The 8th annual ReadingFilmFEST took over movie theaters in downtown Reading this weekend. Over 70 films were presented, bringing filmmakers, industry guests, and supporters together for a weekend of excitement! The festival was created to honor and celebrate the efforts of independent filmmakers across the Reading area and all over the country.
Bence Veres, a 20-year-old filmmaker from Reading, produced a film called, “The Idiot’s Guide to Swindling and Amateur Filmmaking”. This film is about three young amateur filmmakers with dreams of becoming prominent Hollywood directors. To get recognized for their efforts, the trio decides to create a short film about a jewelry store robbery. While they’re trying to create their film, two small-time criminals plot to rob a local marijuana dispensary. When the actors of the trio’s short film drop out, they cross paths with the criminals and join forces to make their dreams a reality.
“I was noticing that there was a lack of films about the very people who make them possible–which are the filmmakers. I don’t see much about the art of filmmaking, so I was trying to fill the void with this film. I wanted to make something that was original and affordable. But most importantly, something that can be shot locally,” said Veres when asked about why he decided to create his film.
Fr3deR1ck Jerome Taylor is a creative entrepreneur and filmmaker who is passionate about documenting stories and sharing them via digital media. Over his career, he has traveled all over the world to share his work and tell the stories that people need to hear. His films are produced to not only entertain his audience but also, teach us about the meaning behind them.
This year at the ReadingFilmFEST, his film “Where is America, the Beautiful?” fits into the politics and race block. The film explores the protests that have been occurring recently, but also, involves footage of protests that have happened in years past. It shows that America has had a hard time learning from these differences.
The main point is that we Americans have to learn to coexist and work on what we have before it’s gone too far. Taylor wanted to share the truths behind the realities of what’s happening in the world. But how do we fix something that has been argued for so long? This film is a great example of learning what’s happening in the world around you. Most importantly, it shows how differently people see different scenarios. We must learn from our mistakes. We must maintain some semblance of order for the benefit of all people and for the sake of our environment.
“It started in 2020. I started filming different types of protest rallies and things involving COVID-19, Black Lives Matter, and Trump rallies. Also, the insurrection as well. Then, intercutting that footage with others that have happened in the past. From there, it developed into a cause-and-effect relationship. Not only have we been talking about these things recently, but these are the same things that we’ve been talking about for the past 100 years,” said Taylor, speaking of his reasoning behind his film.
Filmmaker Robert Morgalo produced a film called “The Mick and The Trick”. The film follows an Irish hitman, working for a Cuban crime boss and the IRA, who wants out of the business. But both parties know that’s not possible because he knows too much behind the scenes. With the help of an animated and savvy street hooker named Sugar, the hitman’s chances of getting out of this predicament just got a lot easier than he expected. Set in the 90s, it’s at the height of HIV and homophobia. The Irish hitman and Sugar become unlikely allies and overcome difficult obstacles together.
“It’s one of those things that I wanted to do. Something that speaks to the culture, and does it in a way that sets a positive light. I decided to convey this message through an action film because it drives home the message, but also, keeps it exciting to the viewer. It was one of those subjects that I wanted to tackle,” Morgalo explained his reasoning behind creating this film.
All the films that were presented during the film fest are unique and bring something different to the table. With novelty being difficult to come by, exploring local filmmakers’ creations allows you to see inside the minds of other people. Everyone has something that they’re interested in, but these folks brought those ideas and storylines to life.