Many filmmakers and artists are looking to make their mark at the 12th Philadelphia Film Festival, known as the largest of its kind on the East Coast.
The festival, which runs from April 3 through April 16, promises to bring many of the world’s most unique thinkers to Philly.
This year’s festival consists of nearly 200 feature films, ranging from gritty documentaries to light-hearted animated features.
One of the festival’s most anticipated features premiered last Friday at the Independence Seaport Museum.
Invisible Mountains conceptually blends language and animation with a boldness that makes it unlike any film before.
Richard Power Hoffman’s directorial debut invites viewers to experience the world through the intense visual and aural perceptions of a young struggling painter.
The story guides viewers through the tribulations of a painter named Paul (Shane Callahan), who is plagued by an unconquerable artistic block.
With little support from his family, Paul seeks refuge with a group of artists – Gary (David Gosnell), Max (Sam Schneider) and Sam (Myra Bazell) – all of whom share similar struggles.
“It’s all about searching for the truth, seeing through the commercialism and the haze of corporate America and seeing the real purpose of art,” said Schneider.
Ultimately, Paul pedals through his options and is left with a result that leaves the audience exalted and curious of his future.
The movie also examines many weighty topics such as the over-commercialism of art today, and the pressures set forth by society in terms of how artists are viewed.
“This movie is about the common artist – those who are struggling day in and day out working other jobs but still maintaining the love and the will to create,” Hoffman said.
“Creation is a personal experience.
It’s not about fame and fortune. Art and money are separated entities, and that is what I was trying to show the world with this movie.”
Shot on a shoestring budget, Hoffman and producer Paul Leitner make every penny count. Using an eye-popping form of animation known as interpolated rotoscoping, this film is a visual treat.
The film was produced and shot in Philadelphia, with most of the cast and crew hailing from the area.
This film truly pays homage to our city’s young independent artists.
Over 550 people attended the screening, making it the first film at this year’s festival to sell out.
The premiere was followed by an A-list after party, which consisted of numerous art-loving Philadelphians enjoying on-site painting created by High Wire Gallery members and the musical stylings of DJs Major Taylor and Lowbudget.
Partygoers also witnessed Bazell and her dance ensemble put on an interactive show that weaved throughout the crowd.
There will be an encore showing of Invisible Mountains on Saturday, April 12 at the Independence Seaport Museum, 211 S. Columbus Blvd. at Walnut Street.
Check out www.invisiblemountains.com for more info. For tickets, visit www.phillyfests.com.
Mitch Hubbarth can be reached at Mitchhub222@aol.com.