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Azalea Film Festival 2016 kicks off inaugural year at WeMo Wynnsong

22 Jul 2016

written by Mailer-Daemon

 A new film festival for Mobile is nearing the end of it’s open-submission period. The festival will take place September 24 at Wynnsong 16 theater in West Mobile. The fest accepts all genre shorts or features, and music videos.
AFF has received entries from as far away as India, Spain,  the UK and Canada, as well as local submissions. They also intend to host  panel discussions during the festival for educational purposes.
Awards are to be given for Best Short, Best Feature, Best Music Video, and Best Overall.
Judges will change from year to year, but this year’s judges are:
We spoke with organizer Joel Knain to dig a little deeper.
organizer, Joel Knain

Organizer, Joel Knain

How did the festival come together? Give us the origin story.
In 2013 we submitted one of our films to a film festival. We did ok but the overall experience left us a little, well… wanting. We talked about how we would do things different and committed to doing just that. We wanted to have a place where filmmakers can see and enjoy seeing their work on the true “big screen” and to have a healthy competition decided by judges who have experience in the industry. Second, we wanted to bring films in from all over. Give Gulf Coast film-goers a chance to see something different, unique, and “out of the box”. These are films you won’t see just anywhere else. I think we’ve accomplished these goals even in our first year.
What would you say is the Emphasis of this festival-? Give us the make and measure of the thing.
I’d say the emphasis is on the little guy.  You know, it’s like professional sports.  There are thousands of talented baseball, football, tennis or whatever players out there that are just as good as those that play in the professional leagues.  But for one reason or another, they missed the chance to play on that level.
And film is no different. Not every film has that multi-million dollar budget or owns the greatest camera in the world.  But there are film makers, cinematographers, actors, and other film making professionals out there who have a gift… a vision… a passion.  Having a place to share their passion, to see it come to life up on the screen, that’s what we are all about.
Tell us about the venue for the fest and what can people expect from the experience?
The festival will take place at the Wynnsong 16 in West Mobile.  We considered several different venues in the downtown area, but none of them gave the audience appeal of being in the movie theater “atmosphere”.  Also by being in an actual theater, film makers can see what they’ve created as it comes to life.  But it also gives them the chance to see and learn what works and what doesn’t.  What I mean is that when the director is shooting their film, they have to visualize how the film will look when it showing 40-feet tall. Sometimes its hard to see that when you are working on a 24-inch computer monitor.
WHAT: Azalea Film Festival 2016
WHERE: Wynnsong 16  785 chillinger Rd. S Mobile, AL 36695
WHEN: Saturday September 24 2016
Submissions are still open via FilmFreeway
“…the Azalea Film Festival ultimate goal is to support those who struggle with autism.  Autism Spectrum Disorder, or ASD, affects 1 in 68 children born every day. There is no cure.  Because ASD is so diverse, the cost of various forms of therapy generally are not covered by insurance creating a financial burden and stress on families.  Families can easily spend thousands of dollars in therapy costs alone. Children with ASD need early intervention and for some it would be nearly impossible without support.
The Azalea Film Festival will utilize its net proceeds through various direct support options to families in need including:
  1. Scholarships to help reduce the financial burden of therapy that is not covered by insurance.
  2. Purchase of necessary communication devices and/or software, such as iPads for non-verbal children to facilitate alternative methods of communication
  3. Provide sensory sensitive opportunities for families impacted by ASD
  4. Provide educational opportunities for parents, siblings and other caretakers of children with ASD”

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