Iowa’s oldest and largest independent, international film festival opens tonight in the capitol city. Kimberly Busbee, director and co-founder of the Wild Rose Independent Film Festival, says they’ll be showcasing the works of filmmakers from Iowa, from all over the U.S. and from as far away as France, New Zealand and Ecuador.
“We had nearly 500 entries this year and we have 40 films screening,” Busbee says. “There’s a wide variety. We have feature films, we have short films, we have animated pieces, we have documentaries, we have student films — lots of variety for anybody that loves film.” Busbee says you’ll see films at this week-long event that you won’t see anywhere else and there’s a continued emphasis on highlighting the work of Iowans.
“There are 15 Iowa films showing and there are several more with Iowa ties, many with Iowans who have moved to other markets that are coming back for this festival or have sent in their films,” Busbee says, “and we’ve got other entries worldwide.” With all of the negative publicity in recent years surrounding the criminal investigation of the Iowa Film Office, she says it’s a real pleasure to see Iowa filmmakers and actors aren’t discouraged and are continuing to do what they love.
“It’s so exciting to see that the bar has been raised every single year for production value,” Busbee says. “That’s why we were so excited to have so many entries this year and so many of them looking so great. There’s wonderful films coming in and they could all be shown in movie theaters.”
There’s also a workshop for filmmakers and actors being led by Randal Kleiser, the Hollywood director behind such films as, “Grease,” “Honey, I Blew Up The Kid,” and “The Blue Lagoon.” The festival is underway through November 10th at the Fleur Cinema and Cafe in Des Moines.