Not to brag or anything, but the inaugural SWEDE FEST™PALM BEACH was an out-of-the-box smash success. Playing to a sold-out crowd of 500 last Friday night, SWEDE FEST™PALM BEACH 2012, produced by Mainstreet at Midtown at The Borland Center for Performing Arts, was high-energy entertainment for everyone involved, with “swedes” submitted by amateur filmmakers ages 10 to 60. This was a grassroots amateur film festival, in which short, DIY versions of big-budget feature films are reproduced as cheaply as possible, using family and friends as cast; bedrooms, backyards, and local parks as sets; and toys, pets, and found objects as props.
Filmmakers submitted 38 swedes; 23 were screened during the festival and 12 were shown in the lobby of the theatre during the hour-long festivities before SWEDE FEST™PALM BEACH 2012 got underway. Once attendees walked the red carpet and collected their tickets or VIP special-edition commemorative lanyards (both were sold online on this website as well as at the door), they could have their picture taken in front of the SWEDE FEST™PALM BEACH 2012 step-and-repeat — just like any red carpet movie event! — by AJ Shore Photography. Arts Radio Network was on hand to conduct radio interviews for their podcast, and New Vision Productions was roving the crowd interviewing film directors and attendees for a short film on SWEDE FEST™.
Potions in Motion sold beer and wine to a long line of thirsty — and patient — film fans, Hollywood Cupcakes handed out tiny explosions of joy in the form of movie-themed cupcakes (think Men in Blackberry — yum!), while DJ Joel Malkin played the soundtracks to some of our favorite films, and the students from Atlantic Arts Academy performed impromptu set pieces. The night’s biggest sponsor, The Digital Domain Institute, set up a booth in the lobby to distribute literature about its educational programs — but Digital Domain’s biggest impact, by far, was felt when everyone took a seat and the lights went down.
But before that happened, the evening’s emcees took to the stage. The Jove Comedy Experience — Frank and Jesse to their nearest and dearest — proved to be just as entertaining as the films they introduced. They stepped in when our original emcee, the Palm Beach Post’s Leslie Gray Streeter, was unable to attend, and quickly won the audience over with their rapid-fire wit, deadpan delivery and relentless heckling of anyone who dared come in late, get up to use the facilities, wear a hat, shave their head, or breathe regularly.
The Digital Domain Special Events Team supported the festival by editing the master tape, creating a lead-in short film of its own about SWEDE FEST™ PALM BEACH that was shot around the area, using our festival logo on a stick and some creative voiceover to poke a bit of fun at the question, “Where is The Borland?” and interstitial graphics that made the entire production look, well…Hollywood.
The Digital Domain Institute also provided the night’s Audience Favorite Award, won by brothers Noah and Jonah Kalter (aged 10 and 11) from Stuart, for their swede of THE HULK. They were ecstatic to win a tour of the Digital Domain Tradition Studios in Port St. Lucie.
The rest of our swede-makers were a range of students from local middle and high schools (The Pine School, The Benjamin School, South Tech Academy, St. Lucie West High School, Palm Beach Gardens Community High School), film school students (G-Star), film enthusiasts, and semi-professional filmmakers.
Our inaugural SWEDE FEST™ PALM BEACH was such a blockbuster we’ve already scheduled next year’s event, so mark your calendars NOW for Friday, August 2, 2013. Don’t plan that far ahead? No worries — we’ll remind you. Frequently.
Every film submitted was given credit in the night’s printed program, and in addition to the Audience Favorite Award, we gave out a few other “special” awards:
Best Misuse of Gym Equipment: I Am (A) Legend
Most Likely to Eat Pop Rocks: Jaws
Most Unsettling: 2012
Most Likely to Lose a Contact: Avatar
Best Yoda Impression: Men in Black
Most Empty Beer Bottles: The Birds
Most Repetitive Dialogue: Million Dollar Baby (Hit the Bag)
Best Death Scene: Hunger Games
Most Likely to go to the Mall: Sleepover
Best Father-Son Relationship: Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Most Orphans in a Garage: Annie
Most Politically Incorrect Use of Makeup: Terminator
Best Use of Blue Paper: Avatar
Best Use of Legos: The Hulk
Best Hairpiece: Footloose
Most Likely to Wear Sensible Cowboy Boots:City Slickers
Best Transition to a Completely Different Movie: Chronicle
Most Dramatic Fast Food Order: No Country For Old Men
Fewest Trains Harmed in the Making of a Film: Trainspotting
Best Mustache: Old School
Best Use of Bubbles: Avatar
Most Likely to be Tom Cruise: Mission Impossible
Most Likely to be a Bunch of Hooligans – District 9
We called it a wrap after that, and headed over to Midtown’s Cantina Laredo for the VIP After Party. Thanks to everyone who submitted a swede, came to SWEDE FEST™PALM BEACH 2012, the media who wrote about and supported the event, everyone who followed us on Facebook and Twitter, joined the Fan Club through this website, and all of the great people who got involved in some way to make our little indie film festival such a great success:
Aaron Shore Photography
Alchemy Communications Group
Arts Radio Network
Atlantic Arts Academy
Chuck Burger Joint
Digital Domain Institute
Digital Domain Special Projects Team
DJ Joel Malkin
Elizabeth Dashiell PR
Mainstreet at Midtown
New Vision Productions
Palm Beach International Film Festival
Palm Beach Post
Potions in Motion
Ram Realty Services
The Borland Center for Performing Arts
The Jove Comedy Experience