The first weekend of this month, Emily Aguilar hosted the first annual DCV Movie Festival in the Nation’s Capital. A graduate of Loyala Marymount Univeristy, Emily is a very passionate young filmmaker originally from the DMV area. With her mentor Seanie Blue supporting her, as well as other friends and family in and out of the industry, she put the word out inviting local filmmakers to submit their work for free screening.
But that’s not all!
Emily is proof that my generation is truly defined by our success by who we know, and the power of our networking abilities. After having studied with his daughter at film school, Emily befriended renowned cinematographer Bill Butler, famous for his camera work on the movie’s Jaws, Grease, and One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest.
My good friend Sean sits with Emily while discussing film with Bill Butler.
Bill proved to be very knowledgeable indeed. He also challenged the future’s filmmakers to not only rely on new technologies, but also tried and true methods of storytelling in order to captivate audiences. We noticed he wasn’t all that impressed with our college degrees, although he was happy for those of us who had them, but he stressed creative and critical thinking about art and the future by drawing comparisons to feats from history that were inspiring to him but things we couldn’t understand today, such as the locomotive and the space program. He seemed to admonish us to capture that feeling in our movies versus being overly impressed with the tech or innovation itself for its own sake, no matter how remarkable. And I think he was just scratching the surface seeing as that talk was Friday night and he was the weekend speaker!
Last but not least, the screenings; or should I say screening. Its always interesting doing something for the very first time, and to their credit, Emily and Seanie were gracious hosts, but due to some competing noise pollution from a dance party in the room next to us, the crowd was only able to view my team’s film, This Used To Be Our Dream, directed by Ashleigh Coffelt. Our team was unable to attend the rest of the festival over the weekend, but since generally everyone else would be able to view and screen, Emily was a good sport and we closed Friday night with our film which you can watch below.
I was bummed I wasn’t able to see all of the other submissions, but from just that night of Q&A with Bill Butler, viewing our film, and befriending Emily afterward, this first go around for DCV Fest left a savory taste in my mouth and I can’t wait for what’s in store in 2016 when it comes back. There’s something that can be said for being around for something at “ground zero”, at its inception, and DCV Movie Fest gets me excited to be a local filmmaker and to see what other talent resides here in the DMV area. Check out the director spotlights at the Facebook page to get a feel for the local talent, including Emily and Seanie, and what film means to them.
Mark & Josiah
PS: Oh and Emily – bailar! ^_^