Momentum Requires Movement

The Nudge Micro Digital Film Fest

Steve Mims (r) shows Austin FilmWorks student Guy Juke the finer points of  editing software.
Steve Mims (r) shows Austin FilmWorks student Guy Juke the finer points of editing software. (Photo By John Anderson)

With the Arbor's reopening, the culmination of 11 years of student work completed at Steve Mims' Austin FilmWorks is about to see the big screen. "I was waiting for a venue to become available that would allow me to showcase digitally finished films well," says Mims of the Nudge Micro Digital Film Festival's destination. "The Arbor is now set up for that." Regal Cinema's Christie DLP projection should complement the sundry shorts made by Mims' diverse student body. "We have people who are writers, engineers, and cab drivers," says Mims. "It's the chaos theory in action." While this festival is really about the shorts made by Mims' poly-professional alums, two award-winning features will play: Courtney Davis and John Merriman's My Name Is Buttons, fresh from the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival, and Tom Chamberlain's In Flagrante from Mims' 1998 class. A shorts highlight is Vicky Boone's "Adventure Story," a 16-minute tale of desultory small-town adolescence, which traveled the festival circuit in 2003. Mims' criterion for culling the best projects from 11 years is simple. "These films work without drawing attention to the defects that people usually associate with student films," he explains. "The best you can hope for is that you can make a film you don't have to apologize for. All of these films really rise to that level." Today's digital climate has made filmmaking so accessible that there's little excuse for not picking up a camera and producing a magnum opus. "I wanted to create an event that would cause people to do work, basically," Mims says. "They say a film is not a film until it has an audience. I've found that people who know that there's an audience will work as hard as possible to do something, and that's sort of the nudge to shoot for." Nudge will run May 12 and 13 from 6pm to midnight, with networking events opening and closing the screenings. Admission is $5. For more information, see www.austinfilmworks.com.

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