Hobnobben Film Festival Preview
Jun14

Hobnobben Film Festival Preview

After an impressive inaugural year, the annual Hobnobben Film Festival is back and more eclectic than ever before. That’s a good thing too, because even more so than the year prior, the festival has such a generous offering for film buffs to devour and a handful of community based gatherings to stumble upon for those casually walking around downtown. Make no mistake about it – your June 15th through the 18th should be spent near and around the Main Street area to watch movies, celebrate the city, and experience one of the most unique film festivals in the entire region.   I was privileged to serve as a member of the 5 person jury for this year’s crop of movies, which altogether added up to 47 entries in every category except for the headlining “Eye-Opening” films. As someone who has seen just about all the festival has to offer, I have to say that you’re in for a treat. especially when you factor in all of the extra events Hobnobben has in store over the course of the weekend. Thursday night gives filmgoers a chance to meet and greet at the opening night gathering. Friday evening is be dedicated to Blocknobben in the Arts United Plaza featuring food trucks, local vendors, and live music. The night is capped off by an outdoor screening of the ’07 Coen Brother’s classic film, No Country for Old Men, accompanied by a live score. Saturday is the most loaded and diverse day of the weekend, featuring the Awards Ceremony at the Arts United Center as well as two Sound & Shadow Redux showings of classic silent films. As for the last day, there are four wide-ranging and well-received pictures to enjoy at the Cinema Center.   The festival program is available in digital format and can be downloaded at Hobnobben.org. Two breakouts from this year’s Sundance Film Festival – Dina and The Hero – both screen on Thursday and are must-sees for the weekend. I’d also recommend Lemon, One Week and a Day, and Lost in Paris. On Saturday afternoon there is the “Class Act” collection of student made short films, and they are a mightily impressive group. The same goes for the “Short Haul” and the “Hoosier Spirit Showcase.” Some of the very best entries in this year’s festival were short films either made locally, by up-and-coming talents, or from universities around the state. I’ll be reviewing the big “Eye-Opening” films on my personal website LoganBushey.com, but make sure to check out the smaller offerings on the schedule as well; some of them are truly outstanding.   If you happen to be downtown grabbing a meal on a patio or sharing a drink with friends,...

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The Embassy Theatre: Black & White Film Series
Jun22

The Embassy Theatre: Black & White Film Series

Do you believe it’s possible to travel through time? Until today, I myself was a skeptic; however, I now full-heartedly believe in the magic. I was transported back to the year 1928 (and you can be too). How? Well, I simply spent my morning at the Embassy Theatre. With the above in mind, The Embassy originally opened in 1928 as a silent film and vaudeville house. To honor the theatre’s history, The Embassy is currently in the midst of its marvelous Black & White Film Series. Not familiar? I’ll elaborate. The Black & White Film Series is an annual 3-part succession of silent, black and white films. The last installment of this year’s series will take place on Monday, June 27th at 7pm. It is important to note, each of the films are accompanied by an organist on the Grande Page pipe organ. I assure you the accompaniment alone is reason enough to check out the series! Today’s features were two vintage silent films: A Trip to the Moon, a French film, and Backstage, a slapstick comedy. A Trip to the Moon was narrated by John O’Connell from IPFW, and Backstage featured subtitles. The experience began with the lights dimming. Then, both O’Connell and the organist took their places on stage. The Grande Page was lowered into the floor, to avoid obstructing views, and after some brief history on the films, they began. Overall, the atmosphere in the theatre was incredible. The astonishing architecture, remarkable music, and great films all added to the magnitude of the event. The Black & White Film Series is certainly something everyone should experience at least once! And, we should take advantage of the opportunity being in our own city. How many people have the chance to see a silent film with live pipe organ accompaniment? So, come out next Monday evening, have some popcorn, and enjoy being taken back in time....

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Hobnobben Film Festival Review
Jun21

Hobnobben Film Festival Review

After 13 movies and a handful of other events, my time at the inaugural Hobnobben Film Festival came to a close Sunday evening. It was a long, full weekend made enjoyable by a bustling and energetic community of film lovers coming together to champion a shared passion for the movies. Cinema Center Executive Director Jonah Crismore noted “how far along we’ve come” on opening night. I couldn’t agree more. Independent theaters across the country are on a steep decline, but if you managed to make it out to Hobnobben this past weekend, you’d see that’s not the case in Fort Wayne. Before Thursday night’s showing, Bill Brown, President of the Downtown Improvement District, addressed the sold-out crowd. Brown talked about Cinema Center’s role in the resurgence of the area, as well as the importance of continued support for the city’s only locally run movie house. On his involvement with Hobnobben Brown said, “[Crismore] had me with Film Festival,” followed by the applause of everyone in the theater. You could hear and feel the outpouring of support. As is the case for any inaugural event, Hobnobben had a few minor hiccups that were swiftly and carefully fixed along the way. The voting process was incredibly awkward for passholders like myself during the first two days. Rather than cast a silent ballot, I was asked if I’d like to vote for each film upon exiting. Saying “no thanks” or “yes please” felt out-of-place. My biggest issue came down to the steep $200 price tag for festival passes (which granted access to any and all events). General admission tickets were $10 and the awards ceremony was $15. I saw as many films as time afforded me, but when you do the math, I basically paid an extra $55 to get into movies 20 minutes early even though that never mattered. Had I attended the most events possible over the course of the four days, the numbers still don’t add up. I was happy to pay though, especially considering the surprising quality of movies the Cinema Center was able to schedule through partnerships and outside sponsors. Crismore mentioned that he and his staff had traveled to other established festivals across the country to help build Hobnobben, particularly drawing inspiration from Michigan’s Traverse City Film Festival. What I think worked best about Fort Wayne’s first film festival is that it urged moviegoers to stay downtown and walk around. You could swing by the block party and try Mad Anthony Brewing’s very own Hobnobben Shandy (a welcome cool down in the weekend’s blistering heat). Friday night found moviegoers pulling up chairs at the Arts United Plaza for a free outdoor screening...

