Monday, March 16, 2009

Newark Film Festival FREE commercials

Entrepreneur and Newark Film Festival impresario Barry Schlecker is putting out a call to all Delaware filmmakers, videographers and Spike Lee dreamers.

He's got a new innovation for the festival that he says speaks directly to its mission: a free 30-second commercial screened 300 times throughout the week-long event for each sponsor that qualifies by underwriting at a certain level.

“It's a 'value added' proposal for our sponsors and an innovative way to give exposure to local filmmakers,” he says.

This is clearly a win-win: sponsors get a boost and budding film makers get added exposure at the event, which runs Sept. 10-17 at the Newark Cinema Center 3 and Sept. 18-20 at the Delaware Art Museum.

The commercials may very well take on a life of their own, and by their very nature become a draw for the five-year old festival, now a solid player in the city's arts and culture.

Head Newark cheerleader and Mayor Vance Funk is a major Thomas Jefferson fan. He intends to fulfill his 30 seconds of Warhol fame dressed as our country's third President. (Think Rudy Guiliani on Saturday Night Live without the dress.)

The filmmakers will meet with sponsors to determine the commercial's mission, create a story board and plan a shoot -- and the owner of the business may very well be the star of the production.

Ric Edevane, owner of video production company Creative Media Group ( and president of Delaware Independent Film Makers (, has agreed to vet the commercials for quality control.

Locally produced films have always been a part of the festival (a third of the 30 screened indies and documentaries were produced regionally), but this opens the door for more.

Schlecker is emphatic about embracing local film makers and giving them a forum: "We take pride in this aspect of our mission," he says, and it's working.

“The buzz on the new project has been such a success that we are seeking additional film makers,” says Schlecker. “As Spike Lee said, with the advent of YouTube, everyone with a camera can be a filmmaker.”

And with organizations like DIF, Edevane says there's support to become a better one. He characterizes DIF as the premiere Delaware group for the serious filmmaker.

“Find talent for your next film, learn new ways to light and shoot a scene, network with some of Delaware's top award-winning filmmakers or just come out and have fun.”

Gordon Delgiorno, DIF's VP, says his goal is to goal is to make DIF the central hub for all film-related business that passes through the state. He has screened two of his feature films in the festival so far. This Newark connection has ongoing work with the city to catalog their year-long events through Film Brothers (, a company he jointly owns with brother Greg.

Many DIF members will participate in the Film Festival plan. While their work is gratis, there will definitely be competition. Schlecker intends to award cash prizes to winners -- who will be judged by audience acclamation.

For more information, visit or call Barry Schlecker (302) 690-5555.

Aisle Say arts critic Greer Firestone knows who's who and what's what in the local theatre scene. His opinings on the business of art come from a half-century in Delaware theatre.

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