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The Indiana Daily Student

arts community events

Cicada Cinema to host international Gadabout Film Festival premiere

Patrons of a Cicada Cinema film event watch a film. Cicada Cinema is a pop-up cinema collective based in Bloomington.

The Gadabout Film Festival, an eclectic shorts program curated by Bloomington locals Eric Ayotte and Charlie Jones, is set to premiere at 8 p.m. March 24 at the I Fell Gallery. 

The festival, which features film submissions from around the globe, will then hit the road to tour roughly 80 cities worldwide.

Tickets to the festival are $7.

The premiere is set to be presented by by local pop-up cinema collective Cicada Cinema as one of its monthly movie events, said Josh Brewer, one of Cicada Cinema’s founders.

This year’s will be the 15th annual Gadabout Film Festival.

Jones and Ayotte are also founders of Cicada Cinema, but running the Gadabout Film Festival has been a passion of theirs for a lot longer than Cicada Cinema has been around.

“We try to make the program as diverse as possible and as fun as possible,” Ayotte said. “This year, we have 15 short films in under an hour.”

Ayotte and Jones both said the curation of the festival is predominantly influenced by personal taste.

“It is quite broad, so it gets hard to pinpoint what our curation style is,” Jones said. “The whole idea is that it is accessible.”

She said they wanted the festival to be readily enjoyable to seasoned cinephiles and casual moviegoers alike. 

“It’s like trying to treat a film festival like a punk band,” Ayotte said. “Booking like you would with your band and travelling around, but instead of music we have a set of short films.”

He said they tried to offer a variety of formal styles and genres, spanning everything from documentary to narrative to music video.

Jones said they try to keep the selection diverse.

“If we have some sort of serious film that maybe has a bit more of a political leaning or a point to make, we normally always balance that out with a funny, goofy one afterwards, so there’s a good flow,” she said. 

Brewer, who said he’d seen the festival selections in previous years, noted that it always has an energetic flow to it.

“The flow of the show itself is quite interesting,” he said. “You don’t typically go into a movie theater and watch 12 films back to back and ride that wave.”

Ayotte said one focal point of the festival’s