Dallas VideoFest, one of many metropolis’s first movie festivals, was began by filmmaker Bart Weiss 34 years in the past at Dallas Museum of Artwork. Since 1987, Dallas VideoFest has given a voice to unknown filmmakers and embraced new applied sciences to develop the town’s movie tradition.
Weiss, a filmmaker and movie instructor, had introduced comparable applications in Dallas space nightclubs earlier than beginning the four-day competition at DMA’s Horchow Auditorium. He says this fall’s DocuFest+, Sept. 30-Oct. 3 at Angelika Film Center in Dallas, would be the final VideoFest.
Creative Director Weiss stated, “Movie and movie festivals are about group. We sit up for being collectively once more. In what some folks assume is a post-fact world, documentaries remind us that the reality issues.”
First Dallas VideoFest
On the first Dallas VideoFest, comedienne Edie Adams showcased the work of her late husband, Ernie Kovacs, from the Fifties to the early ’60s.
“Kovacs was the primary artist working in tv to not simply stand and inform a joke however to make use of the digital camera to inform the joke,” Weiss stated. “Kovacs was exploring what the artwork kind might evolve into, which is what we’ve tried to do with Dallas VideoFest.”
The VideoFest has continued to acknowledge innovators with their prestigious Ernie Kovacs Award annually. VideoFest’s platform is devoted to these filmmakers who use applied sciences and strategies to current their work in new and other ways. Weiss says it’s this focus that has set VideoFest other than different movie festivals.
After a full decade of screening within the DMA — an area that featured 5 viewing environments, together with installations and a video wall — VideoFest relocated to the Dallas Theater Middle. This allowed them to retain autonomy within the movies screened on the competition.
“We had the entire constructing, and it was this unimaginable Frank Lloyd Wright area,” stated Weiss. “We needed to construct every thing. There was no display, projector nor sound methods. We constructed a universe.”
Theater Middle Years
Weiss says the VideoFest’s Theater Middle years had been a time when the occasion really hit its stride.
“Individuals might come hand around in the foyer and speak to one another whereas deciding what they wished to see subsequent,” he stated. “We beloved the group facet of it.”
Plenty of native theaters have hosted VideoFest since then. Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, Studio Film Grill, the Angelika Movie Middle, and some drive-in theaters through the pandemic, have hosted the competition.
VideoFest featured a particular collection known as “Expanded Cinema,” the place the work was proven on the skin partitions of the 23-story, 1001-room Omni Dallas Lodge downtown. The sound was transmitted simulcast by KXT-91.7 FM radio.
Though the accessible area usually dictated the amount and sort of fabric screened, Weiss’s tastes nonetheless held sway.
“Through the years, programming for the competition has been a mirrored image of issues I’m interested by,” he stated. “Typically it was about determining what was greatest at that exact second.”
VideoFest Fills Hole
Weiss stated VideoFest sought to fill a spot for presenting work from underrepresented communities.
“It’s by no means been our intent to have movies that might present up within the movie theater the subsequent 12 months,” he stated. “We wished to indicate issues that may not be as readily accessible.”
Dallas VideoFest by no means grew to become a celebrity-based competition, however targeted as a substitute on the content material and aesthetic of movie work. Weiss is happy with their dedication to championing interactive media — from CD-ROMs and HDTV to virtual reality — as they arrived on the scene. When VideoFest was held on the DMA, video artists had the chance to work with the area’s video wall, which featured stacked displays.
In recent times, the competition has been damaged down right into a collection of mini-festivals, the Medianale for video artwork, Different Fiction for narratives and DocuFest for documentaries.
Filmmakers Obtain Success
Many beforehand unknown filmmakers nurtured by Dallas VideoFest have gone on to realize success within the movie world. Dallas-based indie filmmaker David Lowery screened considered one of his first movies at VideoFest. He went on to win a nomination for AIN’T THEM BODIES SAINTS on the 2013 Sundance Movie Pageant.
The competition additionally stays related to the founders of former Dallas animation studio DNA Productions Inc., John A. Davis and Keith Alcorn. The competition showcased their animated movies for years, together with the pilot of JIMMY NEUTRON, BOY GENIUS. It continued for a number of seasons and have become a characteristic movie.
One vital initiative for Weiss has been to avoid wasting the work proven at VideoFest, which has been finished because the second 12 months.
“We now have tapes of what’s basically a historical past of this medium from 1988 to the current,” he stated. “In some circumstances, among the filmmakers might not have copies of the work we’ve got.”
As Weiss displays on the subsequent steps, he says the tip of VideoFest feels bittersweet.
“Personally, it’s unhappy, and in some methods, it’s considerably of a reduction,” he stated. “All through the pandemic, I do know lots of people have gone by this questioning of ‘what’s it vital for me to do?’”
Video Affiliation of Dallas
Weiss stated the nonprofit Video Affiliation of Dallas that organizes VideoFest will proceed to provide his month-to-month present, Body of Thoughts, on KERA TV public tv station. They may even sometimes award the Ernie Kovacs Award, and probably associate with different organizations to proceed contributing to Dallas movie tradition.
As a filmmaker, Weiss appears ahead to committing extra time to his ongoing initiatives. These embrace a story collection known as Fireplace Bones, and two documentary movies. The movies are about Denton band Courageous Combo, and famous film critics, Andrew Sarris and Molly Haskell.
Throughout the pandemic, Weiss produced a collection on “How Performing Arts Organizations Can Go Digital,” for the AT&T Performing Arts Middle, and he additionally created a sizzle reel for Dallas Arts Month. Weiss stated he hopes to reimagine what a company could possibly be like that doesn’t want a big workers to provide main occasions, however nonetheless finds methods to affect tradition.