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November 15, 2002     Cape Gazette
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November 15, 2002

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90 E GAZET'YE, FridaNov, 15" Nov. 21', 2002 Festival brings a world of f'dm to the big screen in region More than 15,000 tickets sold during five-day event By Brldin Reynolds-Hughes Now in its fifth year, The Re- hoboth Beach Independent Film Festival continues to carve out a special niche in the Cape Region calendar by offering some of the best of the world of cinema to lo- cal audiences. Each November, the festival provides an eclectic mix of movies - some absurd and amusing, some demanding and disturbing, most first rate. Those participating in the movie marathon are taken behind closed doors, inside classified docu- ments, back to the feelings of first love and onto the grandeur of for- eign landscapes. "We really ask people to go out- side of their comfort zone and im- merse themselves in other cul- tures and look at alternative ways of viewing the world," said Joe Bilancio, program director. Bi- lancio said in addition to the main menu of movies the "Shock it to Me Cinema" series of the festival is a great example. The collection of films included those that have either earned a rabid following from decades of fans or those des- tined to be future cult flicks. "One of the best things we can hear is, 'I never would have seen that film anywhere else.' Even if they dislike it, many people are excited by the experience and di- versity," he said. This year the Rehoboth festival brought in 94 independent films including documentaries, shorts, full length features and archival films and exceeded the record 15,500 tickets sold at the 2001 festival. By Saturday afternoon, the festival was in full tilt and the addition of the "Big Tent" behind the Movies at Midway was appre- ciated. "The tent is a great im- provement to last year. Every year the festival gets better and better," said Cathin Bishop, who, with Laura Simon, holds the record for viewing the most films for five years running. "I think there is a learning curve to creating a festi- val and they are now really ahead of it," said Simon, who recalls the days of darting to and from the Rehoboth Mall Theaters to the Movies at Midway to get in the most movies. "We called it the Route One 500," laughed Bishop. Rehoboth Beach Film Society (RBFS) Development Director Sue Early was pleased with the re- action to the tent which housed the box office, merchandising and membership sign up areas, four food vendors and three bars for the Sony Lounge. "It was a the hub of activity and allowed alot of room for festival business and so- cializing. The late night happy hours were packed both nights," said Early. She said the society will try to bring the tent back in 2003. "The tent was a great alter- native to last year, but it is very expensive so we'll be looking for more sponsors for it next year," said Early. Inside, the theaters were equally packed. "As you can see by the crowds here tonight, this is the biggest Saturday ever, ever, ever," said board member Rob Rector to a full theater audience. The 46 sellouts of the weekend, 22 just on Saturday, led to movie goers se- lecting second and even fhird choices. "This may be the time you have to go outside of your neatly marked off list to select an- other film - many times that is when you find something new and are most impressed," he said. Judging from the Audience Awards, searching out the diver- sity did not disappoint the film buffs. They turned in thousands of butter stained ballots and se- lected four films with little in common besides great filmmak- ing - a Czech comedy-drama with subtitles, an intense study of war photography, a closeup on an oh- Continued on page 91 Bridln Fleynoldsd-lughu photos The 5th annual Rehoboth Beach Independent Film Festival transformed the beach into a cinematic hotbed Nov. 6 - 10. Record breaking crowds filled the Movies at Midway to enjoy the hundreds of critically acclaimed independent films. The 2002 Rehobeth Beach Film Society beard of directors honored the original founders of the five year old festival at the Opening Night Gala celebration held at the BayCenter in Dewey Beach Nov. 6. RBFS President Beth Hochholzer thanked the founders for their toilet. tive vision, hard work and love of independent film that built the foundation of the festival. Shown are (l-r) Tiffany Derrickson, Liz Delan, Rob Rector, Jill Roberts, Mariah Calagione and Lee Jones. Not shown are Barry Becker, Carl Becker, Joyce Felton, Tom and Patti Shreeve, Alex Pires and Bob Sievert. Volunteers (l-r) Terri Dun- bar and Sandra Chin, Melis- sa Clink, opening and closing party coordinator, and Sue Early, development director, take a quick moment to relax at the Opening Party. Wayne Juneau and TOm Negran stepped out in style for the Opening Gala. Shown at the Closing Party at DogFish Head Brewing & Eats are (l-r) Joseph Polecaro, in- dependent film maker, Joe Bilancio, program directo Sara McGraw; and James Gardner, vice president.