Last night the Dallas VideoFest concluded a fun and entertaining four day run.
I was able to catch the suspense-filled documentary ERASING DAVID and the closing night event that is the TEXAS SHOWCASE.
The name Bond is pretty well known for espionage and kicking ass. David Bond is not like that fictional Bond fella. Instead the normal Englishman husband and father is wrapped up in a struggle for his identity in ERASING DAVID. In fact, David decides to buck the system and go “off the grid”. David is hoping to find out what the government and private companies know about him and his family. It is shocking and scary to witness the information that is out their on this normal everyday man. The film is told from his perspective as he goes on the lam and also from the perspective of two detectives “hunting” for David. The race is on to see how long David can allude the detectives. And to think this project’s inspiration came from a simple letter.
“When David Bond receives a letter informing him that his daughter Ivy is among 25 million residents whose details have been lost by the government’s Child Benefit Office, he begins a journey that will see him hounded across Europe.”.
The award-winning David Bond and his GOLDEN LIONS partner Ashley Jones have created a documentary that mixes the elements of a James Bond thriller with the basic fears of losing one’s identity.
The most powerful moments are when David visits two victims of misinformation. A young teenager that is forever associated with criminal activity because her name and date of birth are close to another young lady who is a criminal. Or a gentleman who is jobless and humiliated after being connected to child prostitution because his credit card was stolen and used by child pornagraphers.
The other wonderful moments in the film revolve around David’s lovely wife and baby girl Ivy. Ultimately it is his love of his family that has him “lose” to the detectives and get caught. This film is not for the overly paranoid because it will fulfill your fears!! If you’re able to get past that paranoid mind-set then I highly recommend this haunting story of how technology has quickly killed our notion of privacy. Be aware of what you are doing, because “THEY” are watching.
The closing night showcase every year at the Dallas VideoFest is the Texas Show. This year’s show had 9 short films done by Texas filmmakers and was about a vast array of subject matter.
A few of the filmmakers were in attendance and talked about their films. I’ll let each of the three explain their films.
(Luu Brothers, Bart Weiss, Ya’Ke Smith, and Jared Scheib)
Award-winning director Ya’Ke Smith made the film KATRINA’S SON.
Ya’ke talks about working with his young talent, Herman Whittney III (Tre) who plays Ed in the film.
This is a powerful short film about the horror of a child left-behind and Ya’ke Smith’s talent and passion come out strongly. Ya’ke took home the award for best short of the Texas Showcase and it joins a slew of awards the talented UT ARLINGTON assistant professor has amassed over the years.
From Ya’ke’s website – “He just completed production on a documentary entitled Father and is fundraising for his debut feature, which he plans to shoot in the near future. ” Can’t Wait to see more from this talented filmmaker.
The Luu Brothers, Kevin and Daniel, made the film BALROG 24/7.
The film is a music video for the band MAN FACTORY (Grand Prairie based) told through a 4th grade elementary school play. The students decided to do an unique play based on the hit game ‘Street Fighter’. Kevin explains how the project came about.
The brothers re-iterate Ya’Ke’s advice about working with young children.
This film is funny, well made and a great sign of the talents of this brother directing duo.
Another talented young filmmaker, Jared Scheib, is a recent grad of USC’s film program and his film LIFE’S WALTZ has a funny inspiration.
The film has a wonderfully fun and loving fill to its mood. This mood though does become emotional when the film’s subjects discuss death and the loved ones and friends they’ve lost over the years. One of the main characters in the film was actually a late addition to the film and changed the scope of Jared’s whole idea.
Jared just completed a feature film based on a “swinger” living it up in a retirement community and we’ll here much more from this recent USC grad.
All three of these film makers and the other 6 directors all made great shorts. In particular I was blown away by Nazanin Shirazi’s RED WEDNESDAY.
This is a powerful narrative short that focuses on a 9 year-old Iranian-American girl, Sholeh.
The 9 short film showcase is available by dvd and is well worth your time. Contact Dallas VideoFest on their website for more details.
Another wonderful Dallas VideoFest, can’t wait for next year’s festival!!!