MicroCineFest 2005 wraps, audience award winners announced.

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The 2005 edition of MicroCineFest, Baltimore’s underground film festival, took place Friday, November 11 through Sunday, November 13. For the ninth 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. MCF 2005 was a scaled down version of the festival compared to previous years, with fewer days, films, screenings, and seats.

The festival kicked off on Friday, November 11, with a pre-screning crisis. The expected Falls Road construction just south of The G-Spot had unexpectedly moved to just north of The G-Spot, cutting off access between the venue and the nearest available parking on Chestnut Avenue. When calls to the City yielded no results, the construction gates were eventually mysteriously opened in time for audience members to arrive. Technically everyone who crossed the construction site broke the law in order to watch the films. That's dedication for you!

Over three days, 45 films screened, with many represented in person by their respective filmmakers and/or cast, including tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE (STORY OF A FRUCTIFEROUS SOCIETY), Charlie Cline (ARCHIVE: THE CHANGING WORLD OF FILM and FARMER BROWN), Nick Prevas (representing Tanner Almon's SODA POP COUGH DROP, METHOD FOR SELF-DEFENSE AGAINST SCORPIONS, and NOMAR NO. 3), Blake Myers (DESTROY ALL ROBOTS), Nikc Miller (ROBOT-TUSSIN), Chuck Porterfield & Sass Parilla The Singing Gorilla (THE ADVENTURES OF SASS PARILLA THE SINGING GORILLA), and Ben Jurin & Jane Rose (WHY MUST I BE A ZOMBIE IN LOVE?). Also seen in attendance were CAmm's Kristen Anchor, Citizen Rahne Alexander, Leanna Chamish (star of recent Don Dohler films), Oddio Overplay's Katyana, SpoonPopkin and Dan Van Allen, Theresa Duggan & percussionist extraordinaire Bob Wagner, Baltimore cultural scene fixtures David Yaffe, David Martin and Charles Johnson, plus festival alum Bump, Alex Roper, Todd Rohal, Keenan Williams, and Bardot.

Friday's screenings began with the "Get With The Concept" Shorts Program, a collection of thought-provoking short films that rated very high with the audience; four of the top ten audience-rated shorts were part of this program. The evening concluded with the long awaited Baltimore return of tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE, presenting his 48th feature, STORY OF A FRUCTIFEROUS SOCIETY. tENT was on hand to discuss his film with audience members, and he also shared his collection of rubber stamps that appear in the film.

Saturday's screenings kicked off with Lowell Mason's classic cult film, NIGHT OF THE DAY OF THE DAWN OF THE SON OF THE BRIDE OF THE RETURN OF THE REVENGE OF THE TERROR OF THE ATTACK OF THE EVIL MUTANT HELLBOUND FLESH EATING SUBHUMANOID LIVING DEAD, PART II, which generated a consistent hour and a half worth of giggles from the audience. Up next was the Comedy Shorts program, which screened to a sold-out, standing room only crowd. The giggles progressed to guffaws.

"If you love robots and flying saucers as much as I do, you're going to love this next program," said festival director, Skizz Cyzyk while introducing the next program. The "That's Psychotronic" Shorts Program was all that and more. Besides robots and flying saucers, the program had it's share of alien squids, zombie ghouls, walking skeletons, and a singing blue gorilla. The program concluded with a surprise secret film, which will remain a secret to all but those who attended, because the film has not yet had it's official premiere. The post-screening Q& A concluded with another surprise when Sass Parilla The Singing Gorilla was asked to sing some songs. Quickly picking up a nearby stand-up bass, Sass Parilla launched into a set of music ranging from Al Green to new wave classics that brought the house down and ended the evening with many smiles.

On Sunday, festival staff treated visiting filmmakers to breakfast and a duckpin bowling party. Sunday's screenings consisted of the Narrative Shorts program and Josh Rubin & Jeremy Lubin's Wild Man Fischer documentary feature, DERAILROADED.

MicroCineFest 2005 wrapped on Sunday, November 13, with a very informal awards ceremony. Festival director, Skizz Cyzyk, announced the Audience Choice Awards, before rescreening some of the films with the highest scores determined by the audience ballots. The Audience Choice Awards are as follows:

Audience Choice Awards -
Audience Choice Best Short: USO JUSTO (Coleman Miller)
Audience Choice Best Feature: DERAILROADED: INSIDE THE MIND OF LARRY "WILD MAN" FISCHER (Josh Rubin & Jeremy Lubin)

Other films rescreened on closing night included OEDIPUS (Jason Wishnow), SPAM LETTER + GOOGLE IMAGE SEARCH = VIDEO ENTERTAINMENT (Andre Silva), OH MY GOD (John Bryant), SPAM KU (Steve Tsuchida), and JOYRIDE (John Cernak). Two other highest scored films were not rescreened due to time constraints. They were YEAR OF THE SCAPEGOAT (Ross Novie) and HAVE YOU SEEN THIS MAN? (Ryan Fleck & Anna Boden).

