Starting Thursday, the latest edition of the Hi Mom! Film Festival will get underway in locations around Chapel Hill and Carrboro. As always, "fat cats" are most definitely not allowed in this festival that celebrates the work of DIY filmmakers from around the world.
Thursday night's opening festivities at the Carrboro ArtsCenter will honor the work of animator Bill Plympton, whose credits include such fare as Can't Drag Race With Jesus, The Exciting Life of a Tree and the very enticingly titled Sex and Violence. We're not sure which of his dozens of films we'll see, but he has promised to show clips from a work in progress called Hair High, a film he likens to Carrie. Plympton will be on hand to discuss his work.
Although the films will be coming from all corners of the earth, the organizers have taken care to showcase the work of local filmmakers. At Friday night's outdoor screening in the Rosemary Street parking deck, Durham filmmaker Julie Sink will be showing a MiniDV short called Father Cathie. Later that evening, Chapel Hill's Francesca Talenti will screen The Planets, her 2003 Sundance selection, in the 35mm program set for midnight Friday at Chapel Hill's Carolina Theater. Fellow Chapel Hillian Khang Mai, a Hi Mom! organizer and prolific filmmaking veteran at age 24, will show his latest project, As the Nation Waits, which recently played at Cucalorus film festival in Wilmington. Elsewhere on the same program, Carrboro's Elena Oxman will show K-Mart Confidential, a short that had a successful screening as Ms. Films in February.
On Saturday afternoon, there's a very promising program featuring work by some of the area's celebrated alumni filmmakers, in a series titled "Attack of the 50-Foot Reels." Curated by Flicker founder Norwood Cheek, the title refers to the length of a single roll of Super-8 film, and 15 filmmakers contributed single-reel films to this enterprise, including Peyton Reed, the one-time Raleigh resident who's been pretty busy in Hollywood these last few years.
Although the Hi Mom! planners have put together a formidable film lineup, they haven't forgotten to book the bands: Thursday night, it's Jennyanykind, and on Saturday, Portastatic will bring this year's festival to a close.
For more information, go online to www.himomfilmfest.org, where $15 passes can be purchased.