2016 Festival Information
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Educational Offerings

Tallgrass Filmmaker Labs

Admission to all Filmmaker Labs is $10 GA/$8 discounted. Tickets may be purchased for the Filmmaker Labs may be purchased online or at Orpheum or Scottish Rite box offices. Filmmaker Labs are free for Pass holders. All educational programs take place in the Film Lab at The Lux. Seating is limited.

Saturday, October 18:

10:00 - 11:00 am: Acting for Indie Film
Your script is great, your cinematography is beautiful, the story is worth telling... but if your actors aren’t good, nobody cares. Alumni Filmmaker (FAVOR) and Writer/director/actor Blayne Weaver will discuss the challenges, benefits and tricks to working with actors in independent film. While directing the actor’s performance is a huge responsibility, it’s only one aspect in the actor-director relationship. This workshop will explore everything from he first steps of auditioning talent and negotiating with agents to the actual shooting and then on to post-production, red carpet, Q&A’s at the festival circuit, all the way to the Blu-Ray commentary.

About Blayne Weaver:
Originally from Bossier City, Louisiana, Blayne works as a actor, writer and director out of New York City. He wrote, directed and starred in the acclaimed romantic comedy 6 MONTH RULE (alongside Martin Starr, Natalie Morales and John Michael Higgins). Previous films he’s written and directed include WEATHER GIRL (with Tricia O’Kelley, Mark Harmon, Jon Cryer and Jane Lynch) and OUTSIDE SALES. He also co-wrote and acted in MANIC (Don Cheadle, Joseph Gordon- Levitt and Zooey Deschanel), which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. To date he has written seven produced feature films. Blayne starred in the 2013 Tallgrass Film Festival “Stubbornly Independent” winner FAVOR and has appeared in such films as Austin Film Festival Audience Award Winner JUNK, DEEP DARK CANYON, OFFICIAL REJECTION and THE GOOD OLD BOYS opposite Tommy Lee Jones. His numerous episodic television credits include ER, NCIS, and THE MIDDLEMAN. He also provided the voice of Peter Pan in the Disney animated feature RETURN TO NEVERLAND.

Sunday, October 19:

12:00 - 1:00 pm: Documentary: 101
Alumni Filmmaker Mark Covino (Dir. A BAND CALLED DEATH)  returns with a crash course in the world of documentary filmmaking. The workshop will examine the ways in which artists use the moving image to explore, represent, construct and change the world. Technical and aesthetic aspects of video production will be covered as well, drawing Covino’s own personal experiences and ideas.

About Mark Covino:
Originally from Queens, NY, Mark fell in love with film at an early age. By the time he was a student at Eastern Suffolk B.O.C.E.S., he was honing the skills he would need to make the leap from High School student to filmmaker. Soon after, Mark moved to VT to attend College, earning a BA in Cinema Studies and Film production in 2006.
While Mark was working towards his undergraduate degree, he became heavily active in the VT filmmaking community working on productions such as Unless a Death Occurs: Hazing Examined for PBS, Rally-Nation (a pilot optioned for ESPN 2), as well as the highly acclaimed Black Panther documentary WHAT WE WANT, WHAT WE BELIEVE. In 2012 Mark's first feature film A BAND CALLED DEATH premièred at the Los Angeles Film Festival and subsequently won the audience award at South by South West 2013. The film was acquired by Drafthouse Films shortly after. For the past year Mark has been working as a film professor at Burlington College while finishing up his most recent documentary THE CREST.

Tallgrass Talk

Tallgrass Talks are a lecture series hosted by entertainment industry professionals. They are free and open to the public. All educational programs take place in the Film Lab at The Lux. Seating is limited.

Saturday, October 18

12:00 - 1:00 pm: Kurosawa & The Western
The samurai films of Japanese director Akira Kurosawa exerted a strong influence on the Western, both in Hollywood and Europe.  Using film clips, Film Historian and Kurosawa Scholar Stephen Prince explores this influence and discusses how Kurosawa’s samurai and the American gunfighter are similar figures of myth and legend. 

About Stephen Prince:
Stephen Prince is a professor at Virginia Tech and an honorary professor at the University of Copenhagen.  A former president of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies, he is the author of numerous books which include The Warrior’s Camera: The Cinema of Akira Kurosawa, Firestorm: American Film in the Age of Terrorism, and Digital Visual Effects in Cinema: The Seduction of Reality.  His audio commentaries can be found on the Criterion DVD and Blu-ray releases of Kurosawa’s movies.

Filmmaker Roundtable Discussions

Filmmaker Roundtable discussions are free and open to the public on a first-come, first-serve basis. All educational programs take place in the Film Lab at The Lux. Seating is limited.

Friday, October 17

2:00 - 3:00 pm: Filmmakers in Their Natural Habitat: Meet the Class of 2014 as they introduce their projects to one another, share war stories and triumphs and give the behind the scenes scoop on their projects. Moderated by KMUW’s Fletcher Powell.Moderated by KMUW's Fletcher Powell.

Saturday, October 18

2:00 - 3:00 pm: Meet the Distributors: Join members of the Stubbornly Independent Jury - industry professionals -  and visiting filmmakers, as they talk about the state of distribution for independent film. Moderated by Monterey Media's Scott Mansfield.

Sunday, October 19

4:00 - 5:00 pm: Crowdfunding Your Indie Film: Is crowd-funding your film project a sure-bet? Is it a lasting-trend? Chat with visiting filmmakers who have used crowd-funding platforms to finance their films and get the straight-scoop on what works and what doesn’t. Moderated by KMUW’s Fletcher Powell.