The thing I like most about going to film festivals is that I get to see incredible films that will never reach our theaters. For every film that makes the American movie theater, there are hundreds that will never get distribution. I just got back from the Cinequest Film Festival (http://www.cinequest.org/ ) up in San Jose, CA. Only a quick three day visit but I was able to see seven films. My favorites were the documentaries.
Living in Emergency: Stories of Doctors Without Borders:
After 15 years of a devastating civil war, Liberia is basically left with no medical infrastructure, while the Congo has collapsed into its own that has left over 4,000,000 people dead. The riveting Living in Emergency follows four members of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Doctors Without Borders on their missions to “provide emergency medical care to populations in distress.”
When Renaldo's father moved his family to a remote Colorado ranch as a child, Renaldo dealt with his isolation by escaping to his private fantasy world and fabricating the fantasy nation of Rocaterrania. What began as the illustrated history of an imaginary world became a lifelong obsession - one that would secretly document the satirically coded story of his life. Now 76, Renaldo spins his spellbinding tale, illustrated by works of art, which delve deep into the psyche of this delightful and complex genius.
Neither of these currently have distribution but might in the future. They were certainly worthy of a wider audience.
You never know what gems you will find when you go to a festival. If you have never been to one, the Newport Beach Film Festival runs from April 23rd to 30th. You can give a festival a try without going far from home!