Fortnight: Top 15
Who is Tortured Soul?
Here’s the list of the top 15 Fortnight Film Contest entries! Don’t miss this screening on Sunday, April 14th at the Lansing Public Media Center at 11am. It’s a lot of fun, and we’ll be giving away $5000 in cash prizes! These films are in alphabetical order, and this is not the order they will be screened in on Sunday. Any of the films could win!
Cow Man: Uprising
Flowers, Songs, and Love Gone Wrong
I still play the first Tortured Soul record I bought; “How’s Your Life?” on Central Park Recordings, which I got from Flat, Black & Circular in 2002.
A few years later, I saw them play the main stage at DEMF/Movement on a rainy Sunday evening. Despite the terrible weather, they put on an amazing show. I definitely wasn’t alone in thinking that either, because hundreds of festival-goers in rain coats piled to the front of the stage and danced through the 45-minute set.
I’ve since seen Tortured Soul perform a couple more times and as a DJ, I keep up with their releases including their latest single which just came out early this year. While the recordings are good, their live performance is on a different level. These guys create a soul-pop-house dance music set you’d normally associate with a DJ blending records, but they do it live.
To international success, too. Tortured Soul has been incredibly busy on the road since 2002, playing pretty much every major city in nearly every continent on the planet. Chicago is typically as close to Michigan’s capital city as they come, which is why I’m so excited to have them as part of this year’s festival.
I’m especially excited that we’re able to make the closing night party a free show! I feel that as a cultural event in a city like Lansing, it’s part of our responsibility to bring people something different and make it accessible.
Still not convinced? Check out this video from the Java Jazz Festival in Jakarta.
See you at CCFF!
-Jake Pechtel, CCFF Entertainment Director
The magic of CCFF
When sifting through hundreds of submissions, you watch so many films that you start to notice patterns. What was this year’s pattern? MAGIC.
We received 3 magic-related submissions this year, all of which were amazing. We even made one of them our opening night film!
Magic Camp is a delightful documentary from director Judd Ehrlich about a magic-centric summer camp for kids. It follows a few different campers ranging from 10 to 18 years old while they hone their craft as they’re mentored by counselor magicians. Perhaps the most striking thing about the film is the diversity of the campers. There are many reasons why people are interested in magic. While the kids may not be friends back home, magic is the common denominator at this camp. The film explores the intense practice and work involved in a magic performance and the impressive dedication of the young campers.
Next up, we have the short film Beyond Belief from a student filmmaker, William Stribling. It’s about a down-in-the-dumps magician trying to pull his life back together. It features strong performances and fantastic cinematography.
Finally, there’s Play Dead from Teller (of Penn & Teller) and magician Todd Robbins. A feature-length performance film of a stage play that exists somewhere between a magic show and a one-man show. Running with the themes of death and serial killers, this not-for-children performance is clever and very inventive. When you have a “magic” show where what the performer is saying is even more interesting than what he is doing, you’ve got something pretty incredible that you’ve likely never seen before.
We hope you enjoy the magic at CCFF as much as we do.
-Dan Hartley, CCFF Programming Director
Bones in the Woods, Family Secrets in the Heart
One of the experimental films we’re screening this year is “Consuming Spirits”, an animated feature by Chris Sullivan. You can watch the trailer here.
Read on for a New York Times review of what you can expect. This incredible, complex, dark yet wondrous film took 15 years to complete! It likely won’t be showing elsewhere in Michigan anytime soon, so don’t miss it at CCFF.
Film & Taste & Tour
There Really is Film in Lansing
Last week we did a walk-through of the Temple Club in Old Town Lansing. We’re excited to use this beautiful building again! Anyone who sees a film there on Saturday, April 13 can tour lofts for free during Taste & Tour of Old Town, and anyone with a Taste & Tour wristband gets in free to a CCFF film that day. Sounds like a win-win sitch to us.
