After a successful first run, Eau Claire’s film festival featuring the creepy, fantastical and underground side of film is returning to Micon Downtown Cinemas for its second year.
Director Dean Bertram, a Wisconsin transplant originally from Sydney, Australia, is organizing MidWest WeirdFest.
After running two of Sydney’s largest sci-fi film festivals, he credits the Eau Claire festival’s success to its uniqueness.
“It is the type of event that probably wasn’t preexisting in the Chippewa Valley area — a festival that caters to the darker taste of cinephiles,” Bertram said. “I think there is an audience here that is hungry for that type of festival.”
MidWest WeirdFest runs Friday through Sunday at the Micon Downtown Cinema, and moviegoers won’t be disappointed in this year’s lineup, which features 13 feature films and 52 short films, and more than 20 filmmaker guests.
Keeping with the festival’s mandate, the variety of films seeks to celebrate “all things fantastic, frightening, offbeat and just plain weird.” Bertram said that allows for films that touch on “pretty much everything” from mobsters to slasher films to monsters.
He is excited for this year’s lineup including amount of speakers.
“I like to surprise my audience and I want them to have an experience,” Bertram said. “One of the most wonderful things is there’s immediate engagement where audience and filmmakers can talk about the film they made and just saw. It’s rewarding for everybody.”
Minneapolis-based filmmaker Peter Marcy, is screening “Attack of the Tattie-Bogle.” at the festival. It is a low-budget horror slasher film that was shot at a cabin in Sand Lake, northwest of Eau Claire.
Marcy said they were looking for festivals around the Midwest to enter in 2017 when they stumbled across MidWest WeirdFest. Marcy had heard of Bertram’s work in Sydney, and thought it’d be perfect.
“The festival is probably the closest to the actual shooting location of the movie,” Marcy said. “It seemed like the perfect marriage of location and the genre of movie we made.”
“Attack of the Tattie-Bogle”is about a group of friends who go to a cabin for the Fourth of July, where they are attacked. Marcy said it is a “pretty violent” film.
“It’s a horror slasher movie that I think handles the situation a little more realistically than a lot of slasher movies,” he said.
Marcy’s film screens at 8 p.m. Saturday and he will do a Q&A with the audience afterward.
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