What to Know
- Sweded Film Festival
- Nov. 15 deadline; a "best-of" festival will debut virtually on Nov. 30
- Cash prizes
We frequently quote our favorite movies, and we regularly act out iconic scenes, but the opportunity to make a whimsical and inventive recreation of a film, with family members taking on starring roles, has generally eluded us.
That ends now, thanks to the Sweded Film Festival, which is all about fans putting their own spins on the cinematic storylines we all know.
The festival, which originated with Row House Cinema in Pittsburgh, just went nationwide for the fall of 2020, giving close-to-home cineastes a chance to jump into their own version of "Jaws" or "The Princess Bride" or "Citizen Kane."
It's the "... only festival of classic movies, re-made by amateurs who replace A-list stars and CGI with whatever is laying around their houses and a ton of creativity," so any participants should take that low-budget, can-do aesthetic to heart.
In fact "keep it cheap" is one of the rules, as well as observing brevity.
Could you retell "E.T.: The Extraterrestrial" in around four or so minutes? The bicycle scene alone will need at least 30 seconds, we'd imagine, but to each her own.
The festival's handle and vibe are drawn from directory Michel Gondry's 2008 film "Be Kind, Rewind," which showcases a whimsical wellspring of remade classic movies.
This is the fourth year of the festival but the first time it has gone nationwide.
Row House Cinema has some examples of previous winners on the site, if you're looking for instant inspiration, as well as quick rundown of rules covering length, format, music usage, and such.
As for picking the title you'll treat to a recreation?
The judges will only choose the best of each famous movie that is submitted, so picking something timeless to recreate but perhaps not super-super-popular, however you want to define "super-super-popular," is the way to go.
You're in the director's seat, though, and your props, actors, ideas, and ultimate movie are just awaiting you, right now, around your place, perhaps feet from where you sit.
Look around. What do you see? The tools to make "The Wizard of Oz," "Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory," or another gem? Get recreating, recreators.