Solid crowd welcomes NAFF to October

Posted by By at 8 October, at 09 : 34 AM Print


Greetings! We’re happy to report the sixth annual New Art Film Festival went very well this past Sunday, October 4 … just ask the dozens who attended each of our three shows!

Our initial impression is the 2015 NAFF attracted a modest crowd dedicated to its cause and personally invested in the films flickering up on the screen at the Art Theater Co-op in Champaign, IL. We saw many familiar faces from the Champaign-Urbana community, returning out-of-town friends such as Johnnie May and Nelle Burke (THE CROSSING) from Madison, WI, and several folks new to our scene such as local producer Jim Lenz (ONLY IN FARGO: THE ELECTRIC FENCE), Danville Web comedy titan Jake Aurelian (RIPPER THE CLOWN WANTS A DATE), and veteran director/actor Robert Biggs (COYOTE GIRL) who joined us from Massachusetts via Westfield, IL! We are always gratified to engage an involved audience no matter the size, and NAFF VI was no exception, but we hope to play host to a larger, more diverse turnout in 2016.

We also held our first “meet and greet” on Sunday afternoon, a mere two blocks away from the Art at the restaurant/bar Radio Maria. It was small but led to a fulfilling group discussion featuring Lenz, Biggs, David Gracon (The Ordinary Video Series), Cara Day (WHO STOLE MY HOO-TO FOO-TO BOO-TO BAH?), Eric Benson (Damian Duffy Hates Everything podcast), and yours truly. What exactly did we talk about for nearly two-and-a-half hours? Lots! Anything further than that … well … you just had to be there, didn’t you?

In general, we are satisfied with the calendar move, dearest spectators! We extend great thanks to Austin McCann and the lively staff of the Art for taking good care of us, Lisa and Jason Cerezo of Champaign design firm ThirdSide for providing artwork and Web services, Luke Boyce of Champaign production firm Shatterglass Studios who corralled our media for the Art’s projection needs, photographer Dora Valkanova for capturing our NAFFanatics in their natural cinematic habitat, guardian angel Sanford Hess for providing well-timed wisdom and direction, all filmmakers whose pieces made up our program, and discerning viewers of independent film like you who parked it at the Art for a spell on Sunday night.

We’re not ready just yet to close the books on the New Art Film Festival, gang! Look for Dora’s images to debut here and on Facebook in the next couple of weeks, along with a few “lost” photos from 2014 for good measure, and we’ll be updating various corners of this here Web site before the end of the year.

If you happen to be seeing this too late to have joined our 2015 movie party, we’ll point you to Sunday’s line-up as well as related videos. Get stoked in advance for 2016!

Cheers & much-deserved beers,

Jason Pankoke
Program Director
New Art Film Festival 2015


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The New Art Film Festival is an annual festival showcasing local filmmakers from Champaign-Urbana, IL, and other downstate Illinois cities.

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