Friday night was the IFP/PHX Shorts Program, and the Matter of Chance extended family was in attendance. In addition to nine films in the Dead of Winter challenge, they showcased two other shorts: Chris Lamont's Paychecked! and AZSA/PFP collaboration Romey & Jules.
Paychecked! was a hit. This short documentary explored the world of the omnipresent payday loan stores, their outrageous interest rates, and the people that frequent them. It was upbeat and funny, not overly preachy, and fast-paced, fun to watch even if you never thought about these stores before. Good selection of music, too.
Romey & Jules was a melodramatic love story about the forbidden love between a mime and a clown. Immediately recognizable was Kirby Soderberg, of Pantomiming fame. Kirby was also in attendance, and we got to meet him after the program. Nice guy, much younger than I expected.
Of the Dead of Winter films, the first film (the name escapes me) caught my attention. It was stark black and white with great cinematography and editing. It featured a rambling yet rapid-fire poetic voiceover that spanned the whole film non-stop. Quite a mouthful. And who should show up in the credits but Justin Ward, the legendary and reclusive local filmmaker behind Manscare. I didn't catch in what capacity he contributed to this film, but it all made more sense when we saw his name.
It was good to be back at a PFP event. It's been five months since the Screen Wars award ceremony. Things are really looking up for this year.