Monday, April 5, 2010

Notes from our April 3rd Screening - 8th Anniversary!

We remember being eight years old; it's a great age.  You can pick out your own clothes, you can sort of read a menu, you can write your own name and, these days, you also know how to pay your cellphone bill online.  Last Saturday, we got to relive the glories of being eight through Iron Mule, a monthly short comedy screening series that can totally dress itself but hasn't yet mastered cursive.

Thanks to all of you who came down to the 92YTribeca on a lovely spring weekend to help us ring in the Iron Mule 8th Anniversary Double-Feature Special Show(s)!  Our first show featured some of the best Audience Award winners from the last twelve months, including Stalk Much? by Bill Baykan of Chicago, Introduction to Physics by Caleb Foss, and hometown favorite My Apartment by dpShortsKasey Williamson & dp of dpShorts shared a little bit about the movie and the temporary pause in their highly-prolific year.  It seems they're both writing for other people, but we hope they'll be back with more material soon, especially the kind with rapping.  We were also proud to highlight some great international animated films, including the beautiful black-and-white love story Yulia by Antoine Arditti of France, and the deliriously-bloody and bravely-uneducational Factoids & Slapstick by Doug Bayne of Australia.  Mixed in with all that were a few samples from our Wanna Be A Star? competition, held every month, in which a lucky audience member is chosen at random to star in a film with a title chosen by said audience and produced for the next month's show.  In the future, Iron Mule will be posting our Wanna Be A Star? films online, so watch this space for more details!

But it just wouldn't be a year-long roundup without some illustrious awards, so at the end of our program we asked our attentive and opinionated audience what they thought was best.  Their verdict?  Stalk Much? by Bill Baykan took the cake as our Audience Favorite.  And although there was, in fact, no cake (or any award of any kind), Bill can sleep soundly in the knowledge that he has all the populist bragging rights the Iron Mule can bestow.  At least, until next April.

After a brief, drink-refilling break, we moved relentlessly onward with our 2nd program, the Judges Award winners.  Highlights of the past year included How To Be Popular by John Dilley of California, Knock Knock by Iron Mule fave Jack Ferry, and Time Travel: An Allegory by Ritchie Wilson.  Jack and Ritchie were on hand to talk a little bit about their next projects: Jack and producing partner Melissa are developing an internet series called "Written Off," about a group of washed-up soap opera stars who develop their own show for the internet, and Ritchie is working on a couple of new scripts and moving out of Portland, Maine.  We also shared some favorite selections from around the world included our first film from Norway, Nemesis by Stian Hafstad, about a man in search of superpowers and a friend; and Technology, a hilarious document of one man's attempt to explain basic physics, by Alex Kelly and Third Angel of the UK.  Selections from our top-shelf animation offerings included three short films by local animator Laurie Rosenwald, including her collaboration with David Sedaris, "David's Diary"; and the award-winning bittersweet sci-fi tale, The Terrible Thing of Alpha-9! by Jake Armstrong.

Since this part of the evening was dedicated to selections dear to the cold, analytical hearts of our secret cabal of judges, they were the ones to do the award-granting honors.  And the bragging rights for Judges Favorite of the Year went to Nemesis by Stian Hafstad, and runner-up How To Be Popular by John Dilley.  Congratulations, Stian and John, for making us laugh and making us think, often at the same time!

You can always find out more about our monthly screening series at and on Facebook.  We hope you'll join us for our 9th year of showcasing the best in short comedy films, beginning May 1st at 8pm!

 The Iron Mule Team: from left, Lin Sorensen. Victor Varnado, and Jay Stern

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