CSUN hosts second annual independent film festival

Enraged after the girlfriend of his dreams said she had an abortion, a psychotic man is pushed over the edge and attempts to kill his girlfriend and psychiatrist. The relationship with his girlfriend was perfect before she told him about the abortion.

This is the plot of a movie titled “A Perfect Fit,” a feature film that was part of a myriad of independent film presentations at the Second Annual 2005 West Valley Indie Fest Film Festival. The Dept of Cinema ‘ Television Arts co-presented the festival, which took place May 12-15 at the Alan and Elaine Armer Theater.

Independent filmmakers from England, Japan, Argentina and virtually all over the world submitted about 300 films for the festival. Only 39 were chosen, according to the festival website.

Accompanied by the excellent surround sound and clear pictures provided by the Armer Theater, these independent films, which were selected by the festival’s film committee, were among the world’s best.

“These are all people who will go on from this festival to bigger festivals, (and) also will go on from here to eventually do studio films and become the Quentin Tarantinos and Robert Rodriguez’s of tomorrow,” said Vincent Tayborn, who was part of the main organizers to head the event. “I think the viewers get a chance to see some of the best in independent cinema from around the world. The viewers also get a chance to see work from filmmakers who will be the groundbreakers.”

All the filmmakers were new , Tayborn said.

A spooky film titled “Antebody” was the first to premiere on Friday. One of the first scenes opened with two pre-teen kids playing near a river. The brutally beaten and decomposed body of a dead man floats by, and after the kids are freaked out, the police get involved.

Local authorities identify the man as “Marty.” Two officers come to the house of Marty’s wife and tell her about her husband. She breaks down and weeps, only to see her husband come in the house alive and well.

The eerie part about the movie is the dead man has the exact same fingerprints, name, and virtually every other characteristic the living Marty had. The couple think it is just a case of mistaken identity, but after some more pondering, the couple start to get spooked out. They find out the dead body has striking similarities to the living Marty, and Marty and his wife begin to fear he is living a self-fulfilling prophecy of his future death.

The festival didn’t only feature mysterious, semi-scary movies like “Antebody.” Wacky movies like “Snackers” also played.

In “Snackers,” a father named Chuck Livingston becomes obsessed with creating an exact replica of a famous candy bar. Livingston, who practically ignores his wife, son and daughter by spending hours upon hours experimenting with different types of chocolate, won’t stop until his desire to perfect his chocolate is quenched. The movie is entertaining to say the least.

The festival did, however, have its share of strange movies. “The Park,” a film that premiered Friday night, was ambiguous. A man, who seems to have been with some type of Secret Service, suffers a gunshot wound and is on the verge of death. As he walks through a park, he stops and sits on a green bench. During the last seconds of his life, a supernatural-type of power heals him and saves his life. The man no longer has a gunshot wound when he wakes up the next day on the same bench. He then walks away and apparently stops involving himself with his associates. Then the movie abruptly ends.

“(This was) a great opportunity to see films that you wouldn’t necessarily see in the mainstream,” Tayborn said. “They’re all from filmmakers who I believe have something to say, and (who) all make a great contribution to the filmmaking society.”

Only one film was chosen as winner for the Film Festival, which was announced May 15. Tayborn had high hopes for the films, especially the winner.

“What happens is once a film wins a festival, it has the opportunity to go on to other festivals,” Tayborn said. “It also has a good opportunity to get distribution.”

The festival is held every year, and will possibly be held at CSUN next year, Tayborn said.

“(CTVA was) happy to have us” he said.