Two Bucks County, PA film buffs have organized the first regional independent film festival, which will showcase feature films made in “the genius belt,” or the region in between Philadelphia and New York City. The first Algonquin Indiefest will kick off in January, 2003 in the New Hope-Lambertville area.
Fest organizers Ellen Downey and Donna Dudick were discussing independent film together for more than a year prior to starting their own film festival. The decision to launch the Algonquin Indiefest was in large part due to the difficulty that they had in finding regional film to screen.
“We want to expand our horizons and also to offer local filmmakers a forum to screen their work in a supportive environment,” Downey said.
Dudick recently completed her own film, “The Mommy Track,” which kicked off the DeSales Film Festival in September, and was screened at the Mike Lemon Casting Studios in October as a part of his “lab workshop” series. Dudick’s film also had a sold-out showing at the Sedgwick Cultural Arts Center in Mount Airy in June, 2002 and is scheduled to air on DUTV, a cable television station, in November, 2002.
“DUTV is only accessible in Philadelphia County,” Dudick said. “My film really hasn’t been available for viewing outside of Center City, even though I shot mostly in Bucks County,” Dudick said, adding, “Since I’ve made my film, I’ve met several other Bucks County filmmakers that haven’t been able to screen locally, because there just isn’t a venue. So we decided to create our own venue.”
There have been several film festivals held in Bucks County to date that have featured short films, but this has been limiting for some local filmmakers, Dudick said. Downey said that the goal of the Algonquin Indiefest is to compliment existing festivals and to promote feature and short films with strong narrative and arresting visuals.
The Algonquin Indiefest will screen six independent feature films on Saturday, January 25, 2003 from 10:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the main ballroom at the New Hope Best Western on Route 202. Short films will be shown all day in an adjacent conference room at the hotel, and Dudick and Downey will host a wine and cheese reception until 10:00 p.m. The reception will also feature performances by local singer-songwriters Karen Gross and Roia Rafieyan.
Admission to the festival is $30.00 per person and includes all day Saturday screenings and the filmmaker reception. Sunday’s event is free with a ticket; however, admission will be on a first-come, first-served basis due to limited seating.
“Call For Entry” is free this year. Send your feature or short  film on VHS or DVD to: ^ Algonquin ^ c/o Up and Over Productions ^ Box 504 ^ Warrington, PA 18976

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