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KC FilmFest wrap up

April 28, 2009

This year two local film festivals were combined into KC FilmFest.   The Kansas City Jubilee Film Festival was a juried shorts festival, and FilmFest KC was a curated festival. The new festival contains some juried and  some curated features (juried films are judged, curated movies are not.)  All foreign films were curated.  All shorts and most local films were juried.

The festival was the first major event and sneak peak of downtown’s new AMC 14 theaters.  Festival goers were wowed by a gorgeous, state of the art new theater housed in a historic building at 14th and Main in downtown Kansas City.  It really is a beautiful facility, and features a restaurant and bar, coffee bar, seriously cool bathrooms (in the women’s bathroom each stall has its’ own sink and ultra high tech hand dryer) and cinema suites, where customers can order drinks and food right in their seats.  Fountain drinks are self-serve (think Quik Trip).

The theaters have stadium seating and more legroom than the typical theater.   It is the area’s only digital theater and it looks amazing. The seats are somewhat interactive, which was a fact withheld from the audience.  You know how when you go to a movie with surround sound you can feel the bass thumping in your chest?  Well now your seat actually shakes, like an interactive disney ride. On friday night during The Brothers Bloom audience members giggled and were clearly delighted with the unexpected “film immersion” now being advertised by AMC.

I spoke with festival coordinator Sandy Woodson yesterday regarding her general thoughts on this year’s event.  Final numbers are not tallied, but it looks to be headed around 25oo for attendance.  The Only Good Indian, Last Breath, The Brothers Bloom and Sync or Swim all had sellouts, and many shorts were close to selling out. Despite a few minor issues with the digital projection, she was pleased with the new venue.  We both agreed that it was very nice to have all the movies under one roof (in previous years you had to go to different theaters around the metro.)

You can read about this years prizes here.

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