Great Faces! Great Places!

Hey folks! Andrew here...

This last weekend, Eric and I drove back to my old stomping grounds for the Eighth Annual South Dakota Film Festival! This is the second year Two Jackets has attended the fest to support a film of ours. Last year our film, You Only Die Once!, took home the award for Best Comedy Short at the fest. This year, we attended to represent our electrifying superhero comedy, Meanwhile, at the Citadel of Superheroes...!

This fest holds a special significance to me. I grew up near the city of Aberdeen, which hosts the festival, and visited frequently over the years. Both this year and last, we stayed at my uncle's house - also his and my mother's childhood home - which brings a lot of history back to mind. The experiences of the last two festivals have become part of that history, creating a sort of bridge between my past and present. I wouldn't consider myself a pessimist, but maybe that's was Rust Cohle meant by the flat circle of time. Or not!

Weird philosophies aside, this year's fest was fantastic! The fest's producers, including ringmasters Tom Black and Brent Brandt, don't believe in separating the celebration from the cinema. They treat their guests like royalty, and the filmmaker attendance shows it. Over half of the 70+ films screened were represented, which meant Eric and I not only saw a whole bunch of movies, we got to meet and party with the folks who made 'em! We were especially excited to meet the producers of DESTROYER, who have been making films in South Dakota with actual budgets; Adolfo Martinez Perez, a Hollywood storyboard artist who's worked on notable movies like Oblivion and Terminator Salvation; and the producer of Fort Tilden, the Brooklyn-set winner of the South By Southwest 2014 Grand Jury Award! Eric and I spent most of our drive home on Sunday processing everything we'd learned from these talented and gracious folks. Our summation: making movies is hard and stuff.

We had the additional pleasure of chatting with the students, faculty, and fellow alums of our alma mater, Minnesota State University Moorhead. Our professor, Tom "T-Bone" Brandau, screened his latest short, Home Delivery, which features performances by Eric and me; our pal Conor Holt screened his excellent sci-fi short, A Better Life, which also played at Fantasia in Montreal earlier this year; and we caught a few impressive MSUM student-produced projects, too! A couple of the student films even featured performances by one of Two Jackets' favorite collaborators, Bill Dablow!

Photo by Conor Holt

Photo by Conor Holt

Meanwhile, at the Citadel of Superheroes... screened on Sunday afternoon, and we were quite pleased with the response the film received. It was an exclamation point at the end of an already rather exciting weekend! The positive reception garnered by the film has us excited to continue its life on the festival circuit. Look out genre-fests, Lizzy Lectric is on her way!

This upcoming weekend, Two Jackets will be facing the spooky/scary trials of the Minneapolis 48 Hour Horror Film Project. If we survive the terror, we'll be back to tell the tale. Keep the lights on 'til then, won't you?