To mark the 25th anniversary of Dallas VideoFest, festival veterans are sharing their memories. The series continues today, with Frank Mosley.
These videos all represent the festival to me in different ways.
The first is a close friend of mine’s film that I act in, Sing for Me.
It was a student project we both worked on together at UTA under the tutelage of Bart. We submitted it. It ended up getting in the “Texas Show,” [at VideoFest] and then winning the grand prize. It was filmed at an old house my dad owned, and also features my uncle in it. And the lead’s gone on to do soap operas and improv comedy. But it represents a certain time of discovery of all of us friends in film school. It was one of the first films we made that got into the VideoFest, which made us feel really LEGIT…..
The second is one of my own. Starring the director of the last link.
It was highly experimental for the tastes of most of my friends at the time, who didn’t really get it. It was a very personal project to me, though. And Bart found a home for it at the VideoFest and was his idea to play it in the basement of the Dallas Theater Center, where it was played simultaneously on a dozen TV screens……so appropriate for the film’s material, which you’ll see. Best venue for this film that it’s ever had. An oldie, but a goodie.
The third is made by yet another close friend from film school who’s now a great dad and shooting 2nd unit for Cuba Gooding Jr films.
This stars some other friends of ours and is short and sweet. But defines what I originally identified as being “video art” at that time. Great message, but done with gusto in only the way that Sai can do. He and I used to make many projects together back in the day, and this one still makes me smile.
I tried to find Roberta Wells, which is still one of my favorite short films I’ve ever seen…..and one of the first I ever remember seeing at VideoFest. It’s by Kat Candler, an Austin filmmaker, whom I adore. But this will do. It’s a more recent short, but one I really enjoy. And should lighten up the heaviness of links here.
These last two links aren’t so much pieces I ever saw at VideoFest, but represent it to me in many ways. I remember Bart and I gushing over the Criterion release of Stan Brakhage’s work.
So, when I see his films, I still think of that time of my life when I discovered his work and that haunted me in many ways. I associate it with VideoFest, nonetheless.
The other is by Maysles.
I had the privilege of briefly meeting Albert Maysles when he was introducing a new doc that was playing at VideoFest many years ago. I didn’t realize how important that was until many many years later, and it all feels like a dream. I remember seeing GREY GARDENS a week after meeting him and slapping myself in the head in disbelief that a doc could be cut with such a narrative force.
There are many other memories which I hold to heart about VideoFest, aside from it being the first film festival that ever played any of my work. But that was because Bart fosters young creativity and pushes his students into being more cognizant, daring filmmakers. I remember spending an entire weekend at VideoFest, taking intermittent naps in the cool dark basement between films, having coffee and watching films I’d never heard of. They weren’t just festivals. They weren’t just events. They were celebrations.
And one that I hope continues for every young kid who ever wanted to pick up a camera.