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Rosebud: Recognizing Local Talent for 20 Years | Arts & Culture

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Rosebud: Recognizing Local Talent for 20 Years

The Rosebud Film and Video Festival is THE DMV film festival, accepting entries exclusively from residents of D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. It's been around for 20 years now, making it a D.C. film institution. That kind of longevity is a rarity for film festivals, many of which vanish after just one year.

Rosebud forgoes the glitz of many of its counterparts focusing instead on substance. As it states on its website, “The Rosebud Festival seeks to honor the innovative, experimental, unusual, and deeply personal in creative film and video making.” And rather than a sack full of trendy schwag, filmmakers have the chance to go home with one of five $1,000 prizes. Speaking as a filmmaker, I'd much rather have the $1,000.

For its 20th year, Rosebud opened in an exciting new venue, the Artisphere, located on Wilson Boulevard in Arlington. For just a $10 day pass festival goers were treated to seven hours of documentary, narrative, animated, and experimental films in the Artisphere's Dome Theatre. There were 20 films in total, ranging from 3 to 84 minutes in runtime. Festival Director, Jackie Steven, told me the number of films shown has been the same for 20 years. Rosebud receives between 100-120 submissions each year with a rotating panel of six judges deciding on the final program and the five winning films.

Among this year's winning films was “For Memory's Sake” by Ashley Maynor from Blacksburg, VA. The film follows Ashley as she compiles the hundreds of photos her grandmother has taken over the decades and assembles them into an installation. A highly personal documentary, it has moments that are both touching and haunting.

“Minding,” another winning film by Julie Haberstick and Katy Gronsbell, combines animation and live action to tell the story of young boy with an active imagination and his egregious older brother.

Some of the other highlights were “The Mountain Music Project,” which followed two young musicians from the mountains of Virginia as they visit Nepal and compare the Nepalese music and culture to their own, “Corner Plot,” a short documentary about 89 year old Charlie Koiner, a Silver Spring resident who grows produce in his suburban yard and sells it at the local farmer's market, and “Tracks,” a 30 minute drama written and directed by and starring Kevyn Settle, which features locations in Baltimore, West Virginia, and New York City.

Many of the featured filmmakers were present for the screening and I had the pleasure of talking to a few of them in Rosebud's relaxed atmosphere. Daniel Supanick, a native of Charles County, submitted an experimental film entitled “Loading,” which he made for a UMBC film class. Daniel's film was a happy byproduct of his own frustration. When his first attempt went terribly awry due to difficulties technical and not-so-technical, Daniel tossed out the original idea and came up with this: http://vimeo.com/11801651

Mark Pagán directed a wonderful slice of D.C. life entitled “Raymond and Lina.” This narrative short looks at the lives of a man and his granddaughter. “Raymond and Lina” gives the audience a glimpse at a side of Washington not seen on news networks or in big budget films.

After 20 years, Rosebud remains a fixture of the Washington film community and only looks to get better. As it continues its mission “ to honor the innovative, experimental, unusual, and deeply personal in creative film and video making,” it should be atop the list of area film goers and filmmakers. Check out their website at http://www.rosebudfestival.org/.

 

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