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the MicroCineFest 2000 line-up.


MicroCineFest 2000, Baltimore's underground film festival dedicated to showcasing "big ambition on little budget", wrapped on Sunday, November 5, with a casual awards ceremony and closing night party that consisted of mingling and re-screenings of festival favorites. 10 features and 80 shorts unspooled during the 5 day festival, with 30 participating filmmakers showing up to meet & greet the appreciative audience. The visiting filmmakers were treated to trips to the American Visionary Art Museum, the American Dime Museum, a duckpin bowling party, an intimate brunch hosted by the Maryland Film Festival, and a free early-morning screening of Viet Helmer's TUVALU with breakfast provided by Baltimore's "Cinema Sundays at The Charles" screening series. Door prizes, audience ballots, and post-screening Question & Answer sessions were abundant during MicroCineFest 2000.

With the exception of a free, outdoor screening on a sidewalk outside a coffee shop, all of the screenings and festivities took place at The G-Spot, an art gallery space housed in a former mill building in Baltimore's charming Hampden neighborhood. An estimated 2,000 people attended this year's MicroCineFest. Several sold-out screenings were packed to capacity, with audience members standing several-people deep in back, or lying on the floor in the front of the screening room. Festival organizers, Skizz Cyzyk and Jen Talbert, consider MicroCineFest 2000 to be a great success.

Two programs made up opening night. The first, a program of 35mm shorts, featured animated festival favorites LIMBOSCAPE by Tim Finn, and REJECTED by Don Hertzfeldt, which won the Audience Choice Award for Best Short and the Judges Extra Special "Too Cool" Award. The second program was the world premiere of Crazy Pete's mondo-odd feature, GOD MADE MAN, which took home the Grand Jury Award for Best Feature. The evening concluded with an intimate party featuring the music of The Swingin' Swamis and DJ Bump.

Some of the more-popular festival screenings included the "Experimiscellaneous" shorts program, the "Cool Shorts" program, the "What the...?!" shorts program (made up of shorts determined to make the audience say, "What the...?!"), and a program of "psychotronic" shorts that featured Harry McCoy's GAS HUFFIN' BAD GALS! (winner of the Way Cool Black & White Film Award), XXXXXXXXXXX' SANTIAGO VS. WIGFACE (winner of the Way Cool Color Film Award), and Lee Demarbre's HARRY KNUCKLES & THE TREASURE OF THE AZTEC MUMMY (winner of the Second Place Audience Choice Award for Best Short, and the Way Cool Ass Kicking Action Award).

Other festival highlights included a free screening of Jeffrey C. Ballentine's Ed Wood homage, THEY CAME FOR THE SILION; and "Press Play To Agitate", a presentation on "culture-jamming" by guest lecturer, Craig Baldwin.

Festival programming concluded with Mark Osborne's Sundance hit, DROPPING OUT, a dark comedy about suicide. The film's subject matter prompted concern from a suicide awareness organization, resulting in a representative accepting MicroCineFest's invitation to speak before the film about the seriousness of suicide. Nevertheless, DROPPING OUT won the Audience Choice Award for Best Feature.

This year's jury consisted of Cashiers Du Cinemart's Mike White, Big Mama Cinefest's Shayna Nickel, and Slamdance & The Maryland Film Festival's Gabe Wardell. The complete awards are as follows:

Second Place Audience Choice Best Short: Lee Demarbre's HARRY KNUCKLES & THE TREASURE OF THE AZTEC MUMMY
First Place Audience Choice Best Short: Don Hertzfeldt's REJECTED
Second Place Audience Choice Best Feature: David Larson's EDGE OF QUARREL
First Place Audience Choice Best Feature: Mark Osborne's DROPPING OUT

Grand Jury Best Feature: Crazy Pete's GOD MADE MAN
Grand Jury Best Short Film: O. Perez's PACIFIER
Grand Jury Best Short Video: Peter Brinson's IT DID IT
Grand Jury Best Animated Film: Ya-Nan Chou's SPLIT
Grand Jury Best Animated Video: Evan Mather's FANSOM THE LIZARD
Grand Jury Best Experimental Film: Matt McCormick's SINCERELY, JOE P. BEAR
Grand Jury Best Experimental Video: Marcus Young's PHASES

Low Budget Film Award (given to the coolest film made for less than $1,000): Ricardo Fratelli's MONDO FORD
Low Budget Video Award (given to the coolest video made for less than $100): Alex Roper's ANARCHY MONKEY

