The Logan Film Festival 2014 event featuring over 45 films from both across the world and local sources, brought great independent film to Cache Valley locals, travelers, filmmakers, students, and movie buffs alike. The competition’s judging scores for category and overall festival best was close, especially with the quality of the films once again raised substantially from previous years. Attendance and filmmaker numbers were also up, with student attendance from surrounding high schools and Utah State University more than doubling.
The Best of Festival award, receiving highest marks in all areas by the jury, goes to Not Anymore: A Story of Revolution.
Not Anymore: A Story of Revolution is a documentary short film that tells the story of the Syrian struggle for freedom as experienced by a 32 year old rebel fighter, Mowya, and a 24 year old female journalist, Nour, in Aleppo, Syria. The film is a 15 minute documentary short about why the Syrian people are fighting for their freedom, told through the emotional words of two powerful characters whose lives have been turned upside down and torn apart by war.
Not Anymore was directed and produced by Matthew VanDyke, produced by Nour Kelze, and features Nour as well as Omar Hattab. Learn more and follow the documentary film on Facebook at: facebook.com/syriadocumentaryfilm.
The Best Narrative Feature award, receiving highest marks in it’s category by the jury, goes to Jammed.
Jammed is a story about a wild jam-band festival out in the woods is where the buttoned-up Evan finds himself after he agrees to help his free-spirited girlfriend, Rachel, make her first music documentary in this quirky comedy. After her equipment goes missing, Evan must infiltrate the hippies and burnouts he despises and keep Rachel’s party animal ex-boyfriend from winning her back.
It is the work of director Yedidya Gorsetman and producer Josh Itzkowitz, and stars David Bly, Leah Rudick, Chris Roberti, Jen Tullock, Rob Michael Hugel, and Shannon Coffey. Check out Jammed and keep up to date at jammedmovie.com.
The Best Documentary Feature award, receiving highest marks in it’s category by the jury, goes to Before I Burn.
Before I Burn examines the extraction of the cornea in developed countries usually occurs behind closed doors, in the depths of large hospitals. In Nepal, the Buddhist and Hindu Temples become an open forum for viewing the simple removal of corneas from their loved ones moments before they are burned on the funeral pyre. This documentary follows the extractions of two sets of corneas into surgery in Nepal and onto the sight of 17-year old Jasima and 50-year Dhaka, showing the transformation from blindness to sight, all in the backdrop of a country that is still learning about what it means to donate tissue.
It was documented by Utah local director and producer Joel Addams. More about the project can be found at the Tao Feature Films website, taofeaturefilms.com.
The Best Narrative Short award, receiving highest marks in it’s category by the jury, goes to Jueves.
María asks Jorge for a lighter and continues her ordinary way to the office ignoring that she is being observed and that what started as a regular day could not be so.
Directed and produced by Pedro River, Jueves stars Sara and Luis Rivero Heras, and is co-produced by Visual Creative and Produce Fuzz Productions. Jueves is best followed on Facebook at goo.gl/MmJ5d9.
The Best Documentary Short award, receiving highest marks in it’s category by the jury, goes to Barrel to the Head.
Barrel to the Head is about the human beings behind the data that is firearm related deaths in the United States, the family and
friends left behind, and the people working to bring down the numbers. The film delves deeply into the tension between second amendment rights and the fight to save lives,
challenging the current stalemate and offering new insights into an issue that is plaguing
The subject is documented by Director and Producer Jessica Pitcher. Learn more and follow the film at barreltothehead.com.
The Best Student Short award, receiving highest marks in it’s category by the jury, goes to Young Americans.
The film follows 17-year-old Mercedes Harper who, on the verge of aging out of foster care, needs money and she needs it now. She manipulates Denver Thomas, a former high school classmate with a massive crush on her, into helping her plan a bank robbery.
Young Americans was directed by University of Utah and American Film Institute (AFI) graduate Kevin Lacey who has roots in Logan and Cache Valley. It was produced by Alejandro Torroja. The film can be followed at facebook.com/YoungAmericansFilm.
The Best Animated Short award, receiving highest marks in it’s category by the jury, goes to Blue.
In a world where balloons are alive one fearful balloon must learn to put his fragile life in the hands of an unlikely friend.
Blue was directed by Katelyn Bianchini, Rena Cheng, Asia Lancaster and more details about the film can be found at goo.gl/wjD6Y1.
A “Best of Logan Film Festival 2014” community event feature several of the above films will be hosted at Utah State University on Friday, March 20, 2015.
The free event is open to the public, and aims to increase student and community awareness of the Fall festival, and introduce the festival’s spirit and independent filmmaking to the University student base, Logan, and Cache Valley.
The Best of Logan Film Festival 2014 event will be held in the Fine Arts Visuals building on USU campus, Room 150, at 7pm. Details and RSVP: https://www.facebook.com/events/437390069743938/