron Yonda decided to spend more time focused on their other filmmaking activities.

We've since streamlined things so that, instead of monthly screenings and Kabarets, Wis-Kino is just focusing on the big events. We're throwing three Kabarets each year (the one in May went spectacularly well), with the next one coming up this month. Only, we've got a little something special in store for this particular Kabaret. Instead of giving people the usual 48 hours in which to kill themselves making a movie, we've expanded it (one time only!) to run for three whole days.

The idea is that the added time will give filmmakers 1) time to make more than one film, or 2) more time to make just the one. It also means actors and other interested parties can potentially work on more than one person's film. Super cool! Or at least, we think so. And this is me, formally extending the invitation to come check things out if you haven't already.

Kabarets are great opportunities for both amaetuer and more experienced film lovers to test their mettle, get the creative juices flowing, and just have fun. Want to direct something but are lacking actors or technical help? Want to act in something or offer your sound/lighting/etc. expertise but lack a camera and a particular vision?

Whatever the case, show up to the Kabaret kick-off screening on Thursday, July 16th and we'll do our level best to get you connected with the people who can get you involved in a project. We'll provide a sign-up sheet where you can leave your name, contact info, and area of interest - and then others can look things over to see if you've got what they're looking for. We'll also use the kick-off screening to, well, screen some movies! We invite anyone who has a 5-minute or shorter film to bring it along to show, regardless of its theme (no porn, obviously--see submission guidelines here).

At the end of the screening, we'll have interested filmmakers pick their "secret ingredient" (a word, theme, or prop that must be incorporated into their movie in some way) and then set them all loose for the weekend! On Sunday, July 19th, we'll meet back up to view the fruits of everyone's labors.

What's even cooler? This all happens at the fabulously shiny Sundance Cinemas out at Hilldale Mall. The kick-off screening will be held in their North Lounge, and the final Kabaret showing will be in one of the big theatres. See your work on the silver screen! Both events start at 7:00p.m. - the first won't cost you a dime (we take donations, though), and the final screening just costs $5 (for both filmmakers and casual fans--no extra fee to make a movie!).

We're working on some very fine incentives for making films, as well as providing free, rental camera equipment and editing help for those who need it, so expect announcements about that soon.

In the meantime, I'd like to share a handful of past Kabaret films to whet your appetite. These were all made in just 48 hours! One for now, more to follow in the coming days....

(Film made by Craig Knitt and Tony Mayer for the Fall 2009 Kabaret)

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