The first ever Weyauwega International Film Festival will be held this fall at the George Gerold Opera House.
“We’ve been thinking about it since we bought the place,” said Kathy Fehl, who is the artistic director of the non-profit Wega Arts.
Wega Arts formed in March 2007 and purchased the opera house in July of that same year.
It’s first film festival will be held from Thursday through Saturday, Nov. 10-12.
“It will start Thursday afternoon and go through Saturday night, culminating with a party,” she said.
A weekend pass will cost $15, allowing those who purchase one to see as many movies as they want over the course of the three days. There will also be day passes.
The film festival will include narrative features, narrative shorts, documentary features and documentary shorts.
Most of the movies that will be shown will be new movies.
Already, more than 30 films have been submitted to Wega Arts.
Those movies have come from right here in Wisconsin and as far away as Iran and Vietnam.
Wega Arts is using the International Movie Database service to get submissions.
In addition to showing a variety of films, Wega Arts will also show parts of short films that have been featured in Appleton’s annual Wildwood Film Festival.
Held each spring, the festival features projects that have direct ties to Wisconsin.
“It’s been going on for 10 years,” Fehl said. “They are putting together a group of what is ‘their best of 10 years.'”
Waupaca native Dan Davies may be attending Weyauwega’s film festival – if he is not filming on location. Davies will be in the western “Slade,” an upcoming project of Academy Awards winner Michael Blake (“Dances with Wolves”).
One film Wega Arts will show in its festival that is not a new film is “Primary.”
Produced by Robert Drew, with filmmakers Ricky Leacock, D.A. Pennebaker and Alfred Maysles, “Primary” is a documentary film about the 1960 Wisconsin Primary election between John F. Kennedy and Hubert Humphrey for the U.S. Democratic Party nomination for president of the United States.
This same film-making team also made the 1968 concert film “Monterey Pop.” They are known for being innovative in the documentary film world.
Wega Arts is renting the film from Drew Associates. “I was able to contact Drew Associates to arrange to screen ‘Primary,'” Fehl said.
With the presidential election a little more than a year from now, she said, “People will be able to compare the politics of then and now.”
Wega Arts might also include a late-night screening of an old movie.
As for its film festival, prizes will be awarded in each of the four categories.
To submit a film for consideration, visit the organization’s website at www.wegaarts.org.
Wega Arts received a grant from the Waupaca Community Foundation for this event. They hope and plan to make more movies. Their first was “Getting to the Bottom of Lake Weyauwega,” a documentary that included the involvement of local students.
“We hope to make this an annual event, which will grow and grow,” Fehl said of the upcoming film festival. “We’re very excited.”