Boonies Film Festival set in August

The Boonies International Film Festival will return on Aug. 14-17.

There will be four days of movies from around the world, showing at five downtown venues Warren Public Library, Cambridge Warren, Allegheny Outfitters, The Blair Museum, and Struthers Library Theater.

The Boonies 2013 will honor and spotlight the films of Kevin Jerome Everson. All of the films and workshop attendance are free to the public. In 2011, the first year for the event, more than 60 independent filmmaker movies from a dozen countries were screened.

There will be seven categories this year with cash awards. Best Feature will earn $500; Best Short film, $250; Best Actor, $250; Best Music Video, $250; Audience Choice $250; Junior High and under, $250; and High School, $250. Filmmakers may submit their entries online at “http://www.withoutabox.com”>www.withoutabox.com.

In order to keep the events free, the festival has initiated the Support the Idea Campaign. The organization feels that paying to travel to and stay in Warren, is enough of a cost, and hopes to offset the costs of running the events through donations. Since it accepts donations year-round, people can participate for free, and then decide whether or not to make a donation. To make a donation by mail, the address is The Boonies International, PO Box 365, Warren, Pa. 16365. Online donations may be made through Pay Pal by clicking on the donate tab on the website www.thebooniesinternational.com.

Additionally, people can support the festival through the social websites Facebook and Twitter, or signing up for the weekly newsletter “Covo Around Campfire.” Volunteers are needed before and during the festival.Asked how many volunteers were needed, Executive Director Jeff Clark said, “We had about 30 two years ago, but we will need more this year, mostly during the days of the festival, and usually for short periods of time – not all day.” To find how to volunteer and what is involved, contact Clark at jeffc@thebooniesinternational.com.

The workshops could include acting, directing, methods of working a camera, and different levels of filmmaking. For others, Clark added, “I can’t tell you who yet, because it’s not signed in ink, but companies involved in phone service could show new technologies and products, camera and sound companies could demonstrate products, and there would be things to look at and see during scheduled presentations.”

Clark estimated visitors to the 2011 festival at almost 1,500, with possibly a couple hundred from out of town, or even more if Jamestown, N.Y., and other surrounding areas are included. He said, “We surely learned a lot from 2011, but we will be sticking to the same for at this year. We are very proud of the jury to judge features and short films, and will be announcing the judges for music videos in the future.”

The sponsors for 2013 include Volt Vision, Inc.; The Horton House Bed and Breakfast; the Joseph Glarner Group Production Studio and After Dark Entertainment; and Ring Around-A-Rosie florist. The festival is always looking to add sponsors, Clark added.

The organization’s mission statement is: “The Boonies, Inc. organized as a 501(C)(3) non-profit corporation, is created to support, educate and promote independent filmmakers of all ages, as well as promote Northwestern Pennsylvania’s location and natural resources to the film industry. To that end, The Boonies will utilize film, visual arts, music and the newest and experimental technologies to enhance the experience of students, filmmakers and audiences.”