Blue Whiskey Independent Film Festival took place at the Music box Theater in Chicago, Illinois from August 3-11. I was able to attend this festival for the first time this year (it’s been running for 8 years). On my night of attendance there was a special Independent Filmmaker Achievement Award presentation to Rory Uphold.
The night featured three shorts and a documentary feature film.
Wintry Spring (short): From director Mohamed Kamel, this 15 min short from Egypt tells the story of a schoolgirl who lives with her father and experiences puberty for the first time. It explores the father-daughter relationship and the tension that arises due to her circumstance. Good subtle acting performances. An interesting exploration of a father-daughter dynamic.
Lunch Time (short): From director Alireza Ghasemi, this 15 min short from Islamic Republic of Iran tells the story of a 16-year-old girl arriving at a hospital to identify the body of her mother. This was an interesting movie, but also bizarre at the same time. There was a cringe worthy moment that changed the perspective of the film and the main character.
Fish (short): From director Saman Hosseinpuor, this 4 minute short tells the story of a woman who must find a creative way to save her fish after she drops her fish bowl. It’s a quick story of an older couple that sure will make you chuckle at the ending moment.
Two Worlds (feature doc): The highlight of the night was director Maciej Adamek’s feature documentary film. It depicts the story of a 12-year-old Polish girl Laura who is a guide through the life of her deaf parents. This is a phenomenal story and film. More on that coming in my review of the film.
Unfortunately I was unable to attend the other nights of the festival, but from what I experienced it was very well put together. Founder Michael P. Noens and Community Relations Coordinator Ashley Alysa Schiavone have organized this event in a fantastic way. The showcase of quality foreign films that you might not be able to see otherwise unless you’re in the country of origin. I appreciated the access and opportunity. Every night had a filmmaker there in attendance introducing their film and providing a Q&A.
This was the first year this festival was presented in a premiere city location, as well as the first time at the Music Box Theater. I’m expecting this festival to grow and gain following in the coming years. I can say that I was already exposed to a unique film that I view as a gem.
Check out the following links more information on the Blue Whiskey Independent Film Festival