From animated shorts and historical dramas, to foreign films and inspirational documentaries. The Naperville Independent Film Festival took over the Hollywood Palms Cinema from September 23rd to the 30th.
Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the festival showcased 54 films from around the world.
“We’ve been running in several countries before, though this is the first time in the U.S." said Andreas Schaap, the writer and director of the German thriller, "The Last Compartment."
"But we’ve been in China, and Britain, and other countries, but [this is our] first time in the U.S. And it’s German language so [we’re] proud – American audiences are not used to watching German films and I’m happy the feedback was as good as what it was.”
Some filmmakers travelled from across the U.S. to showcase their work, like those behind the period short, “Killed in Action”, who are from California. They returned to the festival for the movie-loving community.
“You can tell that they’re really excited about the films that we’re making and sharing that with the local community,” said producer of "Killed in Action," Matt Enlow.
“And it’s also evidence, it’s a sold-out screening at 6 o’clock on a Thursday, to get the community out there. And I feel like I’ve kept in touch with the people from Naperville from the last time and I feel like that’s special. It says something that it’s not just about, you know, some film festivals I don’t think are as personal but you feel that sort of sense that ‘they know who I am and I walked up and I recognized people.’ And that’s neat," said Christine Weatherup, the writer, director, and actor in "Killed in Action."
While some didn’t travel far, they were excited to feature their film for the first time at the festival with an audience filled with family.
“It’s especially nice to be here locally, it’s not too far from where I live and work so I had the opportunity to invite a lot of friends and family members to come and see not only my film and the other films here at the film festival. It was very exciting,” said Joshua Young, producer of the documentary "Searching for Lady Day: A Portrait of Steel."
And for those behind the curtain, the Naperville Independent Film Festival has been 10 years of loving movies and sending one message to those in Naperville…
“That there are talented people from all over the world showing their work here and we’re trying to keep the arts alive in the Midwest,” said Glessna Coisson, co-founder of the Naperville Independent Film Festival.
Following each screening was a Q & A session with producers, actors, and others involved the films of the night. And at the end of the fest, NIFFTY’s are awarded to the winners of nine different categories, along with an audience choice award.
Submissions will be accepted for the 2018 Naperville Independent Film Festival starting in November.