Elgin becomes capital of the short film on Saturday
By Annie Alleman For Sun-Times Media September 19, 2013 5:42PM
"Axe Giant: The Wrath of Paul Bunyan." | File photo
Elgin Short Film Festival
♦ Sept. 21
♦ Hemmens Cultural Center, 45 Symphony Way, Elgin
♦ Tickets, $5
♦ (847) 931-5900
Updated: October 21, 2013 2:25PM
The fifth annual Elgin Short Film Festival will be at 7 p.m. Sept. 21 at the Hemmens Cultural Center in Elgin.
Around 30 films were submitted; the top five as scored by the selection committee will be shown in the competition.
The festival is open to all ages and general admission tickets cost $5. Pre-show activities start around 6 p.m. with red carpet arrivals, music and entertainment, said Joe Vassallo, committee co-chair of the film festival.
Of those five, three will receive a trophies and cash prize. The festival is sponsored in part by the City of Elgin, Elgin Cultural Arts Commission, The Illinois Lottery, Villa Verone Restaurant, Danny’s Pizza and Marcus Theatres.
Mike Toomey, a regular performer on the “WGN Morning News,” will again serve as master of ceremonies. Winners will be selected by a panel of judges, and the audience members get to vote for their favorite film.
Trailers for all of the submitted films will be shown in a montage during the awards ceremony.
“This year’s entries come from everywhere,” Vassallo said. “This is year has another set of great films. It’s a nice mix.”
Five years ago, he was on the Hemmens Cultural Board when they were looking for a way to showcase The Hemmens and bring people downtown, and to showcase art in Elgin as well. He threw out the idea of a film festival and they ran with it, he said.
“The first year we didn’t really know what we were doing … but we’ve gotten much better at it over the years,” he said. “It’s an avenue to promote filmmakers and bring people to downtown Elgin.”
Usually short-film makers are the ones trying to break in the business. They are the ones working to hone their craft, he said.
“You’re looking at up and coming filmmakers; people who are looking to make that big splash,” he said. “So it is something new. It is possibly seeing the next Francis Ford Coppola. You’re looking at up and coming artists who are producing new, great films. And we have a great night.”
Tickets are $5. The Hemmens is at 45 Symphony Way in Elgin.
For more information, call 847-931-5900 or go to www.hemmens.org.