The most cutting-edge writers and directors of independent sci-fi, fantasy, and horror films have descended upon Provo this week from distant planets and hellish dimensions. The occasion is Jonathan Martin’s Filmquest. It features more films than even Sundance Film Fest. The international genre film festival is quickly becoming one of the hottest tickets in the independent film world. It takes place at Velour Live Music Gallery in Provo September7th – 15th.
The fiercely independent spirited festival includes panels, workshops, parties, and features a myriad of cinematic flavors This year’s lineup includes “The Devil and the Blacksmith”, which has already received a standing ovation at it’s screening. Other successful features anticipating awards this year include “Alive”, “The Insufferable Groo” starring Jack Black, “Prospect”, starring Pedro Pascal of “Game of Thrones”, and “The Witch Files.” The short films and animation line-up this year is epic. It includes Charles Pieper’s “Malacostraca”, “Foxwood” “Skincreepers”, the Silver, and “Distortion”. Animated shorts include “Meeting MacGuffin” and “Attack of the Potato Clock”. Web Series featured include “In Absentia” and “Geek Lounge”. Countless other films, in the aforementioned categories are all contenders for this years Filmquest awards.
Filmquest founder and director, Jonathan Martin is a seasoned writer, filmmaker, and visionary. Martin’s films have won over 170 festival and industry awards since 2011. His first short film “Evening with My Comatose Mother”, became the most awarded horror short film of all time.
His charismatic, nonchalant, and down to earth style distinguish him from most of the Hollywood personas. His authenticity and non-stop humor resonate with both industry and fan attendees alike. Martin personally oversees each feature screening and facilitates the Q and A at it’s close. His personal style leaves each filmmaker feeling a sense of appreciation and accomplishment whether they win an award or not. His endless humor keeps each audience laughing and he doesn’t miss a single nuance of each screening. He truly cares about each filmmaker, individually, and insures that they have an enjoyable experience. During our interview Martin received a phone call from a filmmaker who was lost at the airport. Martin stopped the interview until he made sure the filmmaker was safely en route before resuming our discussion.
“This festival isn’t just about watching films. It’s about the experience and the culture between industry and fans”. Martin said. Part of his long-term vision for the festival is to become an Oscar qualifying film festival. “That means if a film wins at our festival, it is short-listed for Oscar consideration”. Martin said. “In comparison, we are less like Sundance and are more like South By Southwest. The sky is the limit!” As far as his filmmaking Martin is already engaged in a new feature film production but he wasn’t able to comment on any details.
Filmquest is earning its place among the largest genre film festivals in the world with no end in sight. Take the time to check out filmquest.com and sample the endless feast of the tastiest sci-fi, fantasy, and horror films you’ve ever experienced.