For years, St. Joseph creatives and Missouri Western State University have fostered local talent when it comes to film. This year, the two will come together.
For the second year of the Outlaw Film Festival, organizers will team up with Missouri Western and the Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art, to create a citywide celebration of short films and documentaries.
The three-day film festival, which started on Nov. 2 and continues until Saturday, Nov. 4, will hold screenings of work from local, national and international talent.
Outlaw Film Festival creator Lisa Erdman says the collaboration between the festival, a spin-off of the defunct Foster’s Film Festival, and the college began when organizers noticed it and Missouri Western’s 48 Hour Film Festival had coinciding schedules.
“(Assistant Professor of Cinema) Robert Hanson and I talked about how we could combine so that some of the area high school kids who produce short films could kind of play in the same sandbox as the college students,” she says.
The festival began with a Young Filmmaker’s Showcase at Potter Hall and will continue with a day of festival screenings starting at 1 p.m. Friday. Nov. 3.
The festival will feature its largest list yet of short films and documentaries.
“We have 64 films that we’re going to screen from all over the world. We have a couple from the Netherlands, a couple from Australia, Spain, Portugal, so we’re excited about that and lots of local, Kansas City area filmmakers,” Erdman says.
The event also will honor the memory of a Foster’s Film Festival winner, the late Johnny Cathcart, a St. Joseph native who won Best Documentary and People’s Choice awards at the festival in 2014. He passed away earlier this year.
Erdman says he’ll be posthumously honored with the Visionary Award.
“We just wanted to honor a filmmaker who just kind of embodies the spirit of our film festival — somebody that’s from the Midwest that’s helpful to other filmmakers and has a spirit of mentoring and advice,” she says. “We felt like Johnny definitely did that.”
Because there’s so many films to be screen, the festival needed more than one space to do it. The Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art was more than happy to open its theater space to the public, holding screenings from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3, as well as the awards ceremony at 7:30 p.m.
“They have a great theater room that’s not really being utilized that often, so we’ve been working with (Museum executive director) Brett Knappe at Albrecht-Kemper and he’s excited,” Erdman says.
Opening up the festival to screen at two separate spaces will allow for more work to be displayed throughout the festival’s run.
“We’ve always, in the past, just had one screen down at Paradox. Moving up to Missouri Western and partnering with the museum is giving us some additional screen time,” Erdman says.
Entering into another year for the festival, Erdman says she’s constantly blown away by the response and support that’s shown by people from in and around St. Joseph.
“We’re just excited that people keep providing support. I feel like being at Albrecht and Missouri Western, that’s another group of people that maybe haven’t been exposed to a film festival before,” she says. “We’re always looking for a way to make this bigger and better but still feel very St. Joe.”
Tickets are $5 to $15. For more information, go to www.outlawfilmfest.com.
— Andrew Gaug | St. Joe Live