Gen Art has a remarkable line up of seven films for this year's festival. The 12th annual festival is responsible for bringing together many of the most diversely talented filmmakers for one week of screenings, parties and fun. The opening title, Crashing, directed by Gary Walkow, is a regular winner and nominee of the film festival circuit; pic stars David Cross, Campbell Scott and Izabella Miko. The film is about a famed Hollywood writer who is thrown out of his extravagant home and forced to live with two attractive young women. (Doesn't sound like a terrible situation for him ... )

If you are in town to see anything at this festival, I hands down suggest Chalk. I screened the film when it made its rounds at the L.A. Film Festival this past year and I personally thought it blew the rest of the filmmakers out of the water. Mike Akel and Chris Mass -- a comedy duo in Texas -- penned a skeleton of what was a mostly improvised script. The story is about public school teachers in Texas; they deal with over sized classrooms, gaining student's respect and competing for the coveted teacher of the year award. The film embodies both humor and heart; and I look forward to its future success.

This year will also be the first year that Gen Art expands its festival to the Chicago area beginning June 25; this gives five more innovative filmmakers the opportunity to get their work seen. They are also doing their part for the environment by creating an online festival in conjunction with Planet Green Game. I was not previously aware of the Gen Art organization but find their mission in the art world is worthy of applause: "Gen Art strives to provide access to the film, fashion, art and music worlds for those that are interested in these areas, but often are intimidated and made to feel unwelcomed by the exclusive nature of these art/entertainment realms."

The New York Gen Art festival begins on April 11, and each feature is preceded by a short film. Need more incentive to go? Each after party features a two-hour open bar and is free admission with your festival ticket for that night. So if you're in the city, go support these fabulous films ... and then stay for those groovy free drinks.
categories Cinematical