Glovebox Short Film and Animation Festival: Unabashedly Artsy
Written by K. Correia | Posted by: NewEnglandFilm.com
Glovebox is a non-profit organization that exhibits artists work in diverse ways, in and around the Boston area. Since 2007, the organization, which was founded by friends, Jodie Baehre McMenamin and Liz Comperchio, has hosted dozens of art exhibitions, fundraisers, and community sponsored art events to promote collaboration between the community and the artist in addition to bringing art awareness to the public.
In 2011, Glovebox extended its exhibition of the arts to include film and established a film festival. The initial festival showcased 60 films at the Somerville Theatre. Now in its third year, the festival has expanded to the Regent Theatre in Arlington, ‘sticking to the community theatre but offering more seats to our guests,” says co-founder Jodie Baehre McMenamin.
McMenamin filled us in on Glovebox and its upcoming Short Film and Animation Festival.
K.Correia: How did the film festival aspect of the organization first come about?
Jodie Baehre McMenamin: The Glovebox Short Film and Animation Festival started with inspiration from Sala Mont Juic open air film festival in Barcelona, Spain.
I traveled to the Spanish city in 2010 studying international arts organizations. After a panel discussion with the creators of Sala Mont Juic, I brought the core idea of the festival back to Boston and shared the concept with Liz Comperchio. I was enchanted with the idea that a festival could bring together such a diverse population to share in the cultural arts. Knowing next to nothing about film, we both just threw up our hands and said – why not? – How hard could it be?
We clearly didn’t understand how much work we were about to unfurl upon ourselves. We originally wanted the Glovebox festival to be more similar to the Barcelona open-air festival, having the films be exhibited outdoors. I grew up in Buffalo, NY where there was 2 drive-in theatres that provided much entertainment during the summers. Now they have been torn-down and it is quite sad. With more and more of these drive-ins becoming a dying breed of dinosaurs, I felt that we needed to do an outdoor festival as a way to sort of ‘save the drive-ins,’ however the red-tape and city-guidelines as well as funding provided a significant change of plans. An open-air concept wasn’t in the cards for the first festival. We decided to then focus our efforts on having the festival in a grass-roots community theatre. The 50-seat Somerville Theatre was a perfect spot.
The first Glovebox Short Film & animation Festival garnered attention from over 50 northeast artists, including Boston, Cambridge, Somerville and New York City artists, and the local press. Over 500 people came to see the 20 minute or less films and animations. The inaugural festival was sponsored by the Weekly Dig and the Somerville Theatre.
We still aim to hold an open-air festival somewhere down the road or maybe even take the festival on the road and showcase them at remaining drive-in theatres. A dream perhaps, but hey you never know.
KC: How are films selected for the festival and who has the final say on the selection?
JBM: The films are selected by a panel of 4-8 jury members from across the United States that are well respected and professionals in their field. The jury members not only consist of filmmakers and film critics but also artists, producers, and writers.
All film applicants are juried with three criteria in mind:
1. Concept: overall and communication of (5 points)
2. Creative ability: talent (5 points)
3. Artistic quality: execution of idea (5 points)
The films then receive a final score out of 15 from each jury member. The scores from each jury member are added together for each film and divided by the number of jury members for the final score. The Glovebox staff take the top scores for the festival.
KC: What are some of the community outreach programs undertaken by the Glovebox organization?
JBM: Specifically for the 2013 Film Festival we are offering a Free family section (PG films) at 2 pm at the Regent Theatre. We hope that a family of four can enjoy an afternoon together without having to worry if it’s going to break the bank. These are fun and whimsical shorts that are suitable for the little ones.
KC: What do you hope audience members will take away with them after seeing the films and attending the festival?
JBM: Our festival provides an arena for art films to be unabashedly artsy and commended for being so. To come and see everything from dance films and animations, to fine art films and zombie massacre films is quite unheard of in the festival realm.
We hope people will walk away knowing that we do things a bit outside the box. Also, if folks are thinking about the films the next morning when they wake up, that is always a good sign. We want to stir up some good conversation.
For additional information and screening schedules for The Glovebox Short Film and Animation Festival see http://glvbx.com