I love to be by the ocean. I love the breeze forever accompanying its presence, and the looming adventure in its distance. Staring at its vastness, I am made aware of the true scale of humanity, of our sameness and singularity all at the same time. I only get this feeling in one other place: watching a great film, on a giant screen in a dark room … in the silence of appreciation.
As part of the Capital City Film Festival selection committee, I have yet to experience the films in the way I describe above. I will tell you, however, that I have cried, laughed, questioned the state of my moral compass, and been adequately frightened while watching the films selected. I am excited to hear the reactions of others, to share discourse and opinions … a large part of what makes film so appealing for me.
I am also excited about the variety, and you should be too. I have moaned and whined about the lack of an art house theater here in Lansing - something reminiscent of The Odeon - playing foreign and indie film that broaden our film repertoire and our minds. Well, here it is, offered to us over the course of four days.
I won’t tell you what to watch or when to go, but if you only have time for one day, keep Saturday free for a Gondry feature, some great short films, An Oversimplification of Her Beauty, Detropia, and much, much more.
I look forward to spending some time on my pseudo beach April 11-14. I’m so glad there’s film in Lansing.
-Suban Nur Cooley, CCFF selection committee
Let the Fortnight begin!
The required elements for this year’s Fortnight Film Contest are:
-Dialogue: “It’s not too late.”
-Action: Handshake or high-five
-Prop or set dress: Flower(s)
Final entries are due back at the Lansing Public Media Center by 7pm on Thursday, April 4. Good luck to all 30 teams!
You can snatch your CCFF all-access passes here or a ticket to just the Fortnight films screening and awards here.
Once again, friends, we’ve finalized another CCFF schedule, and once again we’re bringing you 4 evenings of fantastic live music. Each night of the festival has a totally unique flavor. Personally, I’m super excited to get very little sleep April 11-14.
Because no one tells stories about the nights they got plenty of sleep.
Thursday night we’ll be hosting the co-headling tour of The Mowgli’s and Family of the Year. Two bands you may be familiar with thanks to their heavy rotation on alternative radio stations across the country. This will be a night of genre-blending, California indie-rock, opened by our local pals Joe Hertler & the Rainbow Seekers. Get there on time.
Friday marks the return of ambient indie heroes Lydia to Michigan. Their first visit to the mitten since 2011, and I believe their first, FIRST visit to Lansing. Accompanying Lydia is From Indian Lakes, Sweet Talker, and Lights and Caves. So… pretty much just your run of the mill completely amazing Friday night lineup. NBD.
Saturday, we’re keeping it home-grown with a showcase of mid-Michigan bands, featuring Small Parks celebrating the release of their EP “Meet Me In Cognito”. It’s a clever name, which means it’s a good idea to attend. Wayne Szalinski, Tiger! Tiger!, and Good Day Good Sir will also be bringing instruments to plug in and play melodically. It’s important to support local music. CCFF does, and so should you.
Sunday is closing night, which is sad. However, it means that the internationally-touring live house music band Tortured Soul will be in Lansing for the first time ever. That is not sad. Not only will this be an epic evening of dancing your face off, you’ll also be able to see DJs Robert Perry and Noah DeSmit of Implied Music before they’re way too big to play here anymore.
An all-access CCFF pass gets you into all shows as well as film screenings.
Stay tuned for closer looks at some of the bands in future posts!
-Jake Pechtel, CCFF Entertainment Director
A short film by Juan Pablo Zaramella
This awesome, stop-motion styled short has incredible fun throughout while playing at the toil of the work day. Seeming to be set in a old world Italy of yesteryear, it forms a great feel totally different from its Argentinian roots. The filmmaker and his team display real ingenuity in pulling off some of their shots, and they show obvious enjoyment in their craft. When you go to see short movies, this is the type of flick that will have you leaving with a smile on your face.
-Jason Gabriel, CCFF Co-Founder and Production Manager
Luminaris screens Friday, April 12 at the Capital City Film Festival. Watch the trailer here.