by Eliza Liu
Max Cannon, who has been the host for seven years, says, “People can submit films here, and since we don't pick and choose which ones we show, filmmakers can get a great honest critique on a film no matter what.”
The films are not pre-screened, and there is only time for the first 15 submissions to be shown.
Even if you aren’t a filmmaker, the show is very entertaining for the audience. The way it works: Each film will be played for three minutes, and then stopped. If the audience is unhappy with the film, the gong will be struck. When the gong is struck, the filmmaker has lost their chance at winning the month's contest, and the next film will start.
“We get films ranging from great to terrible, so comedy plays a big part...” says Cannon. It's obvious that many filmmakers do take it seriously, though, since making a film takes a lot of effort.
This is a great way for a filmmaker to experience how an audience reacts to their film. The best filmmaker at the First Friday Shorts monthly event collects a prize of $200—lus, a guaranteed spot in the annual Golden Gong Awards, which is a showing of all of the monthly winners from that year. That winner is awarded $1,000 and receives a trophy.
“First Friday Shorts is one of the most popular recurring events, always a big draw, guaranteed,” says Loft program director, Jeff Yanc.
So come check it out! The next showing is at 9 p.m., Friday, Sept. 7, at the Loft Cinema, 3233 E. Speedway Blvd. Tickets are $6, or $5 for Loft Cinema members. Visit the Loft's website for more information.