Fresno’s favorite low- (or no) budget film festival, Swede Fest, returns to the Tower Theatre 6 p.m. May 19. For those not familiar, this is the only film festival dedicated to sweded films. A “sweded” film is a summarized recreation of a Hollywood movie using friends as actors (and directors and camera people). Homemade props and costumes are also encouraged. This will be the festival’s 11th installment.
Before the festival, Fresno Filmworks will present a special screening of “Be Kind Rewind,” the 2008 film that inspired the whole “sweding” movement. Tickets are $5 and are available in advance at the Tower Theatre box office or the Filmworks website. Admission to Swede Fest is free.
If you are interest in submitting a film, entries are being accepted through May 13. You have until 11:59 p.m. Films should be under four minutes in length and suitable for all ages. Contact organizers for more information on the event, rules for submission or to see entries from past Swede Fests.
Fresno’s creative community got a little boost this morning thanks to NPR (National Public Radio), who ran a segment on Swede Fest, our local festival for movie parodies.
We’ve covered Swede Fest pretty extensively on the Beehive, but for those who may not know, the festival was started by Dumb Drum’s Roque Rodriguez and Bryan Harley, who put the free event on twice a year. Wannabe moviemakers and film buffs (myself included) reshoot scenes from their favorite Hollywood movies and TV shows, and those four- to five-minute films are shown at the festival. Until recently, Fresno’s Swede Fest was the only festival for sweded films, but that changed in October when Swede Fest Tampa, started by former Beehive blogger Will Albritton, took place.
The name “swede” comes from the movie Be Kind Rewind directed by Michel Gondry. NPR asked Gondry what he thinks about the genre of sweding and the festival that was inspired by his film. You can listen to the interview, which also includes sound bites from co-founder Bryan Harley and my Scott Pilgrim vs the World swede (shameless promotion!), here.
In the last couple of months, Swede Fest has garnered more and more notice thanks to Dumb Drum’s Avengers swede getting covered extensively on TV and the Internet. NPR’s segment is the latest feature on the local festival, though it surely won’t be the last.
UPDATE, 10/20: Apparently “The Avengers: Sweded” will be on tonight’s “Attack of the Show” on G4 at 7 p.m. Yesterday the show’s Twitter account linked to the Swede.
UPDATE, 10/20: “The Avengers: Sweded” is officially a viral hit with over 88,588 views since yesterday. It’s since been picked up by Laughing Squid, MTV SplashPage and the Yahoo! Movies blog. On top of that, the Swede Fest Twitter feed just announced that the Swede is the fourth most popular video “around the web” on YouTube’s charts for Film and Animation, and it was even seen by one of the producers of the movie The Avengers.
Can’t wait to see how much farther this video goes.
Original, 10/19: This is a friendly reminder that Swede Fest 8 submissions are due November 1. You’ve been working on yours, right?
To encourage you to get going, the guys at Dumb Drum put together and released their Swede early. Check out their version of the newly released trailer for Marvel’s The Avengers, due in theaters May 2012:
If you’re looking for more inspiration, check out the Swede Fest page, which has submission rules and links to entries from the previous seven events.
1. ENJOY SPRING WHILE IT LASTS
Since this is Fresno and it could be 100 degrees by next weekend, enjoy our “spring” as long as you can. One thing to do in that vein is Saturday’s Spring Fling — it’s a new party with a Springtini-type approach. There’s food, drinks, a fashion show and live music. Notably: Shiver Fox is playing its first gig back at home since playing SXSW and spending a few months recording in Nashville.
You remember what sweding is all about, right? You recreate your favorite movie scene or trailer using whatever video camera you have, and whatever low-budget props and costumes you have on hand. Submissions are then shown at a film festival called Swede Fest.
This year’s festival will take place Saturday, May 8, at Starline in the Tower District. It’s free and open to all ages, so if you’re too embarrassed to film yourself reenacting the finale of “Jaws” in your bathtub, get your kids to do it.
DVD submissions are due Monday, May 3, so get cracking. Details can be found here, and past entries can be found here.
After the jump I’ve included a couple of my favorite Swedes from Swede Fests past, plus “Ferris Bueller,” the Swede I made for Swede Fest 4 (which is my way of showing that if I can do it, you can, too).
The idea of having to sit through the work of a group of amateur filmmakers seemed like a punishment. Generally, these short projects tend to lack originality as the filmmakers just copy their directing influences or write scripts only they find interesting. The two longer form presentations at the Rogue Film Festival about a suicide attempt and a swede of “Steel Magnolias” do little to dispel those thoughts.
