Overlooked and Underground Films at Urbana IMC in April

I’m excited for April this year, because the Urbana-Champaign IMC has a load of truly indy film and video events going on.

The U-C IMC’s Video group has been the most fun I’ve had at IMC in some time, and we decided to throw a mini film-festival in April, that just coincidentally happens at the same time as the big ol’ Roger Ebert Overlooked Film Festival, that takes over the town every April.

We’re calling our film-festival the IMC Micro-Film Fest, which is a cooperative enterprise with Jason Pankoke and his Micro-Film magazine. We’ll be screening two feature-length films–Horns and Halos and Existo–and two shorts–Killing Michael Bay and Gimmie the Mermaid. The fest takes place Wed. April 23 at 7 PM (while Ebert is feeding optimistic patriotic rah-rahs with The Right Stuff). You can read more about the fest and the movies below.

On April 9th the U-C IMC will be hosting the Power of Living Tour, featuring Clamor magazine and Rooftop Films. Rooftop screens truly independent short films that don’t come from the “independent film industry” that serves as a farm league to Hollywood. On last Friday’s mediageek radio show I interviewed Josh Breitbart from Rooftop Films, who explained in more detail what they have in store. You can listen/download to a (low-birate) mp3 of the show here.

On the following Saturday, April 26, we’ll be hosting an Afternoon of Radical Video. We’ll be watching the Cascadia Media Collective’s fine Guerrilla Video Primer, and discussing techniques for getting out there and capturing some hard-hitting video. This will include some hands-on skill-sharing for everyone who’s interested. We’ll also watch a short documentary on anarchist TV in Amsterdam that was produced by U-C IMC Video Group member Dave Powers, called “Crashing the VIP Room.” It’s a simple but effectively presented interview with one of the founders of Vrije Keyser TV, which is housed in an anarchist squat and started out life by jacking into the city’s cable TV system to broadcast its pirate signal.

Finally, at the end of April (the 30th?) the IMC is hosting Eye of the Storm, which is an independent documentary project exploring the real and concrete effects of globalization on people in the global South.

If you’re located anywhere within 120 miles of Central Illinois, make a plan to come to Urbana in April for real independent film! I hope this is just the start.

U-C IMC Micro-Film Fest Line-Up:

7:00 p.m.


Directors: Todd Norris, John McGrath

Specs: 2002, Digital Video, Color, 16 minutes

Wherabouts: Kansas City, MO


Plot: Two struggling independent filmmakers (Todd Norris, John McGrath) take matters into their own hands by kidnapping “the worst director in Hollywood,” Michael Bay (John Humphrey). Armageddon ensues.

7:20 p.m.


Directors: Suki Hawley, Michael Galinsky

Specs: 2002, Digital Video, Color, 79 minutes

Wherabouts: Brooklyn, NY


Plot: “Fly-on-the-wall” documentary details the doomed efforts of author J.H. Hatfield and underground publisher Sander Hicks to re-launch the controversial, unauthorized George W. Bush biography “Fortunate Son.”

9:00 p.m.


Directors: Negativland with Tim Maloney

Specs: 2002, Digital Video, Color, 5 minutes

Wherabouts: Olympia, WA


Plot: Well-known proponents of “plunderphonics” Negativland team with Disney artist Tim Maloney to create a tongue-in-cheek animated critique of business, entertainment, and the American way.

9:10 p.m.


Director: Coke Sams

Producer: Clarke Gallivan

Specs: 1999, 16mm, Color, 94 minutes

Wherabouts: Nashville, TN


Plot: Self-exiled revolutionary Existo (Bruce Arnston) returns to rile up the artistic bohemia and take on the conservative ruling class of the United States with soul-mate Maxine (Jackie Welch) and compatriot Marcel (Jim Varney) at his side.






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