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|Similar to the Tribeca Film Festival which was established to bring people back to downtown New York City after 9/11, the AP Indiefest (independent film festival) has been created to further a sense of community, provide opportunity and stimulate economic growth in Asbury Park. A joint venture of ArtsCAP, The Asbury Park Film Initiative and The ShowRoom with involvement from downtown arts businesses, the AP Indiefest is intended to support the continued revitalization of Asbury Park by bringing together a culturally diverse community; provide a venue for aspiring filmmakers; and contribute to stimulating the city’s economic growth by helping to further establish Asbury Park as and arts and cultural destination. This is the second year for the AP Indiefest.
ASBURY PARK AND THE ARTS: A NATURAL PARTNERSHIP
Asbury Park is a well-known seaside community that has always attracted large audiences to its varied entertainment venues. In fact, at one time there were more seven movie palaces in the downtown. Walter Reade began his movie theater empire in Asbury Park, premiering Bridge on the River Kwai with a bridge across Main Street. And long before Bruce Springsteen released his debut album in 1973, Greetings from Asbury Park, Asbury Park played a variety of roles in popular song, stage, television, films, and as a home to writers, musicians and performance artists.
Currently, seven full-time galleries, a professional regional theatre, a glass-blowing studio, an art supply store and numerous retail outlets selling and promoting international/local artists call Asbury Park their home. Over the past couple of years alone a Dance Academy, Independent Cinema, and early stage performer, Provincetown Fringe Festival, have set up shop in Asbury Park. Additional organizations are in the process of establishing a presence in Asbury Park, including Shore Institute of the Contemporary Arts (SICA), among others.
The AP Indiefest will help to further establish Asbury Park as a regional arts and cultural destination while furthering educational and economic opportunity to a broader base of city residents.
THE AP INDIE FEST: FILMS THAT CHANGE YOU FOR GOOD
More than any other defining characteristic, Asbury Park has always been a place that attracted an eclectic mix of independent minded individuals who are drawn to a sense of possibility and realization of shared potential. In keeping with the City’s unwavering spirit and in recognition of the entrepreneurs, community residents and businesses that are committed to creating Asbury as a ‘city of opportunity,’ the subtitle of the AP Indiefest is Films that Change You For Good.
Films will be selected that demonstrate some change in society or an individual to reflect the spirit of hope and possibility that continues to inspire so many of us who are committed to building the future of Asbury Park.
FESTIVAL LOCATION: The ShowRoom, 708 Cookman Avenue, Asbury Park.
FESTIVAL DATES: Friday September 23 Sunday September 25
Use film as a social mechanism to enlighten and bring together the cultural diversity of Asbury Park and the surrounding communities Educate participants about film as a craft and provide a venue for aspiring independent artists
Use the festival as an economic stimulus for Asbury Park as the City looks to extend the summer season to a make it more of a year-round arts and cultural destination
This year’s Indiefest will expand the educational aspect of film, by providing people with a ‘behind the scenes’ look at the craft of movie-making, and use film as a learning tool for students. Film has a unique way of bringing people together across class, age, and culture. Educating more individuals about films and filmmaking will generate a greater interest in the art form and inspire a dialogue about the future of Asbury Park among those who would not normally do so. By presenting this Festival, we hope that more people will gain an interest in the city and become engaged in its future.
The APin3 Film Challenge is a unique component of the AP Indiefest. The goal of the APin3 Film Challenge is to bring members of the community together by exposing participants to the filmmaking process and providing aspiring filmmakers with a venue to show their work. It is a contest in which participants have 48 hours to put together and edit a three-minute movie that reflects the spirit of Asbury Park and is in keeping with the overall theme of the Festival. Each group is given a genre, a prop and a line of dialogue that must be used in the movie.
Based on a panel of judges, including industry professionals, the top 10 films chosen will be screened at the festival to help foster a spirit of community pride among participants and residents. Participants gain a sense of accomplishment at what they’ve produced while friends and family see the product of their labor. Ultimately, this will instill a greater sense of community in Asbury Park and among its diverse residents and businesses.
