Thanks to modern technology, independent filmmakers are flourishing in an artistic medium once accessible only to those connected to great wealth. And while Pueblo is far from being a bastion of independent films, locals are taking the initiative to create venues and opportunities for budding filmmakers looking to explore their craft.
P.U.L.P., a new monthly magazine focusing on Pueblo's arts and culture, has taken the lead in building an indie film scene in one of Colorado's larger cities. On Oct. 3, it's helping sponsor the first Pueblo 24-Hour Film Festival, in which nascent filmmakers will have one day to produce a 10-minute flick on a revealed theme.
In the last issue of the "publication with the ever-changing acronym," editor Alfredo Kemm commented on the struggle independent filmmakers face in Pueblo.
"Our local filmmakers," he wrote, "surely imagine having their work viewed at a national level ... But as artists, their explorations into the medium necessarily begin as ... fragments of potential longer cinematic works sketches in digital celluloid."
This idea of creating these sketches frames the focus of the festival, the brainchild of P.U.L.P. publisher Susan Wolf.
"I love the idea of filmmakers trying to pull it all together in 24 hours," says Wolf, who attended her first 24-hour film festival in Chicago a decade ago. "We are basically trying to promote arts and culture in Pueblo."
Participants discover the subject of the festival at the theme reveal, which will be held at Pueblo's Downtown Bar at 6 p.m., Friday, Oct. 3. Around the same time, pre-registered filmmakers will receive the theme by e-mail, whereas latecomers can find information on P.U.L.P.'s Web site.
And then the reel fun begins.
Entries will be accepted between 4 and 6 p.m. the following day at the Downtown Bar. At 8, these finished fragmented films and short excerpts of greater, grander ideas will be screened for onlookers and judges alike.
"We won't have the chance to preview the entries," says Wolf. "It will be a surprise to everybody."
Submitted films will be judged in seven creative categories, including Film Most Likely to Make Pueblo Look Cool, Film Most Likely to Be Stolen by Jerry Bruckheimer and Film Most Likely to Cause Seizures.
"We wanted to put some humor in the subjects," says P.U.L.P. art director Bruce Hilvitz.
Film entries can win more than one category, and the Best of Festival winner will receive a cash award of $50 and a full write-up in P.U.L.P. magazine.
"I am hoping the festival will be just the beginning of an alternative film movement in Pueblo," says Wolf. "There is a lot of talent here. These filmmakers just need the opportunities to showcase their work."