The Mosaic World Film Festival (MWFF) celebrated its 10th year this weekend. The MWFF did not disappoint in its milestone year. Over 60 films were screened over the weekend. Short films made in the U.S. to feature-length films from all over the world were played, and these variety of films added to spectacular sessions an attendee could choose see. This is a unique event with films that can’t be streamed to your TV and President of MWFF, Jerry LaBuy, points out “Netflix and Hulu don’t have what we offer. You have to go to see for yourself these never before seen films; It’s cool to be able to offer this in one spot, especially in Rockford.” MWFF only enhances what Rockford Metro area has to offer, coupled with hosting the festival in downtown Rockford. Specifically at the J.R. Sullivan Theatre in the Nordlof Center.
Saturday afternoon the “Short Film (US & World) Session 4” had brilliant features in it. The session had films from France: A Propose D Emile, Mexico: 8.1 Degrees of Guilt, Japan: The Stream VII, Russia: The Meeting, and the U.S.: Icarus. It included a variety of genres from animation, claymation, narrative, creative, and nature.
The winner of Best Narrative, Icarus, was featured in this session and screened last. It was an intense space drama with top of the line visuals that easily immersed an attendee into the storytelling of the plot. These short films made up a bulk of the afternoon sessions, and they were worth attending.
The Sunday feature films showcased some of the highlight World Films as well as a pyrotechnics documentary (Passfire) and a regional slacker comedy. Evening of Eternity was a German Narrative film. What stood out from this film is the way they captured the dreamlike scenes when the lead actor meets the love of his life in a whimsical tavern in the middle of the night. The musical score was on point the whole film, holding to the style “Big Band” era of music. Never Forget was an Australian and Vietnamese Narrative film. This film did well in the directing of it. The shots that were filmed in high-traffic public places was outstanding.
The last MWFF film to be screened was Firework;
an hour-long Narrative slacker comedy that featured staff familiar to Rockfordians. One of the styles that is unique to this film were some of the long drawn out scenes that added to the comedic antics underway. David Dawson, Director of Firework, gave a glimpse into the reasoning during a Q & A session after the film, “You need to let it (the scenes) breathe.” Kyle Owen, Director of Photography, on the inspiration on this style of capturing scenes, “It happened naturally for us (Dawson and Owen). We watched a lot of Indie films and when it was time to make our own movie, this is exactly the style we wanted to go with.” This style also allows for more flexibility in the scripts, giving the actors (Jordan Poslusny & Mike Miller) more power to enhance the final take on the scene with their own expressions. The best part during the Q & A, is that the announcement of their next feature film, Do Not Disturb, is almost complete.
MWFF are already booked for the same weekend and location for the 11th year. Being able to screen films that aren’t immediately accessible to the public is a sweet spot to be
as a festival. “I am always amazed at all the different and creative ideas that are showing up in these films. It’s a cool new thing everyday.” The astounding part of MWFF staff is viewing through the roughly 600 entries to screen for the festival, and narrowing it to under 10% to show. It is a cool new thing everyday indeed. Right in Rockford, Illinois.