Hands down, Guam International Film Festival (WEBSITE) is the Freshest and most Fun film festival I have ever been to. The festival is young (just three years old) and so are its founders (the Muna brothers), director (J.D. Iriarte) and the staff and volunteers.
This crew is ridiculously talented, and in addition to running the festival, everyone is a filmmaker, musician or artist, and they each have at least a couple of party tricks up their sleeve (like mind-blowing magic tricks or dope dance moves). But most of all, they simply love film and love this island and bring these two worlds together into a week of amazing events that many film festivals will only ever dream of.
I'm talking awesome island tours to show off the best of what Guam has to offer. Parties and events featuring insanely talented musicians and awesome food. Master class workshops to inspire young, local filmmakers. Screenings that are held for SOLD OUT audiences excited to see the amazing films that GIFF has brought to Guam. (Have you ever been to a festival screening with only 3 people in the audience? Yeah, well, then you weren't at GIFF).
And for the delegates, I don't even know where to begin. GIFF staff and volunteers are meeting the directors at their resort hotels and driving them around in roomy cars to beautiful venues, all courtesy of the festival's generous sponsors (SHOUT OUT). Does this sound like a promo for the festival? I can assure you, this is actual testimony from a satisfied film director.
|The view from my hotel room. With a rainbow.|
I'm talking about DAILY news coverage by excited and interested local media. ACTUAL press conferences. Insanely up-to-date social media campaigns (Facebook HERE and Twitter HERE). This festival is setting a new bench mark for what it means to give a s*** about film. Just watch the TWO news reports below.
You may have never heard of the Guam International Film Festival before, but trust me: you will. Get on this ship while it's still in port, because this baby is about to set sail.
|(L to R: producer Shanna Sletten, GIFF director J.D. Iriarte, GIFF co-founder Kel Muna, me, GIFF volunteer Jeanna)|