Fans of film as a high art may not find the 1345 Film Festival to their liking, but fans of creativity, spontaneity and whimsy probably will.
The festival, created by siblings Dylan and Bonny Fleming, doesn’t necessarily look for polished, scripted movies shot on high-grade equipment. Instead, films of about 10 minutes or less are often shot with commonly available video-recording equipment, including point-and-shoot cameras and cellphones.
The Flemings’ intention is to give people an excuse to be creative and explore ideas through filmmaking.
“The funny thing about my family and friends, there’s a thing that we say, ‘If I were ever to make a movie, I would do this …,’ Dylan Fleming said. “It’s all just, ‘Express your creativity.’ If you have something that you want to do, go do it.”
The proliferation of basic digital video-recording devices and editing software in the past 10 years has given many people the ability to experiment with short films, and that paved the way for the 1345 festival.
“We’ve got one film that’s 20 seconds long. It’s just this silly thing,” Dylan said. “The accessibility is key. Everybody that has a computer has editing software. There’s no exclusivity to it, it’s just so open.”
That openness results in a variety of experimental films, including some done within hours of the start of the festival.
“Last year, some friends of mine and I started a little project we call ‘shotgun films.’ The night before, we make one or two films. It’s just one last push of creativity,” Dylan said.
Last year’s festival featured one done with toy building blocks titled “Must Hate Squids.”
“We had one friend who had just a very silly idea he wanted to do with some Legos last year, and we set him up in our studio. We helped him edit, and do some sound design,” he said.
In its third year, the festival is moving from its previous location, Bonny Fleming’s driveway on Kansas City Street, to Art Alley in downtown Rapid City. The move takes the festival away from the address that gave it its name, but with more than 100 people in attendance last year, the Flemings decided it was time to step up to a bigger venue.
“We’re pretty excited about getting to be in the alley this year. It’s going to be so cool,” Dylan said.
Being in a public area means that alcohol will not be allowed at the festival, and people have to bring their own chairs.
Dylan isn’t sure how many films will be shown, and entries may be accepted through the day of the event.
“The first year we did it, we sent out this desperate plea in the last week,” he said. At the time, only three films had been submitted, but they ended up showing 23.
For Dylan, much of the excitement of the festival is getting to see the creative pursuits other people want to show off.
“You get to see what people would usually keep to themselves,” he said. “It’s going to be a great time. I’m really, really excited about it this year.”
Contact Eric Lochridge at 394-8321 or email@example.com.