Local aspiring filmmakers will have the opportunity to have their creations viewed by the community during the first Gowanda Film Festival beginning on Friday, June 14 at the Historic Gowanda Hollywood Theater, 34 W. Main St., Gowanda.
Coordinated by Quentin Jarzynski, the two-day festival will begin at
6:30 p.m. Friday, June 14 and 3 p.m. Saturday, June 15 at the theater. About a dozen or so filmmakers submitted their work with a handful of them submitting more than one film. All proceeds generated from the submissions go to the continuation of the theater renovations.
"Filmmaking is a medium that can tell a story in a very unique way," explained Jarzynski. "It's so broad and so specific at the same time and there's so much opportunity in film that it's hard to not be attracted to it."
Films will be judged by John Jarzynski, Ian Loretto, and Joe Steger, who are experienced in film and theater. However, the audience will also have a say as they judge their favorites.
"We encourage people to come and vote for their favorite," said Jarzynski. "Everyone is welcome to come and watch on the day and there is no fee for the audience."
Films will be judged based on quality, creativity, and effort. Several awards will be given to films that excel in certain areas. There are a few categories that entrants can win including, "Best Picture," "Best Picture," "Best Cinematography," "Best Actress and Best Actor."
"I hope everyone who comes can look at these submissions and get inspired to make something of their own," remarked Jarzynski. "You'll either tell yourself 'I can do that' or you'll see something beyond your own abilities and strive to improve."
As the creator of the film festival, Jarzynski, who will be celebrating his 19th birthday, said he found himself to be more involved in the film community at college than he anticipated.
"I've come to really enjoy the experience," he said. "Twice a semester, I joined a handful of friends for a film festival and I fell in love. It felt very rewarding to see something I had a part in on a movie screen and in a theater atmosphere. I've had family on the board for the Hollywood Theater, so I've had a sort of involvement for many years. So really it all just came together at the right time."
Wanting to offer the same chance he had in college to the community, Jarzynski proposed the idea to the Hollywood Theater board in April. Afterward, he spoke with a number of experienced film festival coordinators for advice and his idea came a reality.
"My hope is that it will grown along with the theater," said Jarzynski. "And if I can continue to act as the coordinator then I would be thrilled."
For more information about the festival, visit Gowandafilmfest.com or "like" the Gowanda Film Festival Facebook page.
"I hope the community can come and enjoy films for an evening in the Hollywood Theater," said Jarzynski. "I'm too young to have ever experienced the theater in it's prime, but I hope that those in the community who are old enough can enjoy the experience as much as younger residents can. I just hope people have fun and that I can effectively promote the Hollywood Theater."
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