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Local Filmmakers Are Focus of Moxie Short Film Celebration

Springfield's independent movie theatre the Moxie is putting out the call to local filmmakers. To celebrate its one year anniversary, the Moxie is holding the Moxie Cinema Short Film Celebration to showcase Springfield's best short films. KSMU's Missy Shelton recently spoke with Moxie co-owner Dan Chilton and asked him for more details about the short film celebration.

Chilton: We decided we wanted to do it because we've hosted several traveling short film festivals. We always have huge turn outs for it. With that being one of our original missions, to be a venue to show local films, we thought it would be a great time to let anybody who has made a short film in and around Springfield enter it and they can have it seen by everyone. Whoever wins the different categories, we'll play their movie throughout the year in front of different feature films. It's a good opportunity for someone to get a lot of exposure for their film.

Shelton: Are there are a lot of local filmmakers?

Chilton: Yeah. They keep coming out of the woodwork. When we hosted the SATO 48 Hour Film Festival several months ago, it was amazing. The guys who ran it were expecting 10-15 people and they ended up with over 40 teams participating. It seems every time there's a new film festival that rolls through town, there's a new group of filmmakers who show up to enter their stuff. It's a talented group. I think the longer we do this, the more talent we'll see emerge in the Springfield area.

Shelton: I had to chuckle when I saw on the submission guidelines that films can't go over 20 minutes but must be at least one second in length...Are you anticipating getting some really short films?

Chilton: Well, you never know. There are some experimental filmmakers out there who might push the boundaries on what they want. I kind of did that as a joke. When we go to the short film festival in St Louis, you see the whole gamut of films, some very short experimental films. We haven't gotten any experimental films submitted yet but I'd love to see them.

Shelton: What's your favorite short film?

Chilton: I don't even know. I'm not a big ranker. The St Louis film festival when we went to the short film celebration up there, a guy did a stop-action film with juice cartoins and different things from around the kitchen and it happened to be set to music by one of my favorite musicians Ben Benassi, one of his songs. It was so entertaining, almost like a music video. Here's all these juice cartons dancing around and it's just very well done. And it came out of nowhere between these more dramatic pieces so it was like a breath of fresh air and I just really enjoyed it. That's probably been the favorite one I've seen in the last couple of years.

Shelton: You say on your website that you love short films. Why are you such a fan of short films?

Chilton: They're just such an interesting genre. It's an art form to be able to creatively tell a story in that short amount of time. We're keeping short films under 20 minutes, which really makes for interesting pieces. If you go over that, you're getting into a shorter feature film. It just takes a lot of talent and it's interesting to see where people take their ideas and how they craft a story with as little time as possible. They can be very effective and audiences really like them because a lot of people like to see as many movies as they can for their money. They can sit there in an hour and a half and see five different movies and come away with five different interpretations of what they saw.

Shelton: I've been speaking with Dan Chilton, co-owner of the Moxie, Springfield's independent movie theatre about the upcoming Moxie Cinema Short Film Celebration, which is designed to be a showcase of the work produced by local filmmakers. The submission deadline is September first. Submission information in online at