Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Movie Preview: JUMP

(For the radio version, please click here).

Full disclosure: I am an intermittent submitter of short films to the Juneau Underground Motion Picture, or JUMP, Society biannual festival of short films This includes the festival occurring this weekend. But I want to push self interest aside and spend my allotted three minutes here on KTOO and KXLL to sing the praises of JUMP and encourage your support and attendance of the festival.

Over eight years, 16 festivals, and nearly 350 films, the folks of JUMP – Pat Race, Aaron Suring, and Lou Logan – have provided a creative outlet for Juneau filmmakers. The festival allows Juneau filmmakers an opportunity to hone their skills in front of a supportive, sometimes irrationally enthusiastic, crowd.

The JUMP society will air any submitted film that is under ten minutes and has a strong Juneau connection. This is a brave and trusting philosophy. You never know what you’re going to get and you may have to sit through something painful. Like, something made by me. But like Folkfest, if you can hold out for a few more minutes, there is always hope and promise in the next act. As the years have progressed, the ratio of painful to enjoyable films has decreased dramatically. Every festival has a number of “Wow!” moments. As local filmmakers improve their craft and technology advances allowing evermore sophistication, the quality of JUMP shorts is increasingly outstanding. Juneau is getting good at making films. Very good.

For that, thank the JUMP Society and their generous attitude toward submittals.

Nearly every past festival showing has occurred at the Silverbow Baker and Inn. Bless them and their yummy bagels for their consistent support of good film in Juneau. This weekend’s festival however will occur at our beloved Gold Town Nickelodeon, ground zero for independent and foreign film in Juneau. I look forward to seeing the shorts on a large screen. If you’ve never been to Gold Town, take this opportunity to experience the crowning shiny nugget of quality cinema in Juneau.

When you come in, there is often a jar for donations to the JUMP Society. The money is used to rent space, buy equipment, and otherwise provide an audience with a quality show. Give. Give as much as you can. For years, Pat, Lou, and Aaron have provided this festival on a shoestring and a bit of luck. They deserve our thanks and appreciation. They are not paid. There are no Hollywood producers to snap up the rights to their, or anybody’s, short. The efforts JUMP and Juneau filmmakers derive from love of the craft and our community. And how fun to have what was once a small curiosity on a Friday night morph into a Juneau arts institution.

The JUMP Society festival of shorts will show this weekend at our beloved Gold Town Nickelodeon Thursday, January 28th – 7:00pm, Friday, January 29th – 7:00pm with a 21 and older show at 9:00pm, Saturday, January 30th – 7:00pm, also with a 21 and older show at 9:00pm. Then, there will be one last showing at the UAS Egan Lecture Hall on Friday, February 5th at 7:00pm. This is Clint Farr, Alone at the Movies.

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