The Louisville Film Society’s tenth annual Flyover Film Festival adds a new dimension—and a week of must-attend screenings— to our city’s local arts scene. LFS Director Soozie Eastman takes ten to talk about the significance of this signature event to our passionate film community.
TOPS: How has the festival evolved?
SE: This is my fifth year with the festival and it’s been really fun to see it grow. Last year our entire week of screenings was sold out. We started as a weekend fest then joined with IdeaFestival for two years and now are in our third year of having week-long programming of screenings and parties that has attracted larger audiences.
TOPS: Explain the importance of having a film festival for Louisville and for Louisville filmmakers.
SE: Our community is hugely supportive of the arts – just look at our flourishing Orchestra, ballet, KMAC, Actors Theater. When we have a successful film festival, it shines a light on visual storytelling as yet another art form that our filmmakers, our film crews – do exceptionally well. Additionally, the festival brings together film lovers and creators for networking.
TOPS: What would you say are some of the success stories in the Festival’s history?
SE: Last year’s sold out screenings for Beauty Mark and And Then I Go were incredibly special. We premiered both of these at the KY Center and each screening had well over 550 people in attendance. Before each screening, I asked for crew from the film and crew from the community to stand up. There were so many people connected to the local film industry that joined us and the rousing applause from the rest of the audience was incredibly gratifying.
FLYOVER 2018 FILMS
This year’s lineup includes: Science Fair, a documentary based on Manual High School students and directed by Cristina Costantini and Darren Foster that was a Festival Favorite Award Winner at Sundance Film Festival. In Our Bones, a documentary directed by Kentuckian Alex Kimura, based on an inspiring tale of a young woman from Kentucky with a terminal bone marrow disease. City of Ali, directed by Graham Shelby; made in Louisville about Louisville by Louisvillians. Ditch the Van, directed by Mallory Cunningham and Kyle Romanek. It’s a reflective short film on musician Ben Sollee’s music tours
TOPS: What does the end of filmmaking incentives mean to Louisville filmmakers and to Louisville as a location city?
SE: There is a huge misconception about what has happened recently with the film tax incentives. As many people know, policies ebb and flow, and our incentives are no different. We had incredible legislation pass in 2015 and that has slightly changed this year. Two things are important to note. First, legislation can and does change every year. The cap that was created for applications was made this year but next year there is another session and a different piece of legislation can change things. That is why it is hugely important that voters who support our filmmakers being able to stay in Kentucky to maintain their full-time jobs in the rapidly-growing film industry share that with our politicians. Secondly, we have over $300 million dollars in productions that have been approved for incentives that have three years to begin filming. It’s important we don’t spread the word that the incentive is gone.
IF YOU GO
The Louisville Film Society Flyover Film Festival runs from July 22 through July 27 at Speed Cinema and The Kentucky Center for the Arts. Tickets and screening schedules are available at louisvillefilmsociety.org