NOVA Film Festival 2018 Wrap-Up

The biggest takeaway from the NOVA Fest this year is a
welcoming sense of community. At least, that’s what I was told by at least a
dozen artists there, all of whom enthusiastically praised the festival for its
hospitality and legitimate friendliness. One artist even went so far as to
describe it as the “friendliest” film festival he’d ever attended. And I agree.
I’m not an especially sociable person, but it was nearly
impossible not to make friends while in attendance. This is one of the only
festivals I can think of where they host an after party every night. The
Angelika Film Center has successfully made a name for itself as a DC hub for
filmmakers.
The festival itself, which closed last night, ended with a
big red carpet gala and awards ceremony highlighting the best they had to
offer, and I gotta say, they kinda nailed it. I don’t typically tend to agree
with the general awards season consensus, so it felt nice to finally be at a
ceremony where I did.
Beautiful features (three of which we covered, and you can
read about each here, here, and here) left with well-deserved awards in hand,
particularly Daddy Issues, which just about swept the categories it was up
for including best feature, but also incredible short films and music videos
were given the attention and respect they so rarely receive.
The inspiring I am…, the hilarious anti-romantic
comedy Sac de Merde, the heat-breaking Pickup, the thought
provoking Othello-San, musicals, screenplays, film noir throwbacks, and
laugh out loud comedies all received various awards throughout the night, with
a lifetime achievement award being handed to legendary Batman executive producer
Michael Uslan.
The hottest spot of the festival, however, was hands-down
the inclusion of the Capital Film Market. For the first time in the area, a
market for distributing independent films was made easily accessible to local
artists. It was an element of this year’s festival that was loved by both the
NOVA film community and the producers running the market, some of whom had
never even been to the DC area before. In this way and many others, the NOVA
Fest keeps growing. It was bigger than last year’s, which was bigger than the
year before. It keeps growing and gaining power and clout without losing its
sense of community.

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