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Hobnobben Film Festival
Jun13

Hobnobben Film Festival

With a revitalized downtown movement and an emerging art culture, Fort Wayne’s first official film festival could not be arriving at a better time. Named Hobnobben after the word for mixing together socially, the festival sets out to represent the eclectic and diverse tastes that the Midwest has to offer. Award-winning independents, low-budget features, documentaries, shorts, locally produced work — there’s a little bit of something for everyone! Taking place from June 16th through the evening of the 19th, Hobnobben includes 29 different showings. The majority of the films will be shown at the Cinema Center, while others will be shown at the Parkview Physicians Group ArtsLab, the University of Saint Francis Arts Center, and the Arts United Center. Two separate showcases will highlight student work and productions from Indiana natives. There will be panels, discussions, and workshops for filmmakers, and that’s what makes the inaugural year so encouraging. The festival concludes in an awards ceremony on Saturday night in the ballroom of the USF Performing Arts Center. This is a festival that allows itself to be shaped and molded into whatever suits you best. Want to see 2015’s Palm d’Or winner from the lauded Cannes Film Festival? You’re in luck. Interested in seeing some television pilots? The hour-long Philo Fest at the ArtsLab is just for you. You can plan your night around seeing a different film each day. For Thursday, I’d suggest Other People, a story starring SNL alum Molly Shannon in a role that’s been getting rave reviews. Pencil in your Friday night to attend Lo and Behold, Reveries of a Connected World by acclaimed documentarian Werner Herzog. Saturday has the weekend’s biggest crop to choose from, but I’d steer attendees towards Little Men. And as for Sunday, your best bet to cap off the festival is Hunt for the Wilderpeople. The impressive schedule can be found in full on Hobnobben’s website. By keeping the festival centralized to the downtown area, Hobnobben hopes to draw in crowds from near and far not just to enjoy movies, but to really get out and explore the city. Fort Wayne has a lot to offer and the festival serves as a meeting point for residents to come together in an appreciation of the arts. So whether or not you’re a big movie buff doesn’t matter. Go see that foreign film that’s out of your comfort zone. Check out some of the fine work done by local students and filmmakers. Then afterwards, grab a bite to eat or stop in somewhere for a drink. True to its name, Hobnobben wants people to try new things and to go new places. It certainly seems to be off to a promising start. Hobnobben Film Festival June 16th-19th. Showtimes vary. Cinema...

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Hobnobben Film Festival – Volunteers Needed!
Dec01

Hobnobben Film Festival – Volunteers Needed!

Hobnobben Film Festival, Ft. Wayne’s first multi-day, multi-venue film festival, being held June 16th-June 19th, 2016 needs your expertise and commitment to community. We hope to make this inaugural event one of the best to ever happen in Ft. Wayne. Cinema Center is very excited to present this event, but we are even more thrilled at the prospect of joining forces and sharing our mission with so many area volunteers. We need help choosing films, organizing volunteers, bringing filmmakers to the city, utilize existing networks for sponsorship and partnership opportunities, and most of all, assistance with the budget. Lead volunteer positions are: Programming Lead It is the films that are going to bring people to the festival, and we want to make sure we have the best films showing at Hobnobben. The Programming Lead would work with Programming Volunteers and Programming Interns by evaluating film submissions, and make recommendations to the Festival Director for inclusion in Hobnobben. A love for movies goes without saying, but the right person will also be able to be critical and fair, while also taking into account audience tastes. Hospitality Lead We hope Hobnobben brings a lot of people to Ft. Wayne who have never been here before, and those people will continue to keep coming back. The Hospitality Lead will not rest until every deal is exhausted from local hotels, restaurants, bars, and vendors. The Hospitality Lead also has the important job of overseeing VIPs and making sure their experience in Ft. Wayne is the absolute best it can possibly be. This position would be great for anyone who has a passion for going above and beyond in the realm of customer service. Special Events Lead Hobnobben will be something that is so much bigger than films in a theater. There will be plenty of parties, some open to the public, while others are only available to VIPs and high-level sponsors. After long days doing question and answer sessions and watching a lot of movies, filmmakers will want to unwind and let loose, and it is the Special Events Lead who will make sure this happens every night of the festival. Budget Coordinator This is for someone that does not get lost in the numbers, can give guidance on monies available to the festival, and report statements, invoices, and any revenue earned to Cinema Center’s board treasurer. This position will hold a lot of responsibility, as the Hobnobben Film Festival Committee will be looking to this qualified individual for advice and council regarding anything money-related. We’d love someone with experience in banking, accounting, or bookkeeping to fill this role, especially if the qualified...

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