Como Shorts Filmmaker Showcase kicks off film festival season

Posted on 25 January 2020 at 2:54pm
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COLUMBIA - The Como Shorts Filmmaker Showcase hosts multiple local artists this weekend to present their films.

The showcase is a kickoff weekend to the upcoming artist festivals and events in 2020. Filmmakers will present their best short film at Talking Horse Theatre to an audience each night Friday through Sunday. 

Director Matthew Schacht said how the event is designed to connect local filmmakers to local audiences.

"You won't get the same experience in a big city as you would in Columbia," Schacht said. "This is locally focused so you'll get to meet the artists and have a conversation about their work and build that community."

Artists from all across the state have come to Columbia to showcase their work to other filmmakers, audiences, and students. This is the second year the showcase has been in Columbia.

Approximately six years ago the State of Missouri stopped giving filmmakers tax credits for their production. The tax credit loss has discouraged filmmakers from producing in Missouri due to the high expenses of filmmaking. But community events, like Como Shorts, hope to reignite the excitement for filmmaking. 

Kevin Duggin is the filmmaker of short film "Immersion Games". He explained how his career has been affected by the Missouri tax credit loss.

"I actually moved out to Columbia right when the tax credit was cut, expecting to get work but not getting any," Duggin said. "But you see people getting excited about film and filmmaking again, and I think that excitement will carry up to legislature and hopefully an opportunity to get tax credits back."

In addition to the short film premieres there was a pitch competition held Friday evening.  "Crescendo" filmmaker Lizzie Germann won $1,000 for her idea of a misanthropic vampire living in modern day America. The competition is designed to encourage filmmakers to present their best idea and keep making short films despite the struggles of funding.

Germann explained the importance of the community supporting local filmmakers.

"It's really expensive [to produce] with all the equipment and crews you need," Germann said. "This is the difference between being able to make something in a couple months and not knowing if you're ever going to be able to make it."