MicroCineFest 2001 wraps, award winners announced.

The 2001 edition of MicroCineFest, Baltimore’s underground film festival, took place Wednesday, October 31st through Sunday, November 4th. For the fifth year in a row, MicroCineFest has turned on audiences to off-beat, D.I.Y., psychotronic, substream films and videos from all over the world. This year’s festival was the most successful one yet, with high attendance, plenty of positive audience response, and better November weather than anyone could have hoped for.

Opening night (Wednesday, October 31st) consisted of a Halloween party at Frazier’s On The Avenue, with live music from The Billroys, Precious, and Twin Six, plus costume contests, film loops, and movie trailers.

Thurday, November 1st through Sunday, November 4th, the festival unspooled at The G-Spot, an “audio-visual playground”in Baltimore’s Hampden neighborhood. Running concurrent to MicroCineFest, the G-Spot hosted an art exhibit of Greg Houston’s illustrations.

Roughly one-third of the filmmakers were on hand to represent their work, including: Gorman Bechard (HOT ROD CIRCUIT’S “FLIGHT 89”); Joseph Christopher Schaub (TANGERINE CROWS); Todd Rohal (HILLBILLY ROBOT); Patrick Martz & Frank Siaca (MOMMA’S GIRLS); Ben Scholle (POTTERSVILLE); Bump (ABSENCE OF LIMBS); Jack Beck (JON’S POINT, LA); Kevin Walsh (A CODE OF COURAGE and KARMA); Walker Allen (THE PERITONEAL SURFACES ARE SMOOTH AND GLISTENING); Aaron Thedford (THE CRAB BOY); Rachel Max (I WAS A STRIP CLUB VIRGIN); James Dean Conklin (THE MONKEYMAN RULES and WONDERMAN); Jay Barba & Brian Farrelly (WELCOME TO PURGATORY and LOSING YOUR CHERRY); Bradley Wind & Eric Prykowski (JUNGLE MONKEY); Nathan Bramble (GHOST HUNTERS); Cash Flagg Jr. (Alvin Ecarma’s LETHAL FORCE); Matthew Silver (BEWARE OF THE HOT DOG PEOPLE and GODS OF PORCELAIN AND PLUMBING); Luis Esteban Caffesse & Clifford Dean Wildman (DOMESTIC WORMHOLES: NATURE’S SILENT KILLER); Jonathan Schultz & Kyle Hurley (Cooper Black’s THE INFERNAL LOOP); Alex Roper (REVOLUTIONS PER MINUTE and THE PENIS GRADUATION SONG); Matt Sesow (A SHORT BY MATT SESOW); Lucy Weismann (IN THE RED); and Jay Edwards (ESTA NOCHE WE RIDE!). Also seen among the crowd were the New York Underground Film Festival’s Ann Marie Spina; Academy Award winner Dan Keplinger (KING GIMP); and returning out-of-town filmmakers Mike Z and Jason Woliner.

In the off-hours of the festival, participating filmmakers, judges, and staff were treated to complimentary visits to The American Visionary Art Museum, a duckpin bowling party, The American Dime Museum, and a sneak preview of the film, NOVACAINE, courtesy of Cinema Sundays At The Charles.

After a Closing Night double feature of Arch Hall Jr. films from the early 60’s, MicroCineFest 2001 wrapped on Sunday, November 4, with an informal awards ceremony. Festival director, Skizz Cyzyk, announced the Audience Awards, of which the 1st Place winners receive screenwriting software prizes courtesy of MicroCineFest’s Awards Sponsor, Final Draft. The rest of the awards were announced by this year’s jury, consisting of: BURY THE EVIDENCE director J. Greg DeFelice; Big Mama (Cine)fest creator/curator Shayna Nickel; zine writer and film buff Jed Orndorff; all-purpose film provocateur Gabe Wardell; Cashiers Du Cinemart editor Mike White; and John Waters’ documentarian Steve Yeager. The jury was given free reign to award any film, filmmaker or category they deemed worthy. The awards are as follows:

