Triad filmmakers Cannes do..and you Cannes help!

by Mark Burger

As most of you mustknow by now – especially if you read YES! Weekly on a regular basis(which everyone should do, by the way) – then you’re probably aware ofthe fact that the makers of the award-winning short film "JoBeth" aretrying to raise the money to attend the Cannes Film Festival in May,where the film will be screened as part of the festival’s Short FilmCorner. Not only was YES! Weekly editor Brian Clarey one of thescreenwriters for "JoBeth," but yours truly was one of the judges whoweighed in on its merits at the 48-Hour Film Project in Greensboro lastsummer. It was there that the film won the awards for best directing(Matt McNeil) and the big one, best film. From there, "JoBeth" wowed’em at the Filmapalooza festival in San Jose, Calif. in February. Next stop: Cannes. Thefilmmakers, including producer Dustin Keene, want to accompany theirlittle film across the Atlantic Ocean, and have established a website – in an effort to raise the funds necessarily to flyto France and stay some place other than the beach. Of course, ifyou’ve been reading YES! Weekly, you’ve seen the ads promoting thewebsite within these very pages. Now, with the clock windingdown to Cannes, the "JoBeth" contingent will be having a little partyto celebrate their good fortune and to raise money for their trip. Itall happens this Wednesday at Greene Street Club (113 N. Greene St.,Greensboro). Not only will this be a fundraiser, but it’ll alsobe a "fun raiser" – as a hurried Dustin Keene misspelled in a hastye-mail to this reporter the other week. That’s the sort ofFreudian slip that is much appreciated by the folks at YES! Weekly, andit bodes well for the event. Much of the cast and crew are expected tobe on hand, and there will be a screening of the film as well. Let’sface it, people: These filmmakers, wacky though they are, need yourtime, your attention, and – dammit – they need your money. Send them toFrance! Let them experience for themselves what we euphemistically callthe French Connection. (Greatest movie ever made, by the way.) The$5 cover charge, which even a starving freelance writer can afford,includes such niceties as the Natty Greene’s beer and food generouslyprovided by Hooter’s and Jimmy John’s subs. There will also be asilent auction with items including artwork by local artists (amongthem Erik Beerbower and Frank Russell), products from 20/20 Skincareand much more. The idea of a "Win a Date with Mark Burger" raffle wasscratched immediately because that would undoubtedly raise too muchmoney for the trip. They wouldn’t know what to do with all that extracash. But, hey, make me an offer. Anything to support local filmmaking. Theevent will also feature an all-star lineup of local music talent,including Evan Olson, Pat Rock, Mark Kano, Mike Garrigan, Walrus andMarcus Horth. Maybe you win a date with them. All kidding aside,nothing like this has really ever happened here before. True, somefilmmakers in the area have taken movies to Cannes – but not like this.This is one-in-a-million, Rod Serling "Twilight Zone" kind of stuff, asentiment also expressed (without the Serling reference – that wasmine) by no less than an authority than Rebecca Clark, the PiedmontTriad film commissioner, who has also expressed her excitement about"JoBeth"’s selection. Both Keene and Clarey have told me in numerousoccasions that they still can’t quite believe that all of this ishappening. Well, it is happening. Right here and right now. Notsince the Allies stormed the beaches at Normandy on D-Day has therebeen anything remotely like this. Would that de Gaulle be alive to seethe Americans arrive in triumph. The French won’t know what hit ’em.Again. Rumors to the effect that "JoBeth" will be screenedoutdoors in Paris against a giant screen on the Arc d’Triomphe in thecity of Paris are greatly exaggerated… but it’s one hell of an idea.