The 8th annual ReadingFilmFEST took over the cinemas of Reading city center this weekend. Over 70 films were presented and brought together filmmakers, industry guests and supporters for an exciting weekend! The festival was created to honor and celebrate the efforts of independent filmmakers in the Reading area and across the country.
Bence Veres, a 20-year-old filmmaker from Reading, produced a film called The Idiot’s Guide to Swindling and Amateur Filmmaking. This film is about three young amateur filmmakers who dream of becoming prominent Hollywood directors. In order to be recognized for their efforts, the trio decide to make a short film about a jewelry store robbery. While attempting to shoot their movie, two petty criminals plan to rob a local marijuana dispensary. When the actors in the trio’s short film drop out, they cross paths with the criminals and team up to pursue their dreams.
“I’ve noticed a lack of films about the very people who make them possible – the filmmakers. I don’t understand much about the art of filmmaking so I tried to fill the gap with this film. I wanted to make something original and affordable. But most of all something that can be shot locally.” said Veres when asked why he decided to make his film.
Fr3deR1ck Jerome Taylor is a creative entrepreneur and filmmaker passionate about documenting stories and sharing them through digital media. Throughout his career he has traveled the world sharing his work and telling the stories people need to hear. His films are produced not only to entertain his audience but also to educate us about the meaning behind them.
At this year’s LeseFilmFEST his film “Where is America, the Beautiful?” fits into the political and racial block. The film examines the protests that have taken place recently, but also includes footage of protests that have taken place in previous years. It shows that America has had a hard time learning from those differences.
The main point is that we Americans must learn to coexist and work on what we have before it goes too far. Taylor wanted to share the truths behind the realities of what’s happening in the world. But how can we fix something that has been debated for so long? This film is a great example of learning what’s going on in the world around you. Above all, it shows how differently people see different scenarios. We have to learn from our mistakes. We must maintain some semblance of order for the good of all people and our environment.
“It started in 2020. I started filming different types of protest rallies and things related to COVID-19, Black Lives Matter and Trump rallies. Also the uprising. Then intersect that footage with others that happened in the past. A cause-and-effect relationship developed from this. Not only have we been talking about these things lately, but they’re the same things we’ve been talking about for the past 100 years‘ said Taylor, speaking about his reasoning behind his film.
Filmmaker Robert Morgalo produced a film entitled The Mick and The Trick. The film follows an Irish hitman who works for a Cuban crime boss and the IRA and wants out of the business. But both parties know that’s not possible because he knows too much behind the scenes. With the help of a feisty and savvy street hooker named Sugar, the killer’s chances of getting out of this predicament have become a lot easier than he expected. It’s set in the ’90s, at the height of HIV and homophobia. The Irish hitman and Sugar become unlikely allies, overcoming difficult obstacles together.
“It’s one of those things I wanted to do. Something that speaks to the culture and does so in a way that casts a positive light. I chose to convey this message through an action film because it conveys the message but also keeps the viewer intrigued. It was one of those issues that I wanted to tackle” Morgalo explained his reasons for making this film.
All the films presented during the film festival are unique and bring something different to the table. As novelty is difficult to come by, exploring the creations of local filmmakers allows you to peek inside other people’s minds. Everyone has something they are interested in, but these people brought these ideas and storylines to life.