BELLOWS FALLS -- Get ready for the No Film Film Festival, take three.
The festival sponsored by Falls Area Community Television (FACT TV) has proven popular enough to be brought back for its third year and will once again put budding filmmakers to the test by challenging them to create movies that will be shown on a digital projector, without the use of film.
Eighteen teams from across the country competed last year and FACT TV Executive Director Jacob Stradling said he hopes the $1,000 first-place prize will entice even more to participate this time around.
"This event should be filled with laughs or tears, (and) at the very least it will be entertaining," he said. He expects the return of most, if not all, of last year's participants, including champion Steve Hill Productions, from San Francisco.
All interested parties must register (with a fee of $145) at http://www.nofilmfestival.org, no later than 11 p.m. on May 29. Competition begins at 7 p.m. on May 30 and ends at the same time on June 6. Entries for NFFF3, as those involved are calling it, will premiere at the Bellows Falls Opera House on June 28 at 5 p.m., with winners determined by the audience, and the award ceremony and screening of the best of the best of the NFFF3 films is scheduled for 5 p.m. on June 9. Filmmakers will be available to talk about their films. The "Best Picture" will receive the $1,000 prize.
"We had a good crowd last year -- we packed the (Bellows Falls Opera House)," Stradling told the Reformer, adding that the festival is the brainchild of FACT TV and producer Joe Eisenberg. "It's something that's really growing in Bellows Falls."
Teams will once again be given a week to make a seven- to 15-minute movie and the products this year will be based on a bit part from a famous "third string" actor. Stradling explained famous actors like Tom Skerritt, of "Top Gun" and "M*A*S*H" fame, were "in a lot of movies, but not always in starring roles." Names of three similar actors will be put in a pot for teams to draw, and the teams will then have a week to conduct a remake of one of their roles in a short film. Last year's theme was "'80s remakes." Filmmakers must write, act, shoot, edit, and turn in their films by the June 6 deadline.
Stradling told the Reformer the idea for the festival was spawned by The 48-Hour Film Project held in cities throughout the United States.
"As far as holding a festival here in town, it's been very successful, in that we've had filmmakers from across the country," he said. "It's definitely a way for us to promote the arts in Bellows Falls."
He said FACT TV typically makes a slight profit off the festival, but most of the money received goes into organizing it.
Domenic Poli can be reached at email@example.com, or 802-254-2311, ext. 277. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoli_reformer.