This year’s Amsterdam Independent Film Festival took place from the September 18 to September 20 Amsterdam’ Lab 111. Entry free, the festival focuses on niche movie production and prioritized a type of non-commercial, film production.
American actor Shai Shahar, known for his vocal talent in commercials, ad campaigns, radio jingles and animated films,introduced the main goal of the Independent Film Festival.“The aim of our organization and of this festival is to give young film-makers a venue without commercialization and to encourage young talents to emerge,” Shahar said. During the festival, Lab 111 played over 30 short films every evening from 90 countries. These films were produced by yet-to-be discovered film-makers, who explored topics of humanity. At the first sight, the films seemed perfectionized or unintelligible due to their enigmatic and sibylline speech and their unique framing and slow rhythm. At a closer look, they triggered questions about human fragility, vulnerability and essence, with its fears and apprehensions.
Despite the little publicity, the anti-mainstream project, the Independent Film Festival and its niche movies, gathered a moderate success. Participants were pleasantly surprised by the overall experience and were more than happy to come back the following festival day. “We will come tomorrow as well,” said Kristina Doe and Francesco Smith. The two visitors also appreciated the festival as the ideal start-up platform for the industry’s newcomers, “[The festival is] a young platform for young people, a nice opportunity, a chance for young people to come out,” said Doe and Smith.
The laudable aim of spreading a different and parallel vision of movies without commercialization was obtained. Overall, the Independent Film Festival put the emphasis on providing an unique and intimate experience for both the film-makers and cinephiles to embrace their passion for artistic expression together.
Feature photo: Aakash Nair
- Photographer (Fall 2018)