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Made In Ashland

Sunday 15 April 2012

Every year, the festival does a program of films by locals and, largely, for locals. It’s a mix of films by students in grade school through college, plus local adults, and gets some pretty unusual stuff.

This year the locals program was split into mostly adult-made and -oriented films on Monday afternoon, and the student films this morning. It’s a good time for –gets the kids out with their families, and it’s always a packed house.

There were a bunch of good films this year. A full list is available here; I’ll cover some highlights. Most of these are available on YouTube.

Don’t Eat Something If You Don’t Know What It Is: The title sounds like a lame PSA, and it is a PSA, but a rap/hip-hop one that is totally strange and fun. It juxtaposes the simple message (don’t eat foraged foods unless you know what they are) with an urban hip-hop beat, a guy in a white suit and covered in bling, with his bevy of girls and a white stretch limo. In a field. Definitely worth a look.

How Was Your Day? The film makers (students at Ashland Middle School) wanted to explore the theme of what might actually happen during their school day vs. the usual “Oh, nothing special” response that most parents get from that question. Hilarious.

Paragon Did you ever, as a child, have a crush on an adult? You probably didn’t get as thoroughly into it as does The Boy in this film. Totally cute; moms will love this.

Petrichor is the smell of fresh rain on dry soil (we learned that from the film maker). It’s a very cerebral modern dance film from a group of AHS student.

Robot Love What would happen if ordinary household appliances were able to express their emotions about us? This was a film made for a Moby music video contest.

Sometimes Students Have To Make Waves A quick and extemporaneous documentary about a group of third graders out for a walk on a frosty morning. Totally spontaneous; conceived and shot in one very quick morning, before the sun melted the morning frost.

Super Sledder Ashland is not known for its readily-available sledding weather. A local student took matters into his own hands (well, computerized animation software) to produce a virtual sledding trip that goes places no real sled could.

Tag! What are the rules of tag, really? Is there a compulsory dance sequence in between victims? And how about that whole “no tag-backs” rule–who enforces that? A really funny look at a game as old as Mankind.

The Spirit Behind Bowmer In The Park In June 2011, the main roof beam the OSF’s Bowmer Theater cracked, forcing OSF to get really, really creative about how to stage their productions until it could be repaired and the theater re-opened about eight weeks later. In the truest spirit of “the show must go on”, they started staging shows at The Armory, SOU’s theater, and the high school theater, until they could build a temporary theater in Lithia Park. This is a brief recounting of the break, immediate aftermath, and construction of the tent. To their great credit, only one performance was cancelled as a result of the break–all the others were staged as scheduled. Highly recommended for the historical look at the biggest disaster in OSF’s history.

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