HONESDALE—Cinephiles and Spookyfest fans will be pleased to hear festival organizer Canal Town is collecting submissions for new spring celebration, the Moving Movie Festival.
Debuting May 19, Moving Movie Festival will feature a trio of theaters stretching down Main Street, each playing a revolving list of 15-minute independent films.
Given the vast community support Spookyfest has seen in the past, event co-organizer Derek Williams said, “We wanted to do something new this year and try a brand new festival that was less centralized – one place at one time – and more of something that's kind of spread out throughout town.”
A key feature underlying the event is, “... the idea of how the festival's exploded into individual parts and how within that people are able to choose their own festival adventure,” said Williams.
Theaters will be set up in the lobby of RE/MAX Wayne, and the backrooms of Loose Leaf Pages and Here & Now Microbrewery and Restaurant.
Each location is likely to have around 45 minutes of movie magic, said Williams.
Playlists will repeat each hour throughout the evening so that attendees will get the chance to wander between all three locations and see as many films as they desire.
The festival will wrap up with an afterparty that night at Basin and Main, the full details of which are still in the works, Williams explained.
“We're leaving this one pretty open-ended,” said Williams, explaining much of the feedback from Spookyfest submitters each year is “... they have to do a lot of cutting to make things fit the seven minutes for that festival, so we're trying to open it up to give them more room there.”
Additionally, not requiring a specific genre for submission will allow filmmakers to stretch their imaginations as well, said Williams.
Submission rate for the festival is already elevated, said Williams, noting there is work from a collection of both local and international filmmakers.
Williams notes there are already a dozen submissions to the festival. As a free-form, free to submit to festival with a deadline extending until the end of April, it's likely this number will only grow.
The new festival has drawn buzz from the Route 6 Alliance's “Six new events for PA Route 6 in 2018” which hails the event as “A movie festival exploded into part and strewn throughout downtown.”
A traveling theater
When asked about the significance of a theater spread through several local businesses, Williams replied they are inspired by reshaping local spaces to be used for things outside their day-to-day purview.
“...like the lobby for RE/MAX for example is kinda like a nook that you explore if you were buying a house, but to activate that with something else entirely is something that we enjoy,” he said.
Williams explained it plays into a larger sense of Honesdale as “Festival Town,” a hashtag he noted has been floated around various community events in town.
Moreover, the decentralized theater location plays into Canal Town's traditional means of operation, relying on community partnerships to host their events.
“The partnerships we have are some of our favorite things about creating within the local landscape,” said Williams.
“With the Moving Movie Fest being a multi-venue experience, these partnerships are even more appreciated. The idea of a main stage is awesome but when the festival grounds become a whole town, the sky is the limit. Having a team of engaged community members to work with makes that concept possible and H'dale has a lot of engaged community members.”