by Andrew Elizaga
We had an amazing weekend in St. Louis for the screening of our feature documentary Patrinell: The Total Experience at the St. Louis International Film Festival. The festival ran from Nov 7-17 and screened nearly 400 films. We were scheduled to screen on the last day of the festival on Sunday afternoon in the KDHX building, and spent the Saturday before exploring the city and going up the Gateway Arch.
I was able to catch the documentary shorts program Saturday afternoon, which was a collection of films on individual artists of various kinds. My favorite was a 12 min documentary titled Charon, about a man who has temporal lobe epilepsy. During his recurrent seizures he encounters a supernatural being called Charon whose presence persists throughout his life. He works through his disturbing experiences by creating a prodigious amount of art, both paintings and sculpture. The film combines live action with impressive animation and great sound design. It ended up winning Best Documentary Short.
The festival program description for Charon reads: “A profile of Myron Dyal, a California artist with temporal-lobe epilepsy who creates striking paintings, drawings, and sculptures inspired by the visions he has during his seizures.”
The Film Festival really treated their filmmakers well. We got the special film festival rate at the artsy Angad Arts Hotel which right across the street from the venue where our film was screening and the festival even offered us transportation to and from the airport. They had packages with our festival passes ready for us at the hotel. We even got free t-shirts! One of the patrons invited all the filmmakers to her amazing historic mansion for a party Saturday night, transportation provided, of course. The house had a large room with a dance floor in the basement where the evening’s entertainment (a drag show) was going to be.
The venue where our film was showing was small but the film looked and sounded great. They played it off a Blu-Ray. Unfortunately, not a lot of people showed up (marketing obviously is not our strong point). There were a total of 11 people in the audience including our own team, but they all loved it.
If you are ever in St. Louis I recommend visiting the City Museum, which is a weird mix of children’s playground, art gallery, and eclectic collection of mid 20th century artifacts housed in a huge 100 year-old building which used to be a shoe factory.
Our next screening will be at the Christian Family Film Festival “Christmas Fest” on Saturday, Dec 7th in Ellington, NY. Unfortunately, Katya and I will not be able to attend but Patrinell co-director and producer Tia Young plans to be there. It promises to be very entertaining!