The 3rd Annual No Budget Film FestivalTwo years ago, I was part of the judging panel of the first ever Collaborative Arts LA (cARTel, for short) No Budget Film Festival. It was held in a teensy 40-seat theater in Westwood and all ten submitted films were accepted. Last night I attended their third outing and they have definitely upgraded.
As opposed to a single-night event, this year’s festival spanned an entire weekend of screenings, parties, and even a day of panels featuring some relatively well known speakers like Jane Espenson, the guys behind BritTANick, and one of screenwriters of Legally Blonde and 10 Things I Hate About You. This year’s judging panel featured the movies editor for New York Magazine, producers from The Wackness, The Hangover movies, Last Call with Carson Daly, and actor-turned-filmmaker Rider Strong (who won Best Short Film at Tribeca last year), as well as a representative from Slamdance.
For the actual night of screenings they sold out the Downtown Independent, which seats around 270, and this year’s crop of 16 films was culled from 120 submissions, which came in from all over the world. My two favorites, Anatomy Of A Tiff — an unexpectedly layered and hilarious take on a man trying to figure out why his girlfriend is mad at him — and Carrie: The Artist — posted here, about a recent art school grad whose career doesn’t take off quite like she expected — won the critics’ and audience awards respectively. Emma Fassler, who played the titular Carrie, took home the actor’s award.
Seeing how much this festival has grown — in scale and skill as well as status — in the last two years is pretty amazing; I’m already looking forward to next year. In the meantime, if you live in the LA area, you should definitely keep tabs on cARTel's programming!

The 3rd Annual No Budget Film Festival
Two years ago, I was part of the judging panel of the first ever Collaborative Arts LA (cARTel, for short) No Budget Film Festival. It was held in a teensy 40-seat theater in Westwood and all ten submitted films were accepted. Last night I attended their third outing and they have definitely upgraded.

As opposed to a single-night event, this year’s festival spanned an entire weekend of screenings, parties, and even a day of panels featuring some relatively well known speakers like Jane Espenson, the guys behind BritTANick, and one of screenwriters of Legally Blonde and 10 Things I Hate About You. This year’s judging panel featured the movies editor for New York Magazine, producers from The Wackness, The Hangover movies, Last Call with Carson Daly, and actor-turned-filmmaker Rider Strong (who won Best Short Film at Tribeca last year), as well as a representative from Slamdance.

For the actual night of screenings they sold out the Downtown Independent, which seats around 270, and this year’s crop of 16 films was culled from 120 submissions, which came in from all over the world. My two favorites, Anatomy Of A Tiff — an unexpectedly layered and hilarious take on a man trying to figure out why his girlfriend is mad at him — and Carrie: The Artist — posted here, about a recent art school grad whose career doesn’t take off quite like she expected — won the critics’ and audience awards respectively. Emma Fassler, who played the titular Carrie, took home the actor’s award.

Seeing how much this festival has grown — in scale and skill as well as status — in the last two years is pretty amazing; I’m already looking forward to next year. In the meantime, if you live in the LA area, you should definitely keep tabs on cARTel's programming!