Jefferson County Part Of Boonies August 19-22 International Film Festival

booniesCLARION, Pa. (EYT) – Jeff Clark is proud to be part of the Boonies, the eight counties represented by the Northwest PA Film Office.

Talking to members of the Clarion Rotary Club on Monday, the executive director of the film office emphasized that the Boonies – representing Cameron, Clarion, Clearfield, Elk, Forest, Jefferson, McKean, and Warren Counties – has a lot to offer, and he needs help.

“Our state film office represents your county and community, and I need your help,” said Clark. “There’s lots of opportunity for the community, lots of opportunity for the region and the state. Now that the Boonies has a state film office, we can involve all the counties.”

The involvement includes hosting the International Film Festival August 19-22 and providing locations for the film industry that may be making a movie in the region.


Goals of The Boonies include:

• Attract a global film industry to our eight counties

• Grow awareness local to global

• Prepare our region for that film industry

• Conduct location searches and listing results

• Conduct crew and cast searches and list results

• Document our eight counties on film

“Your help is needed for all kinds of different things,” said Clark. “We hope that you will list properties for locations. We’ll be looking for locations and those will be homes, businesses, fields, buildings that are collapsing, buildings that are coming up, and everything else that you can imagine. We’re looking for casts for movies, anything from extras who actually have experience in acting or not, people who want to be in acting. Moviemakers also need a crew, and that means everything from barbers, hairdressers, dog groomers, carpenters, electricians…you name it.”

Clark explained that the movies could range from college student projects to independent filmmakers to studio films. When a major movie production is at a site, they don’t bring 100 percent of a needed crew and often need to add as much as 30 percent and that is drawn from local talent.

“When they filmed Denzel Washington for ‘Unstoppable’ (a runaway train movie), some of that was shot in the counties we now serve, but we weren’t a film office when that was happening,” said Clark. “One example is that the Bradford Airport had more business during the time of the shooting than any other time in its history.”

“Unstoppable” had 31 filming locations, and four of them were in what is now the Northwest PA Film Office. Additional locations may have been a possibility if the Boonies were operating back then and the economic impact was significant.

The regional film office was added by the Harrisburg Film Office in 2013 after it realized the industry was injecting $1.5 billion into Pennsylvania’s economy since 2007 and helped create over 2,500 jobs.

While the film industry can create economic impact, it can also create interest in the area leading to business development in the future.

Clark said that people are not necessarily going to get rich because of filming in the local area, but it does bring a sense of involvement, and people love film. Clarion also explained that the term “film” involves any sort of video production and media activity.

The love of film also ushered in this year’s Boonies International Film Festival featuring four days of film in eight counties.

“In the region, it’s a small thing to most people, but outside the area, it is recognized for what it is, an international film festival,” said Clark. “It’s a sampler film festival, and we have consultants from Sundance, the international film Festival at Rotterdam, Portugal, and many others. We have all these people are making this a great thing for eight counties.”

International Film Festival

Featuring independent films, the festival has also made official selections for the 2015 competition. Selected films for competition include:

• Potential Inertia: “Potential Inertia” a 2014 film from One Fish Films [USA] a Black & White (and color) film from director, writer, editor, and director of photography: Matt Croyle.

Pennsylvania native Croyle filmed his 90-minute feature in Oil City, Pa., with a cast of mainly home state actors and crew. The story revolves around a young man, Declan Holmes (Matt King), who is graduating college and about to make the transition to the “real world.” As he’s going through this life-changing time, he’s faced with losing people that matter and struggles to process and ultimately deal with those losses.

• A.D. 1363 The End Of Chivalry: New Zealand-based American filmmaker Jake Mahaffy clearly had fun creating this two-and-a-half minute adventure story about a knight in shining armor. While a great many of this year’s Sundance shorts have bloated running times, “A.D. 1363″ doesn’t outstay its welcome. It’s a textbook example of how to do a concise short and get laughs.

The first recipient of the Sundance Auerbach Screenwriting Fellowship, Mahaffy has already gained a following for his micro-budget shorts and features.

“As a kid, I wanted to create other worlds and have control over them. That’s what attracted me to movies in the first place,” Mahaffy told Indiewire back in 2008 when he was on the festival circuit with his award-winning feature “Wellness.” Mahaffy’s mastery of world-creation shines in “A.D. 1363.”

• It Hit Upon The Roof: Award winning Iranian filmmaker Teymour Ghaderi’s film “It Hit Upon The Roof” tells a compelling story to be cherished by audiences everywhere as demonstrated by this hearty list of wins.

• Myrna The Monster: Myrna the Monster, a heart-broken alien dreamer from the moon, describes her life to a Los Angeles support group. She talks about her laundromat romance, attempts at becoming an actress, and a transcendent desert drug trip with her best friend Shelly. Her collective experiences give her the courage to make her most personal confession and her most difficult choice. Should she stay or should she go back to her moon lover?

Clark is currently looking for a Clarion location, as well as McKean, Forest, and Jefferson counties, but a schedule of events lists the planned activities.

Wednesday, August 19 includes Allegheny Outfitters in Warren, canoe/kayak to movie; Brokenstraw Valley Swimming Pool in Youngsville; Chapman State Park Amphitheater in Clarendon; McKean, Cameron, and Clarion (TBA).

Thursday, August 20 includes Allegheny Outfitters in Warren, canoe/kayak to movie; Chapman State Park Amphitheater in Clarendon; Warren County Visitors Bureau Outdoors; Lazy River Canoe and Kayak, Ridgway; Stew’s Coffeehouse, indoors, DuBois; McKean, Forest, and Jefferson counties (TBA).

Friday and Saturday, August 21-22 in Downtown Warren includes screening of all competition and exhibition films for 2015, and awards will be announced on Saturday. Locations include Allegheny Community Center; Allegheny Outfitters; Blair Retail Store; Cambridge Warren; Struthers Library Theatre; Warren Public Library.

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