derby city film festival

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Local Director takes his Horror Show on the Road

Director Kristofer Rommel is a man who admittedly knows more than his share about a slow decent into madness, having landed on the often thankless ambition of independent filmmaking. And while Rommel must be doing a few things right, with two dozen plus shorts and features to his credit over the past two decades, his latest effort is a portrait of exactly that. A dramatic prequel to a forthcoming “thinking man’s horror” of the same name, “Wireface: In the Beginning” made its world premiere earlier in the spring at the 2012 Derby City Film Festival and continues its debut circuit…

DCFF ’12: Festival Best Doc Calls for Real American ‘Bailout’

All of us gamble everyday and when we lose, we lose. But when banks gamble? Well, that’s different. With previous projects taking him to Lebanon and South Sudan, Director Sean Fahey was by no means a stranger to tragedy. And yet never expected find it so readily, both down the street and across the country. The story of what he describes as the, “ghettoizing of our entire nation,” alongside the hopelessness left in its wake, ‘Bailout’ is not just a portrait of greed but also a flesh-and-blood accounting of the victims. Equal parts booze-fueled road-trip, heart-torquing exposé and jaw-grinding indictment of corporate corruption, the 2012 Derby City Film Festival Best Documentary explores the lives of Americans, “in all stages of being screwed by Wall Street,” while detailing a coherent and painfully understandable argument for how and why it both originated and persists. Fahey jokes that sometimes the weight is such that he wishes he could, “go back a year and just take the blue pill,” but ultimately asserts that, “Wall Street can’t lose unless we do something about it.”

DCFF ’12: Louisvillians Nab Best Feature Alongside Sci-fi Legend

Only six years removed from cutting their cinematic teeth on spoof trailers of films like ‘Lord of the Rings’ and ‘Gladiator’ for their high school morning newscast, Louisville-natives Scooter Downey and Sean Elliot have realized a lifelong dream. A five-year labor of love not only seen to fruition but done with such apparent success, and on their own terms, Derby City Film Festival director Kristofer Rommel said of the pair’s debut feature, “‘It’s in the Blood’ is scary good. It’s just icing on the cake that these guys are from Kentucky.” Racking up huge honors at the 4th annual festival, with both Best Feature Film and Sean Elliot for Best Actor (as well as a Lifetime Achievement award for legendary co-star Lance Henriksen), Downey and Elliot have come a long way. And yet it’s all the more sweet that the two were able to first come home to be crowned kings.

DCFF ’12: New Albany’s Tom Whitus Carves out Kid Niche with ‘Sam Steele’

“Treasure and mystery, I like that combination,” says Sam Steele Jr., private eye. The fedora-sporting hijinks of child actor Jacob Hays’s kid-noir sleuth return to the Derby City Film Festival screen this weekend with an espionage-inspired, Louisville-based, faux-history-mystery boasting Kevin Sorbo (Hercules, Andromeda) and Dee Wallace (E.T., Cugo) alongside Doug, the crime-sniffing dog. And if the continued success of his burgeoning family-friendly empire is any clue, then New Albany filmmaker Tom Whitus has his finger on the most treasure-laden combination of them all. A sequel to 2010’s ‘Sam Steele and the Junior Detective Agency’, screenwriter/director Tom Whitus hatched the idea…

DCFF ’12: Serafini Braves New Roads with ‘Johnny’s Gone’

With previous cinematic credits including a Wesley Snipes action romp and plenty of european television, veteran writer/director Giorgio Serafini might seem an unlikely face behind an indie-film festival breakout. But his latest effort is exactly that. Inspired and informed by his family’s own tragic loss, Serafini says that ‘Johnny’s Gone’ has fundamentally changed him as a filmmaker, and in the process took cast & crew on an unforgettably intimate journey, both on-screen and off.

DCFF ’12: ‘On Our Radar’ Festival Preview Part 2

The second installment of our Derby City Film Festival preview, with looks at ‘Znikniecie’, ‘Bailout’, ‘Holding the Line’ and ‘Employee of the Month’. Now just days away and with 56 films to choose from it’s only natural to feel a bit overwhelmed. No worries. We’ve got the hookup.

DCFF ’12: Danville Filmmakers get Strange with ‘Bizarnival’

How do you fit tuxedos, a stop-motion robot, an airplane-piloting puppet and a homicidal mime into a twelve minute film? Having seen the thing myself I’m still not quite sure, but it was one hell of a brain-twisting frolic. The latest from the feverish hive-mind of Danville, Kentucky filmmakers Todd Sheene, Allen Martin, and Scott Stafford, ‘Bizarnival– Tuxedos in the Attic’ is an experimental short that starts with a magical box in an attic and continues from there with an inordinate amount of meandering wonderment. “We really wanted to take the audience to a lot of different places,” Scott Stafford…

DCFF ’12: ‘On Our Radar’ Festival Preview Part 1

The first installment of our Derby City Film Festival preview, with looks at the feature-length films ‘Wid Winner & the Slipstream’, ‘Sam Steele and the Crystal Chalice’, ‘Johnny’s Gone’ and ‘Below Zero’. Now just days away from the event and with 56 films to choose from it’s only natural to feel a bit overwhelmed. No worries. We’ve go the hook-up.