Congratulations to Tamara Finkbeiner whose film Eva's Plug, won the Audience Award at Friday night's 2nd Act Film Festival sponsored by Jasper Magazine. Selected via audience ballot, the 2nd Act Film Festival Audience Award includes a check for $250, a First Draft editing program, and a one-of-a-kind trophy designed by Columbia artist, Matthew Kramer. According to film festival director Wade Sellers, "With any short film fest there are many films that could win an audience award, that was the same with this year's 2nd Act Film Fest. There is usually a film, however, that just connects with an audience in that room at that moment and that was the case with Tamara's film Eva's Plug. You could feel the energy and enthusiasm for the film build as it played. That experience is what 2nd Act is all about."
This was the second 2nd Act Film Festival (the first was in October 2013) which played once again to a capacity house at Tapp's Arts Center and included the films of 10 adjudicated filmmakers from South Carolina including Lucas Sams, Brian Harmon, Jason Stokes, Bessy Adut, Phyllis Jackson, Caletta Harris-Bailey, Bradley Wagster, Dustin Weibel, Jordan Young, and Tamara Finkbeiner. The selected filmmakers, who applied to participate earlier this season, were chosen over other applicants based on their abilities and the freshness of the voice the jurors thought they would bring to the project. Jurors included Lee Ann Kornegay, Lee Snelgrove, Caitlin Bright, Wade Sellers, and Cindi Boiter.
"This year we put more pressure on ourselves to assist the filmmakers," Sellers says. "We offered script notes, production advice and assistance, and editorial suggestions once the films were turned in. As a whole the films were more diverse in voice and just better as a whole than our first event." Sellers is the owner and director of Coal Powered Filmworks, a three-time Emmy nominated filmmaker, and the film editor for Jasper Magazine.
In keeping with Jasper's efforts to foster a multi-disciplinary arts community, both visual artists and musicians played a part in the festival and its presentation. Visual artist Michael Krajewski created an original painting which was used for the festival poster and program; visual artist Matthew Kramer created the Audience Award; and Pedro Ldv entertained festival attendees both before the event and during intermission. In addition, original music from several Columbia-based musicians, including Stan Gardner, Daniel Machado and more, was used as background music during the films themselves.
Columbia-based writer Don McCallister also served as a consultant on the first and third acts of the screenplay which was given to the filmmakers with the challenge that they write the second act and create a film, six minutes long or less, using all three acts. Participants in the 2013 2nd Act Film Festival including Ron Hagell and OK Keyes lent the knowledge of their experience to this year's filmmakers by consulting on films and screenplays.
In the aftermath of Columbia's devastating flood last week other artists including Michael Krajewski, Bonnie Goldberg, Kara Gunter, Nancy Marine, and Sean McGuiness voluntarily stepped up and offered the fruits of their labors to benefit flood victims through a silent auction which generated $1060 which will be delivered to the Central Carolina Community Foundation. Two large bins of children's arts supplies was also collected from audience members for distribution to children effected by the flood.
The festival staff would like to thank Precision Overhead Garage Door Service, the Mouse House, Coal Powered Filmwork, and Bourbon Columbia for their sponsorship funds and services.
"It was exciting to see these ten filmmakers create these films," Sellers says, "and it only makes us more excited for the future of the event."