The Naperville International Film Festival is not only a place for filmmakers to screen their works, the festival also serves as a stepping stone for many who are able to obtain distribution deals.
The festival begins its fourth year Saturday and runs through Sept. 24. This year 79 films comprising more than 72 hours of screen time will be shown, according to the festival’s organizers. Fifteen of the films already received awards from the European Film Festival. Tickets may be purchased online. The and will host the festival.
Edmond and Glessna Coisson founded and organized the festival since its inception. The festival’s theme this year is saluting the troops, which Glessna said is in respect for the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
A 13-person jury chose the entries, which range from local to international, Edmond Coisson said. The jury also selects awards from 10 different categories, including Best Feature Film and Best Actor and Actress.
“The key is we have a jury that selects good films not because it was made in Naperville and we have to show it,” Edmond said. “If it was made in Taiwan or Naperville, if it’s good, we will show it.”
With about 85 percent of films independently made, Edmond said the festival’s goal is helping independent filmmakers gain exposure. Last year, six festival films were picked up for distribution.
“We want to cater our festival to our filmmakers because it’s their blood, sweat and tears that go into it,” Glessna Coisson said. “We put the nuts and bolts together, but they are the meat of this festival."
On Sept. 18, Stuart Meyer’s documentary Behind Ribfest will premiere. It is a 90-minute behind-the-scenes look at the 2010 Ribfest.
“Being an independent filmmaker, there is no better place to have the premiere of this film than in Naperville, especially this story,” said Meyer, who owns Social Frequency Media Communications.
“A small group of selfless enthusiasts and volunteers created a new forum for great film and they made me feel like my work mattered,” Busch said. “Bright is much more complex and contemplative than my last one, and I am eager to see Naperville experience it.”
Along with the films, there will be an opening night party at 9 p.m. Saturday at , 1665 Quincy Ave., with a live performance from the band AVM for $15. At 6 p.m. Sept. 24, will host a closing party with a cocktail hour and an awards ceremony for $50 a ticket.
Learn more about the Naperville International Film Festival, the movies, showing times and ticket prices and the schedule for the movies.