Another contender for the top slot is Alexander Gaeta’sShoot the Moon, about a woman down on her luck, with a failed marriage, no job, little money, and about to lose her house, she pins all her hopes on becoming a contestant on a popular game show to win it big. The characters are very believable, perhaps even depressingly so, as they stand in for people anyone could know in real life. The camera work and editing is brilliantly put together, though with occasional spotty audio, breaking with home video quality appropriate to the story. The ending nicely ties the story together and leaves the audience to come to their own conclusion as to the resolution of the characters’ plight.
Standing out for its unique vision is Matt Fisher’s Field of Honor, about a Pre-Revolutionary journalist caught in a duel with a renowned duelist. Special mention goes to the special effects carefully integrated into the film that built the Pre-Revolutionary era that made the film possible, including the carriages, backgrounds, and pistols. Kudos as well goes to the production designer for recreating the proper attire for the actors to wear as well as the props and locations. While the actors could have given a stronger performance, some characters didn’t connect their motivations or relationships with the audience, it did not distract from the overall story.
And finally, with the longest running time of 86 minutes, comes Giorgio Arcelli’s Principessa, about a struggling actress who falls in love with a nobleman and pretends to be a duchess in order to appease the nobleman’s mother. Principessa is a foreign film, but that does not hinder the enjoyment of the actors’ abilities onscreen, they deliver unique roles with solid foundations of their psyches. The film takes its time to build the story it wants to tell, feeling less like a romantic comedy and more like a series of events leading to the other. Principessa also explores the topic of abortion, and while not strictly Pro-Life or Pro-Choice, the dilemma is meant to cause reflection in the viewer and to really consider their own responses. On the technical side, the camera work is professional; though the same cannot be said for the subtitles, which contain such glaring mistakes from straightforward translations to downright spelling and grammatical errors.
For more information on the first Greenville Film Festival, visit www.gviff.com.