Friday night, October 14th, the Jasper Project wrapped their third 2nd Act Film Festival, under the direction of Columbia-based filmmaker, Wade Sellers, to a sold-out crowd at the Tapp’s Arts Center. (It was an added bonus that the Tapp’s walls were hung with art from another Jasper Project endeavor, “Marked by the Water,” commemorating the first anniversary of the 1000 year flood.)
The next morning, social media was peppered with photos of filmmakers, most of whom didn’t know each other before the project started. Some were first-timers and some were alums, appearing in groups of 2 and 3 and more, laughing with each other, mugging for the camera, embracing, being new friends and colleagues. Being a community.
“The Jasper Project has a number of missions, but underlying everything is the fostering of an interdependent community of multidisciplinary artists and arts lovers who recognize and honor the implications of community,” says Cindi Boiter, executive director of the Jasper Project and editor of Jasper Magazine. “Simply said,” she continues, “it means having each others’ backs.”
The 2nd Act Film Festival exemplifies this goal. Filmmakers loan equipment, technicians, and advice. They encourage each other. They root for each other. This year, one filmmaker even sent a pizza to another filmmaker who was struggling with the kinds of obstacles only other filmmakers can understand.
“The sense of community between the filmmakers and the audience is one of the main reasons this
event exists,” says Sellers. “To have ten artists start at a common ground and then speak to our community in their own voice makes for more than just a film screening.”
According to Sellers, “The 2nd Act film fest celebrates a medium that tells stories with images. But even in the third year it still amazes all of us how much diversity in talent is on display. We had ten completely different stories on the screen.”
The 2nd Act Film Festival Audience Award for 2016 went to Tamara Finkbeiner for her film, Bait. For the third year, Columbia-based sculptor Matthew Kramer created a one of a kind trophée de l’art which accompanied a prize of $250 and a Final Draft film editing package. Columbia-based artist Cedric Umoja created an original painting from which the festival poster was crafted.
The 2nd Act Film Festival 2016 was sponsored in part by a grant from the South Carolina Arts Commission. Additional sponsors included The Whig, Crouch Distillery, McDaniels Automotive Group, Precision Overhead Garage Door Service, and Final Draft.
The 2nd Act Film Festival 2016 is an endeavor of the Jasper Project. The Jasper Project is a project-oriented, multidisciplinary arts facilitator serving the greater Columbia and South Carolina arts community by providing space, resources, and collaborative engineering for emerging artists and new projects by established artists. In addition to the 2nd Act Film Festival it produces Jasper Magazine, Fall Lines literary journal, and other project-oriented arts endeavors. For more information on the Jasper Project or 2nd Act Film Festival, go to www.JasperProject.org.