10 films premiere in local showcase

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October 18th, 2012

Omaha, NE – The work of nine local filmmakers will be showcased at Film Streams beginning Friday.

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In the music video Somebody Help Me, lead singer Anna McClellan of the Omaha band Howard peeks through framed photographs on a brick wall, runs singing through city streets with a colorful troupe of friends while a mischievous-looking mustached man tries to entice her away. “The song itself kind of has this sort of internal monologue,” said Patrick Geske, who directed the film. “So I just kind of wanted to take that to the extreme in the kind of vaudeville, silent film sense with like an evil character and kind of play up the damsel in distress.”

HOWARD: somebody help me from Patrick Geske on Vimeo.

Somebody Help Me is one of two Geske films featured in the 2012 Local Filmmakers Showcase, which kicks off Friday night at Film Streams. Geske studied film at Creighton University and is relatively new to film making. Aside from the two music videos in the showcase, he has two shorts under his belt and a number of student films he says he “wouldn’t want anyone to see.” But his love for movies began at a younger age. “When I was in high school, that was at a time when movie rental stores were starting to be phased out, and they had the deals where you could rent unlimited movies for a month for like $20,” he said. “So I did that all summer long and just would watch movie after movie, like three or four movies a day, and really fell in love with the romance of movies.”

The showcase is in its third year and is designed to highlight the work of emerging filmmakers from Nebraska, Iowa and South Dakota. This year’s entries were curated by local indie band The Faint. That’s a departure from years past where films were reviewed by a varied jury of artists and arts supporters.

And the band’s influence can be felt in the selections. There are three music videos and two films by directors whose background is in music videos. Director Tony Bonacci has worked as cinematographer or camera operator on numerous films and music videos, including for The Faint. His 10-minute short Telephone is featured in the showcase, and is one of the first films he’s directed. “When I was younger, about 15 or 16, I started just like every other filmmaker,” he said, “with a crappy VHS camera that my parents had just making action figure movies or movies running around the yard.”

Telephone from Tony Bonacci on Vimeo.

Bonacci said his career progressed in further typical fashion. He began working at a production studio shooting weddings and recitals, slowly progressing to more professional productions with better equipment and crew. He said he’s intrigued by films that tackle slightly taboo subject matter, and that’s evident in his film Telephone, which is an off-kilter story of an awkward relationship between a young girl and an older man. “It’s verging on creepy but they’re still sweet,” Bonacci said. “The man and the young girl are still like sweet and pure even though it’s on the verge of being wrong and dirty, even though it’s not. So I just like how it plays with that, like it almost reaches that point but it doesn’t.”

Bonacci and Geske join filmmakers Tim Guthrie, an internationally-exhibited artist, Lexington, Nebraska-native Pat Clark, and global film festival semi-regular Jesse McLean, among others. The 2012 Local Filmmakers Showcase opens at Film Streams Friday and runs through October 25. There will be a premiere and post-party with the filmmakers Friday night.

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