The Broad Humor Film Festival heads into its third year with a weekend of films demonstrating women’s comic vision and providing laughs for all. Located in Venice at the Electric Lodge Performing Arts Center, the festival screens works exclusively written and directed by women.
The brainchild of Susan di Rende, a former circus clown and cabaret performer as well as an experienced director for stage and film, the festival is an enjoyable event, a body of work seldom seen.
“For whatever reason, women’s comedy rarely makes the cut. It’s out there, but without support, the laughter withers and dies,” di Rendi says.
The festival will be screening four feature films and twenty-five shorts over the weekend. In addition to screenings, the festival runs a screenplay reading workshop, the Broadsides Lab, on Saturday afternoon. Finalists in the screenplay competition can submit a scene or two to be read aloud by professional actors. The writers can use the lab to work on a problematic scene, or simply to hear their characters come alive for themselves, their family and friends.
Broad Humor is committed to continuing support of its filmmakers, and its mission includes ongoing programs beyond the festival for participants. Once a woman has a film or screenplay accepted to the festival, she is invited to participate in a special Legacy Program every year for free. All she has to do is make a short film that fits the rules, and she is guaranteed a screening in the festival’s Legacy Program. In this way, Broad Humor builds a community and encourages the development of their craft.
This year’s Legacy Program shorts rules are very simple: Make a short film under 5 minutes; include French language in the film (fake French is OK); incorporate Pez into the story. The title of the program: French Pez.
Last year’s Best No-Budget Feature winner, Tamar Halpern, has submitted her earlier feature, “Memphis Bound and Gagged” for consideration in this year’s competition. The film, starring “Breaking Bad” actress Betsy Brandt, is one of a number of ‘road-trip’ films submitted to the festival this year.
The festival runs June 13-15 at the Electric Lodge, 1416 Electric Ave., Venice.
Tickets are available for purchase online from brownpapertickets.com/.