One of the things I love about running KC Geeks is the opportunity it gives me to meet interesting people, and get a behind-the-scenes look at the crazy-awesome things they’re involved in. It also gives me the chance to reconnect with old friends, such as Barbara Noble (or Mrs. Noble, as she’s still known in our house.)
She led the gifted program when my son was in grade school, and he still has fond memories of her. Her passion and joy for encouraging kids to think differently and try new things was obvious. Barbara has since retired from teaching, and is now helping organize the Kansas City FilmFest. We met up serendipitously recently, and I got some details about the KC FilmFest, which is coming up in just a couple weeks.
What is the Kansas City FilmFest?
The Kansas City FilmFest is a celebration of the cinematic arts in KC. The 5 day festival shows over 130 films from across the country and the globe. There were will be attending filmmakers who will be conducting Q & A’s following screenings of many of the films. Last year, we had over 80 filmmakers attend. There are also red carpet events, parties and seminars.
What is your role in the event? Why did you get involved?
Currently I am the Board Chair of KCFF. It is a volunteer position and it is one of the ways that I serve the KC Community in the area of cultural arts. I help in a variety of ways to organize and stage this event.
I am involved because I believe in our mission: to promote and celebrate the cinematic arts and power of story in shared community experiences. Cinematic storytelling is a powerful art form for our community for ages young to old.
When was the event launched and why?
Fred Andrews was the founder and believed in providing an opportunity for independent filmmakers to share their films to a larger audience. These were films that typically wouldn’t find their way into a regular movie theater.
Why do you think the KC FilmFest is important?
I believe this festival provides the opportunity for people to see and experience the cinematic stories that aren’t readily available at the local multiplex theater. These are stories that need to be seen and heard. There is NO other film festivals in the area that provide the scope of films that we have.
When is the Kansas City FilmFest?
It’s April 11-15 (Wednesday-Sunday), a five-day festival at the Cinemark Theater at the Plaza – 526 Nichols Rd, Kansas City, MO 64112.
How many people attend the event?
Last year we had around 8,500…we are hoping for 10,000 this year!
What kind of movies are screened at the event? How are they selected?
There are several categories of film: Documentary short, Narrative short, Documentary Feature, Narrative Feature.
The call for entries begins in August with online submission platforms called Film Freeway and Out of Box. Filmmakers from all over the country and across the world can submit through December. The topic/stories and genres are varied across the board from sci-fi to horror, comedy, drama, romantic, it is quite the array. Volunteers screen all of the submissions and through an evaluation process, the films are narrowed down to films that are accepted into the festival for screening.
We also have films that have been accepted at other festivals (Sundance for example) and are significant. We call those “curated” films as we ask to screen those films at our festival.
Tell us about this year’s theme.
It’s “DISCOVER the Adventure, Truth, Wonder, Joy and Power of Film”. Movies offer so much with discovery…that audiences can make these connections to the films they see. Especially movies they wouldn’t typically have the chance to experience.
Besides movie screenings, what can attendees expect at the event?
There will be red carpet events, parties, music and seminars. If people buy passes, there are even more options.
What do you love about the KC FilmFest?
I love the celebration of the cinematic arts, the networking of movie lovers, the buzz of the different event and the overall atmosphere.
Tell us about a particularly memorable moment from one of the events.
We have had many. In 2016, Don Cheadle was there to premiere his movie on the great jazz musician Miles Davis, called “Miles Ahead.” We had a big reception for him and he did wonderful Q & A’s after the screenings of his movies.
Also, last year Morgan Dameron, who grew up in KC and went to LA, and then made a movie in the KC area. We hosted the midwest premiere of her movie, “Different Flowers.” She was a personal assistant to JJ. Abrams in LA, and the character Poe Dameron in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is named after her. She was a delight to have at the festival.
What future plans lay ahead for the event?
We have lots of things happening this year, including a new event called B “Cube”: BBQ, Beer & Blues. We are showcasing some the best elements about our city with BBQ from professional competitors Burnt Finger, Jason & Megan Day, and The Social Smokers, and beer pairings with Crane Brewing Company, plus music from RSS trio. This is a special event on Saturday afternoon, April 14th.
Start checking the KC FilmFest website for continuing updates…
What’s something you love about Kansas City?
I also think we have a very vibrant food and culture scene here!
Where can someone find more information about the Kansas City FilmFest?
- Website: www.kcfilmfest.org
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KCFilmFest/
- Twitter handle: @kcfilmfest
- Instagram: @kansascityfilmfestival
Festival passes are now on sale, and individual movie tickets go on sale 4/3: KC FilmFest tickets