Sunday, November 04, 2007

Pittsburgh filmmaker Jill Wiggins (r) receives People's Choice Awards for First and Third Place from Joann Wheeler (m) and Troy Wood (l) at the Venango Digital Film Association's First Annual Film Festival. Her winning films were Don's Diner and A Thunderous Life. Second Place was won by Venango Catholic High School's film History in Our Backyard, submitted by Judith Frost. A September date has already been set for next year's Film Festival. Photo by Dixie Morrow

Friday night was the opening of the Film Fest. I was on tennerhooks about crowd size; I had called and emailed everyone I knew - broadcast it here, on MySpace and Facebook. But still.

I shouldn't have worried. It was standing room only at the Little Theatre. The place was so packed in fact, that the seats I was saving for friends were snatched up by rober baron apologist and Oil City City Council member Neil McElwee. I was adjusting the sound at the time, so he had no idea who I was (nor do I think that he's a big blog reader), but it was interesting to watch his reaction to the documentary about the proposed Oil City Whitewater Recreation Park got, as well as the color in his face during the Poet and the Professor. I'm thinking he liked the oil based films lots more.

The crowd was like a who's who of artists in the region - Bruce and Gwen from Brother Bean, Jerome Wincek, Joann Wheeler (Oil City Arts Czar), Linda Henderson (from the Latonia Theatre), Peter Greene, John McConnell (Barrow Theatre Pooh-Bah), and I'm sure there were tons others who I didn't get to schmooze with. Including, I think, this guy, who I scared the heck out of when I thought he was Matt Croyle. Sorry.

A great first year. Now what?

Congrats to the winners:

Film Fest People's Choice Winners:
1. Jill Wiggins, Don's Diner
2. Venango Catholic High School, History in Our Backyard
3. Jill Wiggins, A Thunderous Life

Speaking of...Jerome Wincek has more songs up on his myspace and some ambitious plans as well.

WQLN is searching for short films from any genre, including but not limited to drama, comedy, suspense, documentary, animation, and claymation.

Jack Schultz, whose book Boomtown USA: The 7 ½ Keys to Big Success in Small Towns wildly underimpressed me as common sense dolled up in consultant-speak, was in the area last month and blogged his little heart out about it:
What's really odd is that, following further reading, all of the posts about all the towns are the same, "It's taken so tough econmic blows, but with it's great little downtown, it's sure to recover." Doesn't exactly inspire confidence...

The Chronicle of Higher Ed asks a question that's been on mind recently, How Educated Must an Artist Be?

HORSES (the band that plays early video-game themed songs, including Mario Brothers, Mega Man and the Legend of Zelda) and GWAR on our tour together. If that's not strange enough, the tour includes a stop in Butler. They'll be playing Nov. 8 at the Meridian Vets Club, 125 Vets Club Rd.

NPR streams Nickel Creek's Washington DC show.

NPR streams Over The Rhine's harrisburg show

Dark Xmas, is coming up there may still be enough time to submit for thier mini film fest:
We are looking for horror and sci fi independent films. This is your chance to have your movie seen at the convention. All submissions should be sent to Dark Xmas 1485 North Rd. Warren, OH 44484 or use the contact page for any questions

Butler born author Stewart O'Nan will talk about his books Monday at The Book Center at the University of Pittsburgh Oakland.

The Pittsburgh Post Gazette and the Trib Review review The Associated Artists of Pittburgh Retrospective. Additionally, the Trib Review profiles the organization overall.

The Decemberists have canceled The WYEP Holiday Concert Nov. 13 at Carnegie Music Hall in Oakland.

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