While the term “rural” can be defined in many ways, the creators of Rural Route Film Festival leave it up to the film and video artists to explain their own definition of the word. This year's touring program includes a portrait of an 80-year old shoe carver who lives on a tulip farm, a narrative about a man and his pet crocodile, and a remake of a special scene from Footloose. Bring your own chair to this free event which will be taking place outside of Big Orbit (at 30 Essex St.) – awards will be given to the most creative chairs!
still from Anima Mundi by Kate Balsley
ABOUT RURAL ROUTE FILM FESTIVAL:
The Rural Route Film Festival was created to highlight works that deal with rural people and places. While the term “rural” is defined by Webster’s Dictionary as: 1) Of or relating to the country: RUSTIC 2) Of or relating to people who live in the country 3) Of or relating to farming: AGRICULTURAL, the creators of Rural Route Film Festival leave it up to you, the film and video artists, to explain your own definition of the word. Whether it be a documentary about an organic turnip farm in West Virginia, a fictional backpacking drama set in Peru, or a personal/experimental work about life in a small town in Wisconsin, we want to see and hear what you have to say. Works that include alternative country, country western, and folk music are encouraged, as are those that play loud rock in cornfields.
Since 2002, the Rural Route Film Festival has been centered in New York City, where both founders (originally from Iowa) met working in the film industry. While having a rural festival in one of the world’s largest cities is an oxymoron, the irony proved to work, bringing in submissions from all around the world and attracting city slickers who were curious about the country, and country folk who had moved to the city but wanted to reconnect with home. Rural Route has been effective in creating a like-minded community of filmmakers. Unlike most festivals that operate under a general theme of ‘independent film,’ Rural Route’s specific focus on rurality has allowed us to place similar artists together whose work might otherwise be ignored or lost within the programming of broader based festivals. Filmmakers under the Rural Route umbrella are able to network through each other, discuss/critique one another’s work, and crew on one another’s projects. Many filmmakers have premiered their work at Rural Route and gone on to win awards through festival runs domestically and abroad, have their work screened through television outlets such as IFC and PBS, and have their films picked-up by independent distributors.