The One Take Film Festival returns to Rochester April 25-28 at The Little Theatre, Dryden Theatre and Eastman School of Music.
Linda Moroney, the One Take Film Festival Director, and Bri Merkel, the Artistic Director for The Little Theatre and OTFF, discussed the upcoming event Tuesday during News 8 at Noon.
This will be the third year for the One Take Film Festival. “It’s a four-day film festival that features all non-fiction and documentary films from shorts to features,” said Moroney. “This year we’re also including a panel on Podcasting.”
Films are selected for the OTFF from a variety of sources. “Bri and I watch, you know, I would say hundreds of documentaries,” Moroney said. “We have relationships with filmmakers now, so sometimes they bring films to us. Sometimes we have relationships with the distributors and they bring films to us. And sometimes we’re at festivals looking for films and we think would resonate with our audiences here in Rochester. And so they come a myriad of different ways, which is actually kind of great.”
There are locally produced films as well. “We have an entire shorts program that we actually ask for submissions,” Merkel said. “That’s the only thing we seek submissions for and it’s our Western New York Short Filmmaker Program. This year it’s on Saturday, April 27 at 10:30 a.m. and we have, probably, the best shorts program I think we’ve had so far for the festival. Every year we get more selections and that just makes the program better and better.”
Among the numerous offerings, Merkel discussed a couple of standout submissions. “I think our opening night film, ‘Midnight Traveler’ is just a really fantastic movie,” she said. “It’s about a family who is forced to leave Afghanistan. A price has been put on the father of the family’s head by the Taliban. It’s about them trying to find a new home, trying to seek a place for asylum. It’s shot over the course of two and a half years and it really brings you into what that must feel like to, you know, have to start a whole new life.”
Eastman grad Jeff Beal is returning to Rochester for a special performance. “He will be doing his live score to the movie ‘Biggest Little Farm,’ and it will be performed live for the first time with the Empire Film and Media Ensemble at the Eastman School of Music,” said Merkel. “That’s about 30 musicians with Jeff leading them. The film will be playing on screen as they are playing below. And we’re really excited for that one. It’s in a tiny little rehearsal space over at The Eastman School of Music, so tickets are limited. That will be Saturday, April 27 at 3:00 p.m.”
Moroney said audiences will have the opportunity to watch these amazing films and engage in conversation after they’re done. “We encourage active participation from our audiences, you know. I think the other reason to have a film festival of documentaries here in Rochester is our history of the birthplace of motion picture film. Great. But it’s also, it was a huge place for social activism with Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony. So it’s sort of in our DNA to want to have these types of conversations and discussions. So typically, we have filmmakers coming. We have filmmakers Skypeing in. We have panel discussions after the films because people really want to discuss them, and how it resonates and speaks to them in their own lives.”
For lineup information, individual tickets, and/or an all-access pass visit OTFF.org.