Idyllwild CinemaFest 2013: It’s a wrap

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Rugby players and guests arrive at The Rustic Theatre on Sunday afternoon to watch ”Red, White, Black and Blue,” an award-winning documentary about the tough game of rugby. Players and families attended the ICF showing. Before the event, they played in the snow and went sledding.Photo by Jenny Kirchner

ICF 2013 played out with some weather challenges, bitter cold and some snow and fog, but the festival buzz among filmmakers and audience was warm and glowing.

Festival Director Stephen Savage at every opportunity credited Chairman Phil Calderone’s many contributions in raising the bar for this year’s festival — from increasing the number of films screened from 67 to 100, for the overall quality of movies screened, for adding new categories (foreign and amateur), and for the smooth scheduling of the films among the three venues, including the Galaxy Theatre, this year’s new venue at Astrocamp.

“Overall, I think it was a great success,” said Calderone. “I received endless compliments from people, all five days, particularly admiring the quality of the films.”

Calderone noted that some complained that scheduling ran too tight between films. But he observed that films in each two-hour time slot contained no more than 90 to 103 minutes of scheduled content. He said the difference was that audience-driven Q and A’s filled the intervening time.

“This is a good problem to have, a choice viewers make,” he said. “Far be it from me to truncate what may be one of the most enjoyable times they are having — the afterglow of an enjoyable experience.”

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