What makes this a must see event are the 12 short political remix films. These satirical snippets take footage from news reports, TV broadcasts and films and twists them into smart and funny political jabs. Its similar to the work Michael Moore was doing when he still had a filmmaking hunger. The shorts touch on topics such as water conservation, oil, war and politics. The filmmakers deliver their political punches with such finesse you won’t see them coming until they slap you in the face.
I’m pretty psyched about Saturday’s Swede Fest. I’ve heard a couple secrets about swedes that will be screened. I’m not going to leak those, because it’s all meant to be a surprise — but let me just say, this sounds like the most awesome Swede Fest yet.
You might have even seen Fresno’s Swede heroes, Brodiemash and Bryan, on KMPH’s “Great Day” this morning. Hopefully there’s a big turnout for this Fresno original.
The Beehive, of course, wants you to be at the Swede Fest on Saturday, so we’re trying to hook you up with a chance to get in for free. Details and official rules after the jump …
This weekend while you’ve got your Halloween costume out, you might want to think about making a Swede.
Don’t know what that is? Read all about it here (hint: it has nothing to do with Kingsburg). Basically, it’s a fun excuse to get together with your friends and pay homage to your favorite movie or television show — like you used to do when you were a kid.
Anyone can do it. It takes little time and less money. Most importantly, you get to show off your Swede at SwedeFest 4, taking place at 5 p.m. Saturday, November 7 at Starline.
Check out some of the Swedes your fellow Fresnans have created, from movies and shows like The Princess Bride, Signs, Raiders of the Lost Ark, La Bamba and “The Office,” here.
If you’re still not convinced to make your own Swede, come out and watch the efforts of others. It promises to be a fun time (Starline has a bar), and it’s a FREE EVENT. All ages, too.
It’s all the local news and stuff from the blogosphere that you need to Fres-Know to become a better Fres-Knan.
BE ACTIVE: Still pissed about the passing of Prop 8? A Restoring Equality in 2010 kickoff and informational meeting will take place tonight at 6:30 p.m. at California State University, Fresno. [Queer Fresno]
BE HEARD: The third community meeting for the Tower District Streetscape Master Plan project will be held at 11 a.m. this Saturday at Landmark. Be there or be square. Not circle. As in: proposed traffic circles on Olive Ave. [Arc Hop]
BE CREATIVE: SwedeFest 4 is on the horizon. Better pick out your source movie before all the good ones are taken (read: “Jennifer’s Body”). [The Dumb]
BE CHARITABLE: Are you a fan of video games? How about of keeping children alive and healthy? You’re just the person the Married Gamers are looking for to help them raise money for a cure for pediatric cancer. [The Married Gamers]
BE NEIGHBORLY: A meeting of the Building Healthy Neighborhoods Task Force will be held Friday from 8:30-10:30 a.m. at the Fresno Center for New Americans. [Green Fresno]
BE ACCOUNTABLE: Is cleaning up graffiti suitable punishment for a parking ticket? Mike Scott wants to know. More importantly, Mike Scott is back from vacation! [CBS47]
BE INVOLVED: Fresno’s premier music event, the recently renamed re:FUSE Fest, is seeking volunteers. The festival is October 2-3 (next weekend), so sign up now. [FUSE Fest]
It’s the event that the Fresno Swede community has been waiting for — The Beehive’s Swedies. OK, that’s a total lie. You didn’t even know we were doing these awards. But we just thought it sounded cooler if we said everyone was waiting.
- Best Picture: “La Bamba — Sweded,” by Vince Cosentino - Best Actor: Will Albritton, “A Few Swede Men” - Best Actress: Brittany Stapleton, “Interview With a Vampire Sweded” - Best Supporting Actor: Jimmy Cosentino, “La Bamba — Sweded.” - Best Supporting Actress: Whoever was Donna in “La Bamba” - Best Director: Bryan Harley, “Signs (Sweded)” - Best Cinematography: Roque Rodriguez, “The Fast & The Furious (Sweded)” - Best Writing – Adapted Screenplay: “A Few Swede Men,” Josh & Will Are Idiots. - Best Writing – Original Screenplay: Travis Sheridan, “The Office: Swine Flu.” - Best Film Editing: Roque Rodriguez, “A Few Swede Men” - Best Visual Effects: Travis Sheridan, “The Office: Swine Flu.” - Best Costume Design: “Signs (Sweded)”
Feel free to give your own “people’s choice awards” in the comments after watching the films below.
Meanwhile, in another always-populartopicaround here –here’s some details on the next Fresno Swede Festival. If you want to learn everything there is to know about Swedes, go see festival hosts The Dumb for a tutorial.