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Renton (and loaf of bread) star in FilmFrenzy

Terry Thomas, left, directs his Australian shepherd CeCe to drop a loaf of bread during run-throughs for a scene in “Loaf’s Labors Lost,” a four-minute movie created by Chris Iley, right, and his team as part of the Renton FilmFrenzy. CeCe and the loaf of bread are the stars of the short film. Crew member Elizabeth Neumann is at top, and Andrew Forderer is at bottom. Not pictured is crew member Jared Thomas. - Matt Brashears/Renton Reporter
Terry Thomas, left, directs his Australian shepherd CeCe to drop a loaf of bread during run-throughs for a scene in “Loaf’s Labors Lost,” a four-minute movie created by Chris Iley, right, and his team as part of the Renton FilmFrenzy. CeCe and the loaf of bread are the stars of the short film. Crew member Elizabeth Neumann is at top, and Andrew Forderer is at bottom. Not pictured is crew member Jared Thomas.
— image credit: Matt Brashears/Renton Reporter

The loaf of white bread started in Greenfresh Market and ended in a kitchen in downtown Renton. Along the way the loaf visited a donkey statue, the Piazza, an Australian shepherd and many downtown Renton neighborhoods.

“It ended up being a loaf of bread’s epic adventure through Renton,” says Chris Iley.

Iley, Andrew Forderer and two other crew members, Elizabeth Snow and Jared Thomas, caught the epic adventure on film. The film, called “Loaf’s Labors Lost,” is the group’s entry to Renton FilmFrenzy, a 50-hour filmmaking competition that started at 5 p.m. Friday and ended at 7 p.m. Sunday.

Fifty hours to write, shoot, edit and turn in a four-minute film. Filmmakers also had a few other requirements. Films had to be shot entirely in Renton and had to be appropriate for all audiences. Films also had to include three components: The Piazza, a piece of Renton’s public art and the phrase “Ahead of the Curve,” which is Renton’s marketing slogan.

Renton’s Economic Development Director Suzanne Dale Estey called the competition a “50-hour scramble.”

Ten of the 15 groups that registered for the scramble met the contest’s requirements and turned in films by Sunday’s deadline. Some of the groups are in the student division and some in the open division. Dale Estey was pleased with the outcome.

“I heard really positive feedback,” she says. “They (the filmmakers) were just really, really upbeat ... It was kind of fun, like who would have thought Renton would do this kind of thing?”

All 10 films will be screened at the FilmFrenzy Curvee Awards Ceremony Tuesday from 7–9 p.m. at the Renton IKEA Performing Arts Center. The ceremony is free and open to the public. A $500 award will be given to the Best Picture, $250 to First Prize in the open and student divisions, $200 for Second Prize, and $150 for Third Prize. Curvees will also be awarded for Best Actor, Best Use of Renton and a Special Judges Award. Curvees are glass statuettes designed by Uptown Glassworks.

Judges include local filmmakers, film critics and a representative from the Renton Municipal Arts Commission.

The FilmFrenzy is a project of the Renton Community Marketing Campaign, the folks who came up with the ubiquitous “Ahead of the Curve.” Campaign members include Renton Chamber of Commerce, Valley Medical Center, Renton School District, Renton Technical College, Renton Visitors Connection and City of Renton. The Frenzy is presented in cooperation with the Renton Municipal Arts Commission.

Renton FilmFrenzy is a mar-

keting tool, for sure, Dale Estey says. The festival, she says, is meant to show that Renton is “not just the proud home of the Boeing Co. and the aerospace industry, but also a hip, interesting place where arts and culture thrive.”

Dale Estey says the city is hoping to grow the festival next year, turning the festival into a “destination event.”

Even this year, the festival has many of the same components as bigger film festivals. After the Curvee Awards Ceremony, all the films will be shown again at various downtown businesses during a Renton FilmWalk from 7-8 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 29 and Thursday, Oct. 30.

Harambee Church is hosting a pre-party for the contest’s student filmmakers from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Tuesday and Touchdowns Sports Bar & Grill is hosting a 21-and-over post-party at 9 p.m. Tuesday.

Renton FilmFrenzy has just begun, but it’s already drawn a lot of media attention. The contest has been covered by The Seattle Times, KING 5 News, KOMO Newsradio, KIRO-TV and radio. Dale Estey says RentonFilmFrenzy.com has also received thousands of hits.

But aside from drawing media attention, Dale Estey says Renton FilmFrenzy was also designed to “really foster and embrace the arts and culture here in our community, and also to grow them.”

Chris Iley of Renton and Andrew Forderer of Des Moines are using the Renton FilmFrenzy as a way to grow their filmmaking company, Auxilia Productions. Now that they’ve made it through their first 50-hour “filmmakers bootcamp,” the pair, both 23, are setting their sights on other film festivals, like Seattle International Film Festival and maybe Los Angeles Film Festival and Tribeca Film Festival.

The pair hopes to win Renton FilmFrenzy, but they realize that a near-silent movie starring a loaf of bread may not be for everyone. They’re happy just to have finished the project.

“I think we’ve come to terms that we may not win,” Iley says. “But it’s something we’re really happy with.”

Auxilia Productions will return to next year’s FilmFrenzy. The star of next year’s film won’t be a loaf of bread. But food isn’t out of the question.

“Maybe next year it will be a banana,” Iley says.

The screening

The 10 films entered in Renton FilmFrenzy will be screened at the free FilmFrenzy Curvee Awards Ceremony Tuesday from 7–9 p.m. at the Renton IKEA Performing Arts Center. For more FilmFrenzy information and events, visit http://rentonfilmfrenzy.com.

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