The 2011 Awesome Fest is underway in Philadelphia, with free screenings running throughout the Summer until August 27, 2011. The film slate includes Fake it so Real, Convento, Super and more…

The Awesome Fest announces the line-up for the 2011 summer series at the Piazza at Schmidt’s, beginning Sunday, June 5. This FREE series runs Sunday evenings (with a few exceptions) through August 27, beginning with a special presentation of the landmark young adventure film The Goonies in celebration of the soon-to- be-released Super 8 (paired with a screening of E.T. on Monday, June 6 at the Trocadero Theater). Along the way is a slate of films that look at indie wrestling (Fake it so Real), renegade superheroes (Super), outsider art (Convento), the solar system (Orbit) and much more. Each film will be preceded by an original program produced by Scrapple.TV, beginning at 7:30pm, with the featured film beginning at 8pm.

Co-presented with NYC’s Rooftop Films, and sponsored by Scrapple.TV, DIVE/Shooters, and PhillyCarShare, The Awesome Fest was founded in 2010 as the Philadelphia Underground Film Festival by Artistic Director Josh Goldbloom (formerly of Philadelphia Cinefest). The 2011 series aims to not only screen some of the finest independent cinema in some of Philadelphia’s most exciting venues, but to build events around the screenings by bringing in filmmakers and artists who were involved with the features. For example, Jinxed/The Toothless Cat will host artist Christiaan Zwaniiken’s work when he attends a screening of Convento; close to ten wrestlers from the Millenium Wrestling Federation will accompany director Robert Greene when we screen Fake it so Real. Additional events will be announced as the summer progresses, including a star-studded closing night finale.

About the Films

The Goonies – Sunday, June 5 – The Piazza at Schmidt’s
Promotion for Super 8; free Baby Ruth’s, passes to see Super 8, a Truffle Shuffle competition with prizes

E.T. – Monday, June 6 – The Trocadero Theater
Promotion for Super 8; free Reese’s Pieces, passes to see Super 8

The City Dark (PHILADELPHIA PREMIERE – Official Selection of SXSW 2011) – Sunday, June 12 – The Piazza at Schmidt’s
Co-Presented with Rooftop Films; director Ian Cheney will attend to lead a Q&A

THE CITY DARK is a feature documentary about the loss of night. After moving to NYC from rural Maine, filmmaker Ian Cheney asks a simple question – do we need the stars? Exploring the threat of killer asteroids in Hawaii, tracking hatching turtles along the Florida coast, and rescuing injured birds on Chicago streets, Cheney unravels the myriad implications of a globe glittering with lights – including increased breast cancer rates from exposure to light at night, and a generation of kids without a glimpse of the universe above.

Super (Official Selection of Toronto)– Sunday, June 19 – The Piazza at Schmidt’s
Please, Mature Audiences Only.

After his wife falls under the influence of a drug dealer, an everyday guy transforms himself into Crimson Bolt, a superhero with the best intentions, though he lacks the heroic skills.

These Amazing Shadows (PHILADELPHIA PREMIERE – Official Selection of Sundance 2011) – Sunday, July 3 – The Piazza at Schmidt’s
Tells the history and importance of The National Film Registry, a roll call of American cinema treasures that reflects the diversity of film, and indeed the American experience itself.

Despicable Dick & Righteous Richard (PHILADELPHIA PREMIERE – Official Selection of Tribeca 2011)
– Sunday, July 10 – The Piazza at Schmidt’s
Dick Kuchera has been pissing people off for 50 years. A recovering alcoholic from north Dakota, he finally musters the courage to complete the eighth and ninth steps of the 12-step Program. With a list of everyone he’s wronged – from ex-wives to ex-mistresses, abandoned children to slighted pals – Richard tries to make amends. But has he really changed?

Reindeerspotting (Philadelphia Premiere – Official Selection of SXSW 2011) – Sunday, July 17 – The Piazza at Schmidt’s
This documentary tells the story of Jani, a 19 year-old drug addict living on social welfare with his friends. Tired of his life in a remote city in Lapland, he decides to travel by train to various parts of Europe before being sent to prison for several petty crimes.

Orbit (Philadelphia Premiere)– Sunday, July 24 – The Piazza at Schmidt’s
Co-Presented with Rooftop Films; co-creators Mark Elijah Rosenberg and Mike Plante will attend to lead a Q&A

A collaborative, feature-length omnibus movie about our solar system where every planet is represented by a short film.

Fake it so Real (Philadelphia Premiere) – Saturday, July 30 – The Piazza at Schmidt’s
Co-Presented with Rooftop Films; director Robert Greene and members of the Millennium Wrestling Federation will attend to lead a Q&A

Filmed over a single week leading up to a big show, the film follows a ragtag group of independent, semi-professional wrestlers in North Carolina, exploring what happens when the over-the-top theatrics of the wrestling ring collide with the realities of the working-class South.

Convento (Philadelphia Premiere – Official Selection of SXSW) – Sunday, July 31 – The Piazza at Schmidt’s
Co-Presented by Rooftop Films; director Jarred Alterman and artist Christiaan Zwaniiken will attend to lead a Q&A. Jinxed/The Toothless Cat will host a gallery show of Christiaan’s work for seven days, opening Friday, July 29 with the artist and director attending.

A Dutch family left Holland to transform a 400 year old monastery into a home, artist’s workshop, and nature preserve. Filmed entirely in a remote village of Portugal, CONVENTO bends the rigid structure of documentary filmmaking, blurring the lines of information and surrealism, featuring the renowned kinetic artist Christiaan Zwanikken and his family.

Senna (SPECIAL PRESENTATION – Official Selection of Sundance 2011) – Sunday, August 14 – The Piazza at Schmidt’s
The critically acclaimed documentary on Brazilian Formula One racing driver Ayrton Senna, who won the F1 world championship three times before his death at age 34.

Beauty Day (Official Selection of Hot Docs & Philly CineFest favorites) – Sunday, August 21 – The Piazza at Schmidt’s
Director Jay Cheel will attend to lead a Q&A

Before there was Jackass… Before there was Tom Green… There was Ralph Zavadil. His cable access television show, The Cap’n Video Show, ran from 1990 to 1995, spawning a small but loyal cult following. With reality television still years away, his unique brand of gross-out stunt comedy was truly ahead of its time. All it took was a broken neck to get him noticed.

Closing Night Film – Saturday, August 27 – The Piazza at Schmidt’s
Details to be announced shortly. We’re very excited for this one.

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