Grand Jury Best Feature Film: Alvin Ecarma’s LETHAL FORCE
Grand Jury Best Feature Video: Gabe Weisert’s COW MONKEY
Grand Jury Best Short: Johannes Kassenberg & Klaus Reinelt’s KANN ICH WAS ABHABEN? (WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME?)
Grand Jury Best Documentary Feature: Marjorie Chodorov’s EL REY DE ROCK ‘N’ ROLL
Grand Jury Best Documentary Short Video: Matt McCormick’s THE SUBCONSCIOUS ART OF GRAFFITI REMOVAL
Grand Jury Best Documentary Short Film: Anthony Howard’s OUI WE
Grand Jury Best Animated Short Film: Ali Ashdown’s SNACK
Grand Jury Best Animated Short Video: James Dean Conklin’s WONDERMAN
Grand Jury Best Experimental Film: Robert Todd’s CLIP (4000f.)

2nd Place Audience Choice Best Short: Jay Barba & Brian Farrelly’s LOSING YOUR CHERRY
1st Place Audience Choice Best Short: Johannes Kassenberg & Klaus Reinelt’s KANN ICH WAS ABHABEN? (WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME?)
2nd Place Audience Choice Best Feature: Daniel Bitton’s WESLEY WILLIS: THE DADDY OF ROCK ‘N’ ROLL
1st Place Audience Choice Best Feature: Alvin Ecarma’s LETHAL FORCE

THE LOW BUDGET AWARDS (given to the coolest film made for under $1,000, and the coolest video made for under $100):
The Low-Budget Film Award: Jerome Gariepy’s CAT NUMBER SIX IS A COWARD
The Low-Budget Video Award: Jay Barba & Brian Farrelly’s LOSING YOUR CHERRY

Best Cinematography: Francois Miron’s RESOVLING POWER
Best Puppetry: Jenny McCracken’s WATER FROM THE MOON
Best Choreography: Matthew Silver’s BEWARE OF THE HOT DOG PEOPLE
Best Fairy Tale: David Lilley’s THE PRINCE AND THE PEE
Best Western: Jay Edwards’ ESTA NOCHE WE RIDE!
Best Original Score: Michael Goodwin’s SMASHIN’ IT UP
Way Cool Super 8 Film: Roger Beebe’s THE STRIP MALL TRILOGY
Way Cool Infomercial: Rick Delaup’s THE DRUM BUDDY SHOW
Way Cool Objectivity: Nathan Bramble’s GHOST HUNTERS
Way Cool Documentary Short: Geoff Adams’ NOISE IN MY BACKYARD
Way Cool Way Cool Way Cool Experimental: Cooper Black’s THE INFERNAL LOOP
Way Cool Special Guest Appearance: Miss Pussycat in Rick Delaup’s THE DRUM BUDDY SHOW
Special Jury Award: Thorsten Fleisch’s BLUTRAUSCH – BLOODLUST and Lucy Weismann’s IN THE RED

LETHAL FORCE producer, Kent Bye accepted the film’s two awards on director Alvin Ecarma’s behalf, stating that the film had been rejected by every festival with “underground” in it’s title. Ecarma emailed the following prepared statement from his hospital bed: “On behalf of the LETHAL FORCE cast and crew I would like to thank the MCF jurors and the Baltimore audiences for their kindness and recognition. MCF continues to be "thee underground film festival" not only in Baltimore, but on the whole of the Eastern Seaboard and all of us involved will do our best to live up to the expectations that have been placed upon us, now and in the future. We hope to continue to produce films worthy not only of your accolades but also of the Charm City Audiences that have embraced the movie. LETHAL FORCE has played in a number of venues and cities all over this great big world, but Baltimore will always be our favorite city with the coolest people, keenest film festivals and, of course, the best crabs in town. Thank you MicroCineFest and thank you Baltimore. We love you, dammit.“ -Alvin Ecarma, Divergent Thinking Productions.

