Local Film Works – Review by Greg Cantrell

Urban Legend – Denny Dey (New Digital Pathways)
The Interrogation – Jesse Mack (LaMal Mack Studios)
Old School – Harvey Williams (Melting Pot Films)
Bout it – Stinson McLendon (Baby E Films)

Review by Greg Cantrell

Local Film Works is an amalgam of four very different short films of varying genres, and is, in fact, an active collaboration by four writer/directors with a message. To try to write a “true” review of each of these different films in the allotted space would be a disservice to the reader as well as to the Fringe Festival itself. These very talented writer/directors have done their best to deliver intriguing, engaging messages that are impactful and tantalizing.

BOUT IT – Explores the ways that today’s artists tackle the social and economic problems of a trouble-plagued nation. Through interviews with artists representing diverse backgrounds and genres, director and producer Stinson McClendon analyzes how they effectively use art to inspire those who might make a lasting and resounding impact.

THE INTERROGATION – is about a black suspect that is under arrest and being interrogated, who no longer thinks he is just a suspect, but that his very his survival is being threatened.

URBAN LEGENDS – is a compilation of three shorts presenting new urban legends using KC actors and shot locally. These “noir-ish” shorts shot in black and white are suspenseful and engrossing.

OLD SCHOOL – is a “long” short film adapted from the stage that focuses on a “fixture” in a black community that is always preaching to someone, trying to prevent them from making the same mistakes he has made. This film features multi-generational drama focusing on the issues of estrangement, family values, and breaking the cycles that can inhabit the black community.

These writer/directors produced these work-in-progress films to highlight the talent found in KC and are intended to be both intriguing to the audience as well as to those that might have the resources to invest in further development of KC film-making. Harvey Williams, Old School director, commented that “…KC theater doesn’t have a platform for minority voices” and these directors want to produce locally versus cities such as LA, Atlanta, etc. These shorts accomplished their mission and should be an encouragement to the KC creative community that local film-making has a very bright future indeed.