Silk City: It’s a Wrap

Left: Ron Palilo

If you missed The First Annual Silk City Flick Fest, you should be ashamed. I’m calling it a raving success.

The opening night party saw a number of the filmmakers and other industry bigwigs rub elbows and make some solid connections. In attendance were such names as Ron Palillo and Tom Kane. (If you don’t know who they are, look them up on cause they’re on there!) In addition to all the hobnobbing, there was plenty of free food and drinks! Who can complain about that? Certainly not this vagabond.

But what made this film fest unique? For one thing, all the different venues!

Not satisfied with having one measly venue to screen movies at, Silk City had screenings of feature length and short films at a number of different locations, including Showcase Cinemas, Manchester Community College and Hilliard Mills. Showcase screened one of the bigger movies of the fest, Sasquatch Assault (filmed largely in Connecticut) to a nearly packed house. Hilliard Mills provided a great location, giving a cool, independent film vibe to the movies that screened there.

The set up inside Hilliard Mills was impressive. There was a huge screen and state of the art sound and video equipment. The sites and sounds came across crisply. The movies were pretty darn good, too.

John Ramaglia said he thought it “was a great way to get the community together and to take nothing (an idea) and turn it into something (the fest).” He was also very happy with the amount of press releases on the fest from publications like The Courant and The Reminder. It actually made the front page of The Courant, which is impressive considering you normally have to be murdered, or a scandal-riddled politician to get that honor. (The Reminder…not such an honor in our opinion.)

Did this fest benefit Manchester by pumping some much needed cash into the local economy? Ramaglia believes so. Fest sponsor Super 8 was sold out (not all on account of the fest) and Ketchup and Mustard was packed Saturday night due in large part to the fest. Hopefully this will lead to the sponsors to line up again for next year.

The big question is will there be another Silk City Flick Fest next year? While Ramaglia could not say for sure either way, he was “very optimistic” about the future of the fest. “January is when we sit down and plan…right now we’re just taking a breather.” And putting on a film fest costs money, people! A whole bunch of money! But Ramaglia believes he learned enough from SCFF ’09 to make SCFF ’10 more cost effective and run more efficiently.

There’s also a question of whether Manchester would want the fest back. It’s hard to imagine the city not wanting the fest to return, seeing as how it was a nice bump for the local economy and got the town some much needed positive press. “Also, it got to show off MARC, a great charity in the community,” Ramaglia added. Cheers to that! And here’s hoping we see bigger and better things from this up and coming film fest in 2010.