The Arts Coalition of Asbury Park (better known as ArtsCAP) is a collaboration of artists, citizens, and cultural and nonprofit organizations dedicated to the advancement of the arts through collaboration, advocacy and education. ArtsCAP believes that art, by its very nature, enriches community life.
Indeed, ArtsCAP’s work is deeply rooted in community a community that has been defined by artistic and cultural expression since its founding, over 140 years ago. However, it is ArtsCAP’s entrepreneurial spirit and model of community engagement over the past five years that has established them as the primary organizer, unifier and convener of arts-related programming in Asbury Park.
ArtsCAP takes a multi-dimensional approach to supporting artistic excellence, which is based on collaboration. By facilitating positive working relationships among a variety of stakeholders, ArtsCAP has significantly expanded programming and has created the political influence to develop informed, sustainable city arts policies. This spirit of partnership has led to a flourishing of a variety of artistic, performance and musical expression with a much broader scope of offerings. Their influence has carried over to other local municipalities in the county, as ArtsCAP has been a leader in promoting an arts and cultural ‘corridor’ in eastern Monmouth County.
ArtsCAP’s relationships with City officials, including the City Manager, who sits on its Advisory Board, has helped advance one of the organizations major initiatives which is to make art accessible to the public. And in keeping with ArtsCAP’s understanding of the importance of public policy, the organization helped to develop a Public Arts Mural Ordinance, which has provided the framework for the implementation of public art projects in Asbury Park.
Recognizing the importance of arts education, ArtsCAP has established a productive partnership with the Asbury Park High School to enrich and supplement after-school arts programming. In 2008, ArtsCAP expanded this partnership to serve a larger student body by collaborating with local community development organization, Interfaith Neighbors.
Most recently, ArtsCAP was responsible for preparing and submitting the grant proposal that led to the Musical Heritage initiative in Asbury Park this past Spring, a collaboration with the National Smithsonian Institution’s Traveling Exhibition Service.
The Asbury Park Film Initiative (APFI), a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing free film and events to Asbury Park is a founding partner in the AP Indiefest. Founded in 2008 by local entrepreneurs Marilyn Schlossbach (Langosta, Dauphin Grille, Trinity and The Pope, etc.) and VJ Carbone of Focus Features and Bodega Shoppe, the APFI has launched many successful promotions such as Dinner and a Movie as well as free beach and boardwalk summer screenings in Asbury Park.
The ShowRoom, one of the primary sponsors of the AP Indie Fest came to Asbury Park in April of 2009 to restore film to its rightful place as a communication and entertainment medium to Asbury Park and play a role in the revitalization of the city. It is a movie house in Asbury Park that specializes in independent films, and the first to be established in Asbury Park in over 30 years. The ShowRoom was recently voted the Best Independent Theater by NJ Monthly Magazine.
Since April 2009, The ShowRoom has established itself as an important, independent community institution. Its commitment to using film to build community, stimulate artistic expression while promoting economic development has been consistent and widely recognized. For instance, in one of its past collaborative ventures, The ShowRoom teamed up with “Words!” an independent bookstore in downtown Asbury Park to create a book/film series entitled “BookFlx.” This series of film and discussion combined dialogue with an author’s work and a presentation of a film that either inspired or thematically links to the authors work. Authors such as Pulitzer Prize winner Junot Diaz discussed his work and answered questions from the audience.
With their partnership with the Asbury Park Film Initiative, the ShowRoom has created a series called Best of NewFest which is a Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) oriented event. They also have teamed up with Brookdale Community College and Monmouth University to bring the classroom to the theater as an educational opportunity to expose students to non-traditional artists. The ShowRoom has also helped to establish the Dinner and a Movie series with local restaurants to provide movie goers with deals on movie tickets when combined with a prix fixe dinner at a participating Asbury-based restaurant. The ShowRoom has invested in the community of Asbury Park and looks forward to building on that success with the AP Indiefest.