Curtain closes on Victoria's film festival

March 25, 2012 at 8:03 p.m.
Updated March 25, 2012 at 10:26 p.m.

The Victoria TX Independent Film Festival provided the perfect stay-at-home vacation for Joye Tripson and her husband, Robert Tripson.

Soft chuckles rippled among the 15 viewers during a humorous scene of the final movie at the independent film festival in Victoria on Sunday afternoon.

The festival was a success, said Staci Robbins, the executive artistic director of the Theatre Victoria and the manager of the Leo J. Welder Center for the Performing Arts, where the bulk of the festival was held.

"From the attendance numbers and the positive feedback to the excitement of artists and filmmakers to participate, I think we've had a great level of success," Robbins said.

Not only did they receive positive feedback from members of the Victoria community, filmmakers came from as far away as New Zealand to participate in the question-and-answer sessions after their work was shown.

In the upcoming week, Robbins, along with festival executive director Anthony Pedone and other event organizers, will reflect on what went well at the film festival and what could be improved as they look forward to the possibility of having a film festival next year.

By the end of the week, they also hope to have determined the financial standing after the festival and calculate the total number of attendees, Robbins said.

The festival was a multicultural experience, Tripson said, with many different story types with excellent acting and music.

While she regrets that most of the films shown at the festival will not be seen in theaters, she hopes to see them on Netflix or HBO.

"Some of them were heart-wrenching stories," Tripson said. "But some were a bit vulgar."

While she accepts that the filmmakers try to accurately portray demographics that use vulgar language, Tripson said, she felt in some instances it was a bit much to hear.

While she is sad to see the festival wind down, Tripson said, she is ready to rest after a long weekend of entertainment.

After anticipating the festival for several months, Bridget Postel, 48, of Victoria, said she was impressed with the way it turned out and with the city of Victoria for supporting it.

Another viewer of the final film, Postel said she had attended "Make Believe" at noon Saturday with several children.

"It was a documentary about six magicians. Extremely enjoyable," Postel said.

In addition to producing a quality film, the festival let the audience meet two of the magicians featured in the film.

"It wasn't just 'come see a film.' They did a good job about getting the filmmakers involved," Postel said.

Two of the subjects who were teenagers in "Make Believe" came from out of state to answer questions and perform a magic show at the Children's Discovery Museum after the documentary was shown.

Also among the 15 viewers of the final movie was O.C. Garza, communications director for the city of Victoria.

"I think it's been great. Very high quality movies - I haven't seen a bad film," said Garza, 57, who saw nine of the films from the festival.

For another attendee, Ashley Jackson, 29, of Victoria, what started out as an extra credit opportunity for an art appreciation class turned into an enjoyable experience.

"I really enjoyed the festival a lot and got way more out of it than I thought I would," Jackson said.



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