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Google+ brings an interactive film festival home

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The Unofficial Google+ Film Festival is again working to push the envelope of the film festival experience in a technical era, now three years running. With over 70 films programmed together in blocks to present web series and short films, this festival is growing as an interactive artistic mission. Founded by filmmaker Adam J. Cohen and presented by the branding and production agency, Tranquil Water NY, Inc., Google+ is not only allowing for new collaborative methods in the film industry, but invites the public to grab hold and partake as well.

Brewing with innovative spirit, The Unofficial Google+ Film Festival allows viewers to not only watch accepted projects, but also participate through social media (Facebook, Google+, YouTube, Twitter) where one hashtag can create a following and join an idea for all the difference. In addition to panels, parties, and a red carpet, the festival hosts live satellite events on local and international levels including Los Angeles, Seattle, London, and Singapore for a unique worldwide affair. This broad ability to share ideas in the film festival atmosphere establishes numerous methods of exposure and enjoyment for an expanding audience.

Not without some live Q&A technical issues and with films stronger than others, confidence of execution and the variety of style remain the beating heart of this year’s festival. Exciting to have such a wide spectrum of themes, some films stand out boldly amongst the rest. Really thinking outside the box were films like Short Film Block 4’s ‘La Comida’ directed by Edward Pomerantz where a starving Hispanic man receives some unusual yet surprisingly emotional sustenance from a young mother while on the train, and 7’s ‘Cherry Picking’ where director Amy Driver explores a dentist’s accidental hallucination’s affect on his poor patient.

Adam R. Brown’s ‘Love Squirts’ puts a black comedic spin on a girlfriend’s mistake to try and get rid of her boyfriend’s pimple and ‘No Where, No One,’ under Erin Collett’s direction, takes a far less funny approach to a young immigrant’s tragedy set in rewind action to acquaint the issue’s roots in sad reverse. Matt Lennon’s ‘Fuck You, Lucy Pickens’ puts a creative and disturbing look on the job interview process where stage three produces some terrible ends through a mysterious computerized test.

Some animations seem to demonstrate the fine craft with ease, like Damien Stein’s French-made ‘A Ride Towards the Sea,’ a stop-motion tale of a miniature man on a motorbike trying to reach the shore to let his goldfish free. It’s uplifting with delicately handled details and raw sound that really draw the senses. And the short documentary ‘The Story of an Egg’ directed by Douglas Gayeton mix graphics, stop-motion photography, and sincere testimony to raise some larger questions about the meaning of cage-free versus pastured in a world where animal treatment is an ongoing concern.

Whether a festival aficionado or film lover, or just someone who got curious one afternoon on the internet, The Unofficial Google+ Film Festival offers up a free approach to watching movies and networking the world. Besides the entertainment, we can hear for ourselves, while having the allowance to adapt to our schedules, how the other half lives, who made these films and web series and how. With some impressive content this year now getting their word spread thanks to Google+, the road will likely be laying further and farther next time around. An environment to engage in some film action- not much to complain about there.

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