Short films and big fireworks

The Ten Second Film Festival celebrates its fourth anniversary with a bang

Justin Flower

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WHAT: Ten Second Film Festival
WHEN: Friday, July 4
WHERE: The Soap Factory, 518 2 St SE
TICKETS: FREE

it’s that time of the year again, with the sun, ice cream, and bratwurst – and now 10-second film festivals – taking hold of our psyches. For beer, fireworks and short, short films, you’re going to want to haul your ID and folding chair down to the grassy train tracks behind the Soap Factory art gallery near St. Anthony main.

Chris Pennington, one of the founders of the event , recounted how the festival got its start.

“It was a time when digital cameras were coming out with a video mode,” Pennington said. “Most cameras didn’t have a lot of memory; mine could only record 10 seconds worth of video at a time.”

To supplement the short running times of the films, the organizers created a spectacle out of the event with the addition of a couple bands, an emcee, celebrity judges and a red carpet awards ceremony for the best film in each category; some highlights being “most disturbing,” “funny haha,” “arthouse,” and “most disqualified.”

The “most disqualified” category was created for films that fall outside the festival’s strict rules. Simply stated, entrants are required to use non-professional equipment (cell phones, cheap digital cameras), cannot edit the films, and must make them exactly 10 seconds in length.

Schell’s Brewery is a big supporter, offering their own, holiday-celebrating staff and donating a truck full of beer, which usually manages to recoup all of the costs associated with the event.

Last year, Ian (of TV’s Drinking with Ian), hosted the event and Pennington hopes to woo him back again this year.

Pennington’s fondness for the Soap Factory as a venue keeps him working on events like these.

“It’s an interesting place, wild and raucous, so opposite of other clean, sterile galleries. I started volunteering and haven’t stopped,” he remarked.