Digital Arts: 10th Annual Red Wasp Film Festival

Digital Arts: Donny Hall on LA, rap videos and life in Bryan
August 31, 2012
Literary Arts: Chuck Taylor on poetry & Chad Scott on Mic Check and Poetry Slams
August 31, 2012

Photo by Crystal Littrell & JP Beato IIIDigital Arts 

Red Wasp Film Festival

Story by Alejandra Quinones

The 10th Annual Red Wasp Film Festival will be held October 26-27 in Downtown Bryan and is presented by Brazos Progressives. The Festival is accepting submissions in multiple categories through September 14. Krista May, committee member of the Red Wasp Film Festival, explains what film festivals offer.

Tell us about the history of Red Wasp Film Festival. 

“Beginning in 2003, founders Carol and Craig Conlee first held the festival at 7F Lodge in Wellborn. In 2006, Brazos Progressive partnered with the Conlees and the festival moved to Conlee Auctions in Downtown Bryan. The first time it was held at StageCenter was in 2008.” 

Red Wasp: It’s a catchy name. How did that come about? 

May says the first festivals were held out in Wellborn at 7F Lodge during the spring when red wasps filled the air, pestering a lot of the guests, and Carol Conlee decided to make the pests part of the festival. “She swears that though the wasps are still present in the spring, they don’t bother her any more.” 

What is the purpose of the Red Wasp Film Festival? 

“The whole reason that it started was because there were people here that were interested in independent film specifically. There are artists that don’t have corporate backing for their films or that just don’t want to have to make any sacrifices for their art, as do many film makers backed by studios. There was a huge demographic of people that were interested in them and the film making technology is so much more accessible now that you don’t need a huge budget to tell your story. This festival gives the film makers a place where they can show their work, for free (there is no submission fee) and where they can get direct feedback from their audience.”

What are the criteria for the films to be chosen for screening? 

Photo by Crystal Littrell & JP Beato IIIDigital Arts 

Red Wasp Film Festival

Story by Alejandra Quinones

The 10th Annual Red Wasp Film Festival will be held October 26-27 in Downtown Bryan and is presented by Brazos Progressives. Krista May, committee member of the Red Wasp Film Festival, explains what film festivals offer.

Tell us about the history of Red Wasp Film Festival. 

“Beginning in 2003, founders Carol and Craig Conlee first held the festival at 7F Lodge in Wellborn. In 2006, Brazos Progressive partnered with the Conlees and the festival moved to Conlee Auctions in Downtown Bryan. The first time it was held at StageCenter was in 2008.” 

Red Wasp: It’s a catchy name. How did that come about? 

May says the first festivals were held out in Wellborn at 7F Lodge during the spring when red wasps filled the air, pestering a lot of the guests, and Carol Conlee decided to make the pests part of the festival. “She swears that though the wasps are still present in the spring, they don’t bother her any more.” 

What is the purpose of the Red Wasp Film Festival? 

“The whole reason that it started was because there were people here that were interested in independent film specifically. There are artists that don’t have corporate backing for their films or that just don’t want to have to make any sacrifices for their art, as do many film makers backed by studios. There was a huge demographic of people that were interested in them and the film making technology is so much more accessible now that you don’t need a huge budget to tell your story. This festival gives the film makers a place where they can show their work, for free (there is no submission fee) and where they can get direct feedback from their audience.”

What are the criteria for the films to be chosen for screening? 

“Since we only have two evenings and one venue, we can’t screen every film submitted. The judges’ committee decides what is screened each year, usually between 15 and 20 films. It’s starting to get harder for the judges to decide what we screen because we’ve been getting so many entries and time is limited.” 

So many people submitting films must mean the word is getting around, and it’s growing in popularity? 

“Oh yes, we’ve been growing a lot. For example this year, before we even got around to really publicizing the admission dates and deadlines, we already had 10 submissions. The number of submissions has just gone through the roof and the quality of the films has improved, as well. It’s getting harder and harder to decide what we screen and what the awards will be. It’s a good problem to have.”

Can you tell us about the categories and awards of The Red Wasp Film Festival? 

“We accept short films, feature films, music videos and trailers. The trailers category is kind of unusual, but we thought it would be good for anyone that is working on a feature film that may not have finished it, but want to see people’s reactions.” 

If someone asked you ‘What is a movie’? what would you say? 

“Movies are, to me, a visual representation of stories. Everyone’s story is different; it may be a more traditional narrative, chronologically told, or maybe something more experimental where time is all broken up. It may even be something that’s focused on one object; but every film tells a story so when you put the visual and digital together with that storytelling element it makes for an interesting art from and a unique from of expression. 

So who should submit their work to the Red Wasp Film Festival?

“Anyone. Anyone interested in making any sort of film. If they’re not sure of themselves, just submit it. It’s a great opportunity for us to feature local talent and, you never know, your vision may be something audiences have never seen before.” 

The 10th Red Wasp Film Festival will be held Friday, October 26, and Saturday, October 27, at StageCenter Community Theater in Downtown Bryan. 

For a complete schedule of the Red Wasp Film Festival and submissions, visit http://redwasp.org/