From Sundance to Slamdance to Tromadance, film festivals of all genres have emerged in recent years, but still, how often do “funny female filmmakers” get their due, asks Susan di Rende, co-creator of a new local film festival. The Broad Humor Film Festival celebrates just that — broad… errrr… female humor, says di Rende.
The Broad Humor Film Festival has screenings and special events lined up for 5 to 11 p.m. Friday; 1 to 10 p.m. Saturday; and 1 to 8 p.m. Sunday, August 24th to 26th, at the Electric Lodge, 1416 Electric Ave., Venice. Tickets are $25 for a three-day festival pass, $15 for the opening night party, or $8 per festival screening.
According to di Rende and festival co-creator Kaat Cleenewerck, a broad is defined as a “woman who packs a mean punch” while broad humor is “for women who pack a mean punch line.”
Di Rende and Cleenewerck say that there is a lack of female comics in the mainstream and that there are many comedies being made by women that deserve to be seen. The two seek to do their part in helping shift the imbalance through the festival.
“A movie that is finished but never gets a chance to speak to an audience is like a stillbirth,” says Cleenewerck. “How can anyone, man or woman, become a master of their craft without the vital dialog with spectators and critics?”
Opening night of the festival kicks off with a registration event at 5 p.m. followed by a screening of Slippery Slope, written and directed by Sarah Schenck, a film in which a feminist directs porn “with her eyes… almost… shut,” at 7 p.m. An opening night party at 9 p.m. concludes Friday’s festival activities.
Two other feature-length films in addition to Slippery Slope are in competition — Laughing Matters … More, directed by Andrea Meyerson, and Shelf Life, written and directed by Tamar Halpern.
Laughing Matters … More is a docu-comedy featuring four popular lesbian stand-up comics working today. The film shifts between live performance footage and personal interviews. Laughing Matters … More! is not only a laughing matter, as the film delves into each comic’s personal struggle or lack-thereof with coming out of the closet as lesbian. The screening of Laughing Matters … More! is at 8 p.m. Saturday, August 25th.
Shelf Life, written and directed by Tamar Halpern, is about a free spirit on probation who must take and keep a job, and so is placed by her city councilman uncle in a local library branch as a book shelver. The library happens to be run by a former classmate, a descendant of a librarian dynasty who rules the stacks with absolute and vindictive power. The women become bitter enemies and the situation sinks from from bad to war. Shelf Life screens at 3 p.m. Saturday, August 25th.
Saturday’s lineup of screenings and events kicks off at 1 p.m. with “On the Dark Side,” a collection of short films that are “cynical, bleak or just have a bad attitude,” according to organizers.
“Just the Facts, Ma’am,” a series of female-directed and female-oriented documentaries will be screened at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, August 25th.
Saturday will also feature workshops, including two Screenplay Labs where actors read from screenplay finalists at 1:30 and 6 p.m.; and a free seminar on Gorilla Software at 5 p.m.
Sunday’s events start with a screening of Michelle Clay’s Road to Sundance at 1 p.m., followed by “On the Light Side,” a series of optimistic short film comedies at 2 p.m.; Legacy Program 2007, a screening of short films by past festival participants at 4 p.m.; and a screening of Life on a Leash, a comedy by di Rende about a woman who wanted to get a life, but instead got a dog, at 5 p.m.
A festival awards ceremony, including the announcement of the competition screening winners concludes the festival at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, August 26th.
Awards will be given for “Best Feature,” “Best Short,” “Best ‘No Budget’ Feature,” “Best ‘No Budget’ Short” and an audience favorite.
Information, (310) 227-5376 or www.broadhumor.com/.