Arts & Culture Editor
Lancaster’s art community is well known for bringing unique events and diverse groups of its residents together for the sake of art. This year, Rumschpringe International Short Film Festival will be held at Millersville’s Ware Center, in downtown Lancaster, for the third year in a row and going into it’s sixth season as a festival in Lancaster. You don’t have to be a film junky for a film to grab your attention and that’s just what this short film festival aims to accomplish. Though only a two-night event there are an abundant amount of films scheduled for both evenings for all audiences.
Director and Founder of the film festival, Michael Hoober, is also a resident of Lancaster County and sees the potential in the success of his accomplishments with the film festival along with many hopes for the future for Lancaster and film within the art community. Michael found his influences in many places explaining, “When living in cities like Chicago, Philadelphia, Phoenix, I noticed the tremendous impact on the culture and community resulting from their film festivals, and I wanted to bring that energy back to Lancaster. I knew Lancaster had the talent, and I wanted to create a forum to make it happen.” His vision to make something happen has always been his influence throughout life and has given him experience in different fields that come together to help with the film festival.
His experience encompasses different positions including being the co-founder of Corrupted Image Records on North Prince Street with Jeremy Weiss that eventually helped to develop a recording label, opening a record store, and bringing music-oriented events throughout Lancaster County, his experience with the Zoetropolis Movie Theater in the summer of 2003 during their One-Minute Film Festival showed him just how much local talent was within Lancaster. Another of his major inspirations developed during his graduate work at University of Pennsylvania where they challenged him to design community-oriented programs to promote multiculturalism and diversity.
The festival itself has gone through several phases to get to where it is now. 2008 was the first year originally named as the Rumschpringe Very Short Film Festival with requirements for submissions to be five minutes or less, then in 2009 it became the Rumschpringe Short Film Festival with a new requirement for submissions to be 10 minutes or less. In 2010, the length for submissions was extended to 40 minutes or less and in 2011 they connected to an online submission platform that expanded and increased their number numbers of submissions form all over the world. Finally, in 2012, the name changed to Rumschpringe International Short Film Festival.
The entire festival is exciting for Michael but his favorite part of the event is watching all of the films. He admitted, “I very much enjoy watching all of the films once they are submitted. It’s like having my own little Netflix! I enjoy seeing how people express themselves through the medium of film, especially those that come from far-away lands like Russia, Syria, Columbia, and Iran (to name a few.) I enjoy “making-it-happen” -connecting to people I would not otherwise encounter (filmmakers, producers, actors, artists, etc.) during the set-up and execution phase of the event.”
Friday, November 1 is the opening night for returning Short Film Festival beginning at 6pm recapping the best films from the 2012 Official Selections. At 8:30, the public has the chance to enjoy the kick- off for the 2013 Official Selections in categories such as comedy, drama, and animation from several different countries such as USA, Romania, France, and Brazil. Are you in the spirit of Halloween and ready for a scare? Beginning at 9, attendees have the chance to opt out of the kick-off and can attend two hours of all horror short films from USA, Portugal, and Italy.
On Saturday, November 2, the festival begins at 1 pm appropriate for kids and family with films from Armenia, USA, Spain, and Australia. Ready to laugh? For two hours beginning at 1:30, all films will be in the Comedy Category from countries such as USA, Spain, and United Kingdom to indulge you in humor from different cultures. 2013 Animation and Music Video will begin at 2:30 from Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, USA, France, and Isreal. Documentaries take you into the every-day life of unique individuals at 3 pm. Shortly following documentaries, the Domestic Drama Selections begin at 3:30 then followed by a panel discussion. The final round of films begins at 7pm for the International Drama Selections from Israel, Australia, India, and Armenia then ending the night and 2013 festival, the award winners are chosen at 9.
With the help of talented filmmakers, local and international inspiration the film festival will continue to bring talented works of film to Lancaster. “The long-term vision involves developing the Rumpschpringe International Short Film Festival into THE place for short films, making Lancaster the annual destination for this under-appreciated medium. I want to see the film festival grow to include numerous venues downtown over a week long period with various activities (e.g. panel discussions) alongside the films,” are some of the hopes and visions for the future for Director, Michael Hoober. With his past achievement and determination, it’s likely Lancaster could see bigger things happening with Rumschpringe.
Rumschpringe International Short Film Festival is open to all with available ticket registration online, calling, or in person pick-up. Single tickets, Full festival pass, and VIP passes are available to all for both nights of the event. Step into the world of film and submerse yourself in different genre’s of film from all over the world on November 1st and 2nd at the Ware Center in downtown Lancaster.