Thursday, September 20, 2012
Chattanooga film lovers have the chance to experience fresh entertainment at the Department of Education Arts and Culture and ChattaMovies’ Open Screen Night, to be held Saturday, Sept. 22 at Heritage House. This event, one of the four quarterly events held each year, allows the audience to play the part of the academy as viewers vote on their favorite movie, which will be showcased with favorites from other Open Screen Nights in December at a local movie theater.
“Open Screen Night is a cornucopia of different styles, different ideas and different lengths [of film],” said Chris Holley, director at Heritage House. “We are always looking for opportunities to highlight local talent … and give the audience something they haven’t seen before.”
The free event will begin at 7 p.m. and can feature any genre of film, including westerns, music videos, short films, comedies, science fiction, dramas and even an all-around favorite zombie film. Jim Smith, organizer for ChattaMovies, said at the upcoming Open Screen Night viewers can expect some horror flicks, a comedy and a range of dramas.
“People of ChattaMovies are very supportive and encouraging people if you want to get involved with film,” said Emily Bowman, a member of ChattaMovies who also works at Heritage House. Bowman gets involved with the films herself, often acting or working on set. “It’s so great to share your vision with other people,” she said.
Time is allowed before and after the film showings for a meet and greet with local directors, actors and general movie lovers. Both Holley and Smith emphasized that the Open Screen Nights are great times to network with fellow movie makers. Holley said the interaction doesn’t stop with the meet and greet, explaining that filmmakers get something much more valuable from showing their film to a live audience rather than just posting it on YouTube.
“If you’re in the room, you can feel how your movie is received. That’s something you can’t get online,” she said. “It’s a place to show your film and get interaction with real people.”
The Open Screen Night on Sept. 22 is only one component of the year-round series. According to Smith, three more Open Screen Nights are held each year in both Chattanooga and Marietta, Ga. In December, the most popular movies from the previous six Open Screen Nights will be shown at either the Rave or Majestic 12 in an event meant to celebrate and highlight the year’s best films.
The Sept. 22 Open Screen Night is the last chance for Chattanoogans to vote for a favorite film before the December event.
Though it may be too late for submissions this year, Smith said he is already getting submissions for next year’s Open Screen Nights.
“One of the greatest things for a movie maker is to see their film on a larger screen than their computer,” he said. “They have a story that they want told, and just having your story told is great.”
Heritage House is located in Heritage Park, which is at 1428 Jenkins Road in East Brainerd. For more information call 855-9474.