Skip to main content

Local Filmmakers Showcase Dreams Big

Film Streams hosts its 1st annual Local Filmmakers Showcase
The Pioneers by Charles Fairbanks
Published on August 5, 2010

Share It!


Film Streams is more than theater. It’s a hub for the film community, hosting unique events, fostering discussion, and providing a forum for the continued appreciation of the craft of film making. Their upcoming Local Filmmakers Showcase embraces the community behind Film Streams, welcoming 13 local filmmakers and 14 short films, ranging in length from two to 35 minutes.

Though all of the filmmakers have local roots, they have studied everywhere from California to Texas, and beyond. The diversity of their influences promises for a whirlwind two hour show, taking viewers from small town Nebraska as far flung as a professional wrestler/auteur based in Mexico, all in the span of a normal feature film.

Friday night’s 7:30pm premiere will feature a special after party with the directors, a chance to meet, greet, network, and most importantly talk about the films (the event runs August 6 – 12 with special Saturday $5 pricing for August 7th’s North Downtown Days). We interviewed three directors with films appearing in the Showcase, Tim Guthrie, director of Recalling Trinity, Jorge Gomez, director of Illusions, and Lindsay Trapnell, director of Hump, to learn more about their craft and their expectations for the showcase.

A full list of the directors presenting film appears at the bottom.

Tim Guthrie, director of Recalling Trinity

What is Recalling Trinity about? Why should someone go see it?
Tim: I haven’t pointed this out to the people at Film Streams, but the showcase opens on August 6th, precisely 65 years since Little Boy was dropped on Hiroshima (Nagasaki was Aug 9th), which makes Friday a very appropriate day to screen the film.

The film is an experimental animation, rotoscoped from a interview with J. Robert Oppenheimer and many famous government clips of nuclear tests. In the Oppenheimer interview, he recalls the very first nuclear test, which was nicknamed "Trinity."

What is the local film community like in Omaha? How does it serve the greater Midwest area?
Tim: I wish I felt more comfortable referring to myself as a filmmaker, but as an artist, I work with various media and video is only one part of that palette, so film making is only a sliver of my work.  I think the community is strong, especially thanks to people like [Alexander Payne] and [Dana Altman of Northsea Films]. To be honest, I am honored to be associated with the community.

Are you familiar with the work of other Showcase directors? Who are you most excited to see and why?
Tim: Yes, I recognize many of the names and have seen some of the directors’ work.  I don’t want to pick a name, though, since I am excited to see all of the work.

What do you feel about the support of local arts organizations like Film Streams?
Tim: Film Streams is amazing.  We used to complain in college that Omaha needed something like Film Streams, but it took years for someone with the drive and vision of Rachel to come along and make it a reality.  I hope Film Streams is around 100 years from now.

What’s it like being an independent filmmaker, especially here? How do you get funding, actors, ideas…and why do you stay Omaha based?
Tim: In regards to the first question, refer to my earlier response.  I don’t have any funding or actors that I use (although I have leaned on Kevin Ehrhart in the past), but I certainly have plenty of ideas.  Since my work is generally experimental and rarely has much of a narrative, I might be a bit on the fringe.  I think it would be interesting to take on an ambitious feature project.  Right now, my current project, another animation, involves the work of a poet in Ireland named Mark Roper.  The nice thing about being in Omaha is that it is affordable and there is plenty of support, and with the internet, I can work with someone like Mark even though a vast ocean separates us.

Jorge Gomez, director of Illusions

Lindsay Trapnell, director of Hump

What is Hump about? Why should someone go see it?
Linday: As a film, Hump works more on a visual, metaphorical level.  In making it, we were very comfortable with the idea that two different people could have very different readings and responses to the film.  Everyone comes with their own perspective and "baggage" when watching a film, and since this film is more of a blank slate, one’s perspective or world-view may be an even greater factor in what they think the film is about.

I’m hoping people are interested in seeing films that are made in or from filmmakers in their own community.  The opportunity to watch shorts programs in a theater is hard to come by without going to film festivals, so this is a great and rare opportunity.

What is the local film community like in Omaha? How does it serve the greater Midwest area?
Linday: From my experience, the local film community is very supportive of each other’s work.  I’ve been lucky enough to have had fellow Omaha filmmakers lend me equipment and offer a helping hand.  I think the more we can help each other out, the stronger and more diverse the community will be.

What do you feel about the support of local arts organizations like Film Streams?
Linday: I think Film Streams is an amazing resource for filmmakers, and for any one who’s at all interested in cinema.  I’m often inspired by watching films, and the types of movies that Film Streams selects and shows are the kinds of films that I am moved and motivated by.  So they’ve always been supportive in that regard, and I think this showcase was a great idea to screen and celebrate interesting work that is coming right out of Nebraska.

What’s it like being an independent filmmaker, especially here? How do you get funding, actors, ideas…and why do you stay Omaha based?
Linday: There is a lot of talent and creativity in Omaha, which is usually combined with a more Midwestern sense of humbleness and a do-it-yourself ethic.  I find that really wonderful and inspiring.  There’s the sense that if you have a vision or a story that you really want to tell, rather than wait around to see someone else make it happen, just take the initiative and do it yourself.  Omaha is also a fairly cheap city to live in compared to some of the big cities, so there’s not as much pressure to have a 9 to 5 job to pay the bills, so there is more time to work on creative things that don’t necessarily pay.

Full list of filmmakers appearing at the Local Filmmakers Showcase:

Azure Ray – We are Mice (Dir. by Nik Fackler; 4 minutes)
F Word Pizza
(Dir. Max Mentzer; 7 minutes)
Fantasia in Clay (Kelly Rush & Brian Seifferlein, NET; 7 minutes)
Hump (Dir. Lindsay Trapnell; 7 minutes)
Illusions (Dir. Jorge Gomez; 8 minutes)
One Good Turn (Dir. Ryle Smith; 6 minutes)
Paperdolls (Dir. Allison Smoler; 2 minutes)
Pioneers (Dir. Charles Fairbanks; 35 minutes)
Recalling Trinity (Dir. Tim Guthrie; 3 minutes)
Sync or Swim (The Animutts: Rebecca Hermann, Peggy Reinecke, Tom Sain; 4 minutes)
The Bedroom Wall (Dir. Tony Costello; 3 minutes)
Valentine, Nebraska (Dir. Patrick Geske; 3 minutes)
Vanity No. 1 (Dir. Josh France; 20 minutes)
Wrestling with My Father (Dir. Charles Fairbanks; 5 minutes)

The Film Streams website has a great page with bio’s of the filmmakers, descriptions of the films, along with trailers and other info.

jordyAn writer since 2008, Jordy freely admits he's waiting for his golden parachute "anxiously." He microblogs @jordyclements + macroblogs