Funny female filmmakers will gather to screen their uproarious film creations at the Broad Humor Film Festival, being held Friday through Sunday, June 30th to July 2nd, at the Electric Lodge, 1416 Electric Ave., Venice, and EpOxybOx Gallery, 602 Venice Blvd., Venice.
The festival begins with a screening of In the Land of Milk and Money, by Susan Emshwiller, at 6 p.m. Friday, June 30th, at the Electric Lodge. The festival then moves over to EpOxybOx for an opening night party from 7 to 10 p.m. EpOxybOx will serve as a festival lounge throughout the weekend. Film screenings begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 1st, and 11 a.m. Sunday, July 2nd, and continue into the evening.
The new festival received a broad range (pun most definitely intended) of submissions including dark comedies, satires, parodies, artsy comedies and sexy comedies — even a spoof on a porn film, says associate director Kaat Cleenewerck, who emigrated from Belgium to Venice about eight years ago.
Cleenewerck was inspired to help organize the festival after executive director Susan di Rande came up with the concept.
The films chosen have the female touch, but are not necessarily about female issues.
“Some of the films deal with relationship issues,” says Cleenewerck, adding that women’s issues were not the main catalyst for the theme of the festival. Instead, they were looking for films that had a female perspective that big budget comedies lack, according to Cleenewerck.
“Mainstream comedy films in Hollywood are more often than not written or directed by males,” says Cleenewerck. “I think many times female directors add a sensitivity to their work that those films lack.”
She also says many of the films had a fresh sense of perspective.
In the film The Bread Squeezer, directed by Kasia Kowalczyk, a young man is tormented by his aunt, whom he lives with after the tragic loss of his parents. He finds a way to comfort himself and relieve tension by squeezing loaves of bread in a local grocery store. A subsequent drama and romance unfold in the film.
Apparently, the female filmmakers who submitted their works had a laugh about the double meaning of “broad” in the festival’s name.
“Everyone knew it was a joke,” Cleenewerck says. “No one was offended.”
The festival received roughly 100 entries in its inaugural year, of films of varying qualities. Organizers chose both films with a polished, high budget look and a few films where it was quite apparent that it was a first attempt made on a shoestring budget, says Cleenewerck.
“We wanted to give female comedy filmmakers of all types a voice,” Cleenewerck says.
Write Brothers Software and Gorilla Software will conduct filmmaking and editing workshops at 1 and 2 p.m. Saturday, July 1st, at EpOxybOx.
Awards in the categories of “Best Feature,” “Best Short,” “Best ‘No Budget’ Feature,” “Best ‘No Budget’ Short” and audience award will be given at 6 p.m. at EpOxybOx.
Also, screenplay awards for best “All-Around Comedy,” “Romantic Comedy,” “Eclectic Comedy,” “Black Comedy/Satire” and “Farce” will be given.
Both di Rende and Cleenewerck have worked on the production side of filmmaking. Di Rende teaches English-as-a-Second-Language courses at Santa Monica College and Cleenewerck has worked as a journalist correspondent for film magazines covering film festivals including the Sundance Film Festival. She also worked as a programmer for the Brussels Film Festival in the 1990s and more recently as an advisor for the Method Fest in Los Angeles.
Information, (310) 403-2882.