Creative Edge Film Fest 2016 | Inspiring Films Connect to the World Community

Michael Barnard’s film Chihuly will screen on Friday night.

THE SECOND ANNUAL Creative Edge Film Fest (CEFF) gets under way September 22–25 at the historic, artfully renovated Orpheum Theater, 121 W. Broadway, providing a venue for independent filmmakers, producers, directors, and actors to showcase their talents.

“Our purpose is to showcase films with style, insight, and inspiration that resonate with Fairfield’s unique arts community,” says Jim Belilove, the festival’s co-executive producer and President of Creative Edge Master Shop, Fairfield’s world-class architectural fabrication company, which is sponsoring the festival.

“The films we will screen are a diverse blend of transformational ideas reflective of the world we live in today,” says CEFF founder and producer Tracy McCormick of Lightfinder Public Relations. Her vision remains focused on bringing attention and support to the growing Iowa filmmaking community.

Thursday night kicks off with the documentary Sustainable. Directed by Emmy Award-winning Matt Wechsler, this film weaves together an expert analysis of America’s food system with a powerful narrative of one extraordinary farmer who is determined to create a sustainable future for his community.

On Friday evening, director and producer Michael Barnard brings us Chihuly. In 1994, Michael was invited to Seattle by the glass artist to begin filming his ambitious “Chihuly Over Venice” project in Finland. Barnard went on to complete the documentary feature with shoots in Ireland, Mexico, the U.S., and Venice, Italy, where Dale Chihuly and his crew installed his stunning, colorful glass works across the city during the 1996 Aperto Vetro. This 90-minute film has aired on the Sundance Channel and won a Silver Medal in the U.S. Film Festival.

CEFF’s Saturday night feature Blue Space, from director and producer Ian Cheney (King Corn, The Search For General Tso), is a journey to a desert camp of Mars hopefuls, Hurricane Sandy survivors, and a Brooklyn Canoe Club.

Sunday’s matinee brings two feature films. Tirthraj, an adventure documentary directed by Fairfield’s Burt Chonowski, takes us to India’s “king of pilgrimage sites”—the prayag at the Maha Kumbh Mela—and Varanasi, the oldest and holiest city in India. To close the fest Sunday afternoon, McCormick brought on board the iconic film The Princess Bride, a 1987 romantic fantasy adventure comedy, directed and co-produced by Rob Reiner and starring Cary Elwes, Mandy Patinkin, and Robin Wright. The story centers on a fairy tale adventure about a beautiful young woman and her one true love, and is based on the William Goldman novel that earned its own loyal audience.

An indie short will be shown with each feature. Alex Griffin’s RockNRoll Mutts brings us music through the beloved puppets of Francesca Horlein. Driving Change in the Driftless, directed by Kathleen Van Kirk, shares the story of a well-known advocate for alternative fuel vehicles on a one-day road trip in the driftless area. The adventure includes a stop to see  friends who use solar, wind, and geothermic technology in their Midwest home.

Two-time Fulbright scholar and award-winning performance artist Cherie Sampson brings us Dissecting the Blossom, introducing us to the classical Indian dance form Bharatanatyam, and Alarippu, a meditative opening up of mind and body in preparation for the rigors of the dance.

David Lynch MFA in Film graduate Kinga Kulcsar shares her film Atman about TM, and the final short Shakespeare With Noodles, directed by David Weiss, is the brainchild of professor Margaret Marsh. Hear the story of this inventive little Shakespeare company in the words of its creator and child actors.

Also to be screened is a trailer for Reconciliation and Peace, an upcoming documentary film directed by Louisa Merino  about the lifelong struggles and triumphs of Jerry Yellin, a 92-year-old WWII veteran who learns to turn hate into love.

Showtimes are September 22, 23, and 24 at 7 p.m., and September 25 at 11 a.m. at the Orpheum Theater, 121 W. Broadway. Doors open 30 minutes prior to showtime. Tickets can be purchased at the door or at Creative Edge Master Shop, 601 S. 23rd St., Fairfield. (641) 472-8145. For more information, email