From William and the Windmill, by Ben Nabors

From William and the Windmill, by Ben Nabors

Pepin, WI, July 24 — The Flyway Film Festival has begun name-dropping a few of the films accepted into the 2013 lineup. Now in its sixth year, Flyway has gained a reputation as a world-class event, showcasing the best in new local, regional, and international film and providing the movie-loving public with access to filmmakers and film industry professionals from around the world. The festival will run from October 17–20 this year.

Two breakout hits from the South by Southwest Film Festival (SXSW) will be making their regional debut at the Flyway:

William and the Windmill, an inspiring documentary about the impoverished young Malawian who catapulted to fame with his homegrown windmill system, effectively rescuing his village from famine. The film won the Grand Jury Documentary Award at SXSW 2013, and director Ben Nabors and cinematographer Michael Tyburski were recently named as two of Filmmaker Magazine’s25 New Faces of Independent Film.”

 White Reindeer (dir. Zach Clark), a darkly funny, touching sendup of Christmas traditions. Village Voice says: “…what begins as an exaggerated mockery of our most grotesque commercial custom…shifts toward a surprisingly earnest paean to the restorative power of the holidays.” Filmmaker Magazine raved about the film’s “over-the-top props and costumes, perfectly timed editing, clever use of fades, fine acting, snappy dialogue, and hilarious music.”

Committed to a mix of cutting-edge documentaries, narratives, and shorts, Flyway executive director Rick Vaicius and programmer Jim Brunzell are delighted by the range and quality of films submitted this year. “We received over 600 films this year for consideration,” says Vaicius. “It’s amazing how the quality of submissions seems better and better each year, which in turn makes our program better.”

Vaicius has long been a proponent of “crowdfunded” films: filmmakers seeking support through independent funding websites like IndieGoGo and Kickstarter to realize their vision. One such film selected for Flyway 2013 is Favor, a wry thriller whose director (Paul Osborne) raised the money for this microbudget narrative entirely through crowdfunding.

“It’s the most direct route to funding independent films,” says Vaicius. “We like to call it ‘reclaiming DIY.’ Filmmakers aren’t beholden to anyone – they’re pitching their ideas directly to audiences, rather than to a small pool of investors or grantmakers. Some of the best indie films in recent years have been crowdfunded projects.”

Two more crowdfunded films selected for Flyway are Shored Up (dir. Ben Kalina), an examination of the erosion of the Atlantic coast before and after Hurricane Sandy; and Down and Dangerous (dir. Zak Forsman), a tense drama about cocaine smuggling based on the real-life experiences of the director’s father.