The jury made a judgment call on another work they felt deserved recognition, Huck Botko & Andrew Gurland’s GRAMAGLIA, which was awarded "Best Mockumentary". Botko's revenge-documentaries have been a favorite of MicroCineFest audiences for many years, leaving many viewers wondering how he is able to legally get away with the pranks pulled in his films. Like Botko's previous works, GRAMAGLIA stunned and thrilled the audience, resulting in much discussion about it's authenticity. When told of their award, Botko and Gurland responded with the following written statement: "We appreciate the award for Best Mockumentary. Regretfully, we cannot accept the award, due to the fact that we do not consider our movie to be fake. Sincerely, Huck Botko and Andrew Gurland"

link to the Baltimore Sun article

link to the City Paper article

(if you took any photos, please share them)

Gorman Bechard (Hot Rod Circuit's "Flight 89") and Joseph Christoher Schaub (Tangerine Crows).

Bradley Wind and Eric Prykowski (Jungle Monkey).

Kyle Hurley & Jonathan Schultz (The Infernal Loop), Matt Sesow (A Short By Mat Sesow) and Clifford Dean Wildman (Domestic Wormholes).

Aaron Thedford (The Crab Boy), James Dean Conklin (Monkeyman Rules and Wonderman) and Rachel Max (I Was A Strip Club Virgin).

"Pull our fingers" Jay Edwards (Esta Noche We Ride!), Brian Farrelly & Jay Barba (Welcome To Purgatory and Losing Your Cherry).

Nathan Bramble (Ghost Hunters).

Alex Roper (Revolutions Per Minute and The Penis Graduation Song) and his crew, Dave Cannon (lyrics) and Virat Shukla (guitar solo).

Todd Rohal (Hillbilly Robot), Frank Siaca & Patrick Martz (Momma's Girls).

Walker Allen (The Peritoneal Surfaces Are Smooth & Glistening) and Jack Beck (Jon's Point LA).

Clifford Dean Wildman & Luis Esteban Caffesse (Domestic Wormholes) and Matthew Silver (Beware Of The Hot Dog People and Gods Of Porcelain & Plumbing).

Lucy Weismann (In The Red).

Ben Scholle (Pottersville).

J.R. Fritsch, Gwen Pfeiffer, Scott Brown, Walker Allen and Frank Siaca at the duckpin bowling party.

Jack Beck, Jay Barba, Brian Farrelly and Matthew Silver.

Frank Siaca almost knocked all those little white things down.

The Maryland Film Festival's Dan Krovich with Todd Rohal at the duckpin bowling party.

Jay Edwards and J.R. Fritsch at the duckpin bowling party.

Housing Coordinator Katie Brennan and Assistant Festival Director Jen Talbert.

Outside the American Visionary Art Museum:
Jen Talbert, Shayna Nickel, J. Greg DeFelice,
J.R. Fritsch, Andrea White and Mike White.

Frank Siaca and Patrick Martz.

The Jury: J. Greg DeFelice, Jed Orndorff, Shayna Nickel, Steve Yeager, Gabe Wardell, Mike White.

Outside The American Dime Museum: J. Greg DeFelice, Skizz Cyzyk, Frank Siaca, Patrick Martz, Erik Boring and Mike White.

Inside The American Dime Museum: MCF projection team Skizz Cyzyk and J.R. Fritsch look at some freaky stuff.

At the American Dime Museum - it's those funny card-playing squirrels. WATCH OUT!- the one on the right cheats, and the one on the left is NUTS!

Action man Eric Thornett, producer Kent Bye, and star Cash Flagg Jr. - One minute they're introducing Alvin Ecarma's Lethal Force...

...the next minute Thornett's kicking the crap out of Bye!

Kent Bye and Eric Thornett: still friends.

Scott Brown poses as a Lethal Force action figure.

Sculptor Dana Ellyn Miller, Matt Sesow, Pete Cibor, and writer Nick Kujawa.

Jen Talbert and Big Dave Cawley, King Of Men,

Mike Z and Greg Houston's "Black Dahlia" portrait.

Matthew Silver chats it up with NYUFF's Ann Marie Spina.

Frank Siaca and Patrick Martz.


back to main