While it was not the festival's intention to have juried awards at MCF 2005, after the festival wrapped, several of the usual jurors (Cashiers Du Cinemart's Mike White, Go Metric!'s Mike Faloon, writer Nick Kujawa, film buff Jed Orndorff) had seen all the films and wanted to deliberate on them anyway. The Judges Special Recognition "Way Cool" Awards are as follows:

The Judges Special Recognition "Way Cool" Awards:

Best Narrative Short: YEAR OF THE SCAPEGOAT (Ross Novie)
Best Comedy Short: OH MY GOD (John Bryant)
Best Musical: DELIVERANCE: THE MUSICAL (David Fickas)
Best Animated Short: EGG (Benh Zeitlin)
Best Experimental Short: USO JUSTO (Coleman Miller)

"Violators Will Be Prosecuted": The City of Baltimore decided to make it both impossible and illegal for people to get to MicroCineFest 2005. A pair of wire cutters and an audience of "violators" put an end to the city's plan. No one was prosecuted. No one got hurt.

tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE explaining the significance of his amusing rubber stamps, seen in STORY OF A FRUCTIFEROUS SOCIETY.

tENT answering questions from the audience.

tENT invites audience members to the front of the room to rubber stamp whatever they felt like stamping.

Charlie Cline (ARCHIVE and FARMER BROWN) answers questions about Super8 home developing.

Nick Prevas, a filmmaker himself, was on hand to represent Tanner Almon's SODA POP COUGH DROP, NOMAR NO. 3 and METHODS FOR SELF-DEFENSE AGAINST SCORPIONS

Former professional wrestler, Chuck Porterfield (THE ADVENTURES OF SASS PARILLA THE SINGING GORILLA), with Blake Myers (DESTROY ALL ROBOTS) and Sass Parilla (The Singing Gorilla). In the back are Ben Jurin and Jane Rose (WHY MUST I BE A ZOMBIE IN LOVE), and the parents of the festival director.


Sass Parilla surprises the audience with a short set of tunes, including Mexican Radio, White Wedding, Rio, I Wanna Be Sedated, Freedom Of Choice, Let's Stay Together, and a couple of originals including The Double Axe-Handle Of Love.

Katyana from Oddio Overplay and Bump from Defective Records on hand to see all the robots and flying saucers in the "That's Psychotronic!" shorts program.

Director Ben Jurin and actress Jane Rose (WHY MUST I BE A ZOMBIE IN LOVE).

MCF staffers Katie Brennan and Kristen Wentzel.

Prominent 7" liner notes writer, zine editor, and frequent MCF juror Mike Faloon (Go Metric! and Zisk) and Big Dave Cawley, King of Men, enjoy Sass Parilla's musical act. In the back is Paul Kelly, who provided Sass with a stand up bass so that Sass didn't have to fly in from Atlanta with his own. Thanks Paul!!!

Cashiers Du Cinemart editor and frequent MCF juror Mike White, also enjoying Sass Parilla's set.

Blake Myers (DESTROY ALL ROBOTS) and Sass Parilla, The Singing Gorilla.

MCF staffer Katie Brennan with Baltimore film scene fixture, Mr. Charles Johnson

Like a world summit for kings, the meeting between Sass Parilla and Big Dave Cawley will go down in history. To paraphrase Mike Faloon: "Only Dave Cawley can turn a guy in a blue gorilla suit into the straightman."

MCF staffer Gwen Pfieffer takes the tickets that result in many happy door prize winners.

At MicroCineFest's annual duckpin bowling party.

Atlanta's Jeff List (the voice of Mechasassparilla) and Blake Myers. "He didn't pick up the '7-10' split, but he got a split nevertheless".

Ben Jurin, Jeff List, frequent MCF juror Nick Kujawa, and MCF co-director Jen Talbert.

Left to right: frequent MCF juror Jed Ordorff, Bree Dale, Jane Rose, Ben Jurin, Jeff List, Jen Talbert, Chuck Porterfield, and Nick Kujawa.

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