Way Cool Black & White Film: Harry McCoy's GAS HUFFIN' BAD GALS
Way Cool Ass Kicking Action: Lee Demarbre's HARRY KNUCKLES & THE TREASURE OF THE AZTEC MUMMY
Way Cool Looking Film: Nathan Pommer's P-13
Way Cool Detournement Award: Bryan Boyce's SPECIAL REPORT
Way Cool Use of a Lite Brite: Roger Beebe's WHAT BOYS WANT

The TOO COOL award: Don Hertzfeldt's REJECTED
Best Festival Trailer EVER: MCF 2K

Brittany Hague answers questions after HOT BROADS screens during the "That's Psychotronic" shorts program.

MicroCineFest festival director, Skizz Cyzyk, Todd Rohal (EAST OF THE MISSISSIPPI) and Richie Sherman (SMASH) at the American Dime Museum.

Passers-by and hanger-outers enjoy Adam Jordan's TOY TROUBLES at the outdoor Coffee Mill screening, as part of First Fridays In Hampden.

Giulia Frati (SADISINFECTENZ) flew in from Montreal, seen here with Mike Z (A SPECIAL MESSAGE).

Filmmaker's Duckpin Bowling Party
left: Andrew McAllister (NOT EVERYONE CARES ABOUT FOOTBALL) prepares to split.
below: Mark Wright (ZERO SQUAD ATTACK), Mike White (Cashiers Du Cinemart), Rob Smart (ZERO SQUAD ATTACK), Katie Brennen (MCF) and Scott Brown (MCF) enjoy the pizza.


Avner Kam (Kamchik The Singing Cowboy in I WANNA BE LIKE ROY ROGERS), Bianca Bob (MASTERFOOT THEATER) and Atomic TV's Tom Warner.

left: Craig Baldwin

Marc Hartzman (HYPE MAN) and David Hardin (MYSTERIOUS WORLD OF BIRDS).

Astrid Riemer (THE RINCESS AND THE OYSTER) and Jeff Kussman (UNTITLED).

MCF-staffer, Katie Brennan stands oblivious to the bonding between MCF-staffer, Scott Brown, XXXXXXXXXXX (ACNE) and Anarchy Monkey.

The G-Spot lobby hosted an art show during MCF 2000. Seen here in front of a wall of poster-art, is Mark Wright, Kent Lambert, Hiland Hall and Rob Smart (ZERO SQUAD: ATTACK!!).

Mike Z (A SPECIAL MESSAGE), Andrew McAllister (NOT EVERYONE CARES ABOUT FOOTBALL), Kathy Ramos, and Ben.

Jason Woliner (GARDER III: REVENGE) with Alex Roper & Gregory Gannon (ANARCHY MONKEY).

The guys from H.A.R.M.: Owen Cooper (producer), Jon Sanborne (writer), Doug Roussin (art director), and Jim Robertson (camera/sound).

The Zero Squad attacks: Nicole Palomado (aka Lady Danger), Mark Wright (aka Master Of Robots), Hiland Hall, director Rob Smart and Kent Lambert.

MC-staffer Scott Brown, judge Mike White, XXXXXXXXXXX (ACNE) and MCF-staffer Kent Bye.

MCF-staffer Kent Bye with The Maryland Film Festival's Jed Dietz.

Nate Pommer (P-13, DEVIL IN MY TUBESOCKS...), Bianca Bob (MASTERFOOT THEATER) and Jason Woliner (GARDNER III: REVENGE).

left: XXXXXXXXXXX explains ACNE.

below: Christina Reilly (THE SIMPLETONS), Todd Rohal (EAST OF THE MISSISSIPPI), Avner Kam (I WANT TO BE LIKE ROY ROGERS), and Andrew McAllister (NOT EVERYONE CARES ABOUT FOOTBALL) answer questions after the "What The...?!" shorts program.

The Judges (l to r): Mike White, Gabe Wardell, Shayna Nickel

Chris Cable (Maryland Film Festival), MCF-staffer Dan Krovich, Kathy Ramos, MCF Asst. Director Jen Talbert, Courtney Koester, Todd Rohal (EAST OF THE MISSISSIPPI) relaxing at the Filmmaker's Brunch, sponsored by The Maryland Film Festival.


Links for MicroCineFest 2000 press coverage:
Baltimore City Paper article by Heather Joslyn
IndieWIRE article by Ian Grey
Baltimore Sun article by Chris Kaltenbach
Johns Hopkins Newsletter article by Will Ryan

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