Three Rivers Film Fest Celebrates 34 Years in the ‘Burgh

Published On November 9, 2015 | By Leah Kennedy | The Arts

compFrom our thriving local music circuit, to forward-thinking artists, to hot spots where we can chow down, it’s clear that there’s no shortage of creativity in our city.

Each year, ‘Burgh residents anticipate catching a glimpse of one medium in particular–a collection of thought-provoking ventures from local and national film artists. Acclaimed as the largest film fest in the region, this year’s Three Rivers Film Festival will showcase 50 projects by directors who dabble in several styles of creation and production.

The 34th Annual Three Rivers Film Fest is being held at various PGH locations, featuring works such as sneak peeks, dramas, documentaries, restored classics, indies, and shorts. Though it began last Friday, there’s still plenty of time to get immersed in multiple cinematic bodies of work from around the globe. Check out a few of our preview picks below, and be sure to scope out the full schedule online.

Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead

Regent Square Theater; Weds., Nov. 11 @ 8PM

natllampoon“Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead” gives audience members a bird’s-eye view into the edgy, boundary-pushing motifs of National Lampoon magazine. Launched in the 70s, National Lampoon established a groundbreaking publication highlighting segments of multiple societal elements–such as pop culture, humor, politics, religion and lifestyle. This continued for over two decades, eventually leading to successful radio shows, record albums, live stage revues, and movies, which laid the foundation for the launch of successful careers including Bill Murray, Chevy Chase and John Belushi. The chronological documentary is sprinkled with historical tidbits and candid interviews from National Lampoon’s creators and producers, providing a unique take on its imprint within American culture. Director Douglas Tirola is scheduled to attend.

Eisenstein in Guanajuato

Harris Theater; Tues., Nov. 10 @ 7:30PM, & Fri., Nov. 13 @ 9:15PM

eisensteinUpon the peak of his artistic endeavors, Soviet filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein travels to Mexico in 1931 for a 10-day film project titled “Que Viva Mexico.” Chaperoned by his tour guide Palomino Cañedo, he experiences the ties between sex, love, and death, striving to create their cinematic effect, albeit struggling against their inevitable occurrences within his own life. Ultimately, “Que Viva Mexico” magnified Eisenstein’s career and transformed his status–from former Hollywood reject, to a staple in cinematic history. The Peter Greenway film parallels Eisenstein’s journey and genius takes on desires and fears of human emotions and impending demise.

Film Kitchen: Weird Paul

Regent Square Theater; Tues., Nov. 10 @ 8PM (7PM reception)weird paul

A 30-year veteran of Pittsburgh, “Weird Paul” Petroskey has blazed an elusive career path in writing, recording and performing music. Throughout his journey, Petroskey has been featured on over 60 albums; has written and co-written 750+ songs; showcased work on his self-titled weekly local TV program, “The Weird Paul Variety Show”; and due to his YouTube presence, he’s taken on the moniker of the “Original Vlogger.” His screening will include the first public, uncut showing of 1989’s “Suburban Disillusion,” “a stream-of-consciousness film” layered with images, jokes, set-pieces, and real-life footage, as well as a handful of homemade films.

The Photographer

Harris Theater; Mon., Nov. 9 @ 7:30PM, & Weds., Nov. 11 @ 6PM

the photographerThis Waldemar Krzystek-directed film tells the story of “The Photographer,” a serial killer based in contemporary Moscow; and Natasha, a component of the investigation as a previous victim, and the only living survivor. Investigation clues and details point to several historical happenings in the 70s, as well as the Red Army barracks in Legnica. Even stranger yet, “The Photographer” leaves his murder scenes marked with numbered cards, an eerily similar tactic mimicked from those placed at crime scenes by forensic investigators. Prepare to be shocked and awed by this dark, suspenseful thriller.

Steeltown Indie

Regent Square Theater; Mon., Nov. 9 @ 7PM

pghdadPittsburghers at heart won’t want to miss the 7th annual Steeltown Indie event, a showcase of independent works created in Southwestern PA. In addition, local filmmakers will share their experiences with creating films in our city and a reception will be held after the screening. Showcased works include the following:

  • “Pittsburgh Dad’s Back to the Future Episode” by Chris Preksta and Curt Wooton
  • “Back for Good Trailer” by Molly Donovan and Bailey Donovan
  • “The Beat Goes On Short Film” by Randy Kovitz
  • “Candyland Teaser Trailer” by Don Ammon and Kris Veenis
  • “Father(s) Day Short Film” by Demetrius Wren
  • “The Immaculate Reception Short Film” by Charlotte Glynn
  • “The Raven Short Film” by Thad Ciechanowski, Joe Serkoch, and Frank Tirio Jr.
  • “Milkman Short Film” by Garrett Kennell
  • “The Sisters Sorella Live Scene” by Tressa Glover, Julianne Avolio, Maggie Carr and Don DiDiGiulio

Honorable Mention:

The Competitive Shorts Program

Melwood Screening Room; Sat., Nov. 14 @ 7:30PM (reception following), & Sun., Nov. 15 @ 2:30PM

Each year, the Three Rivers Film Festival highlights a competitive selection of shorts, allowing artists working in film to creatively take risks and break new ground. This year, 16 shorts have been selected from 100 local, national and international submissions, with categories including: experimental, narrative, animation and documentary. Prizes donated by Pittsburgh Filmmakers will be awarded for First, Second and Third Place. You can check out the full list of hopeful candidates on the event page.

The Three Rivers Film Fest runs until November 15 at multiple venues with varying time slots. You can purchase tickets and Six Pack Passes ($50 for six regular film fest admissions) online.

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