AWESOME! More Championing of Originality

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know that lately I’ve lamented over the lack of originality in Hollywood. Now I want to highlight someone who is throwing a spotlight on originality. His name is Josh Goldbloom and he is the mastermind of Philadelphia’s Awesome Fest, a regular weekly showing of independent films and oldies but goodies like Goonies and E.T.: The Extraterrestial at various locations in Philadelphia.

Goldbloom was inspired to start the Awesome Fest when he visited Philadelphia’s Piazza at Schmidt’s, an 80,000 square foot open-air plaza that is surrounded by both retail establishments and residences. Goldbloom noticed that the Piazza has a 40-foot HD LED screen and he thought, “…[S]omeone’s gotta take control of that screen.” So, he set up a meeting with the management firm of the Piazza at Schmidt’s, pitched the idea of hosting free outdoor screenings of independent films at the Piazza and the rest is history.

Yippee, more one champion of originality. While it can be fun to see a movie based on an old television show or to see a remake of an older film, there comes a point where the remake/reboot/re-imagining gets old and something that is truly new needs to come along. That’s where people like Goldbloom come in, since they take a chance to spotlight people working outside of the studios and give these filmmakers the exposure they need. This ultimately leads to more funding for the filmmakers, so they can make more films.

“My goal is to turn Philadelphia into the Hollywood of the East Coast,” Goldbloom said in a June 2, 2011 Northeast Times (Philadelphia) interview. “It’s not just me, there are plenty of others creating stuff like this.”  In fact, Goldbloom has partnered with New York City based Rooftop Films to not only bring independent films to Philadelphia, but to create events based on the films. For example, if there is going to be a video game documentary, then the Piazza will be one giant video game. In other words, you’ll do more than just show up and watch a film. Rather, the viewer becomes a participant at an Awesome Fest showing.

It is film festivals like the Awesome Fest that will bring the work of independent filmmakers to a wider audience and could possibly be the thing that starts breaking Hollywood’s current recycling habit.

Hey, a gal can dream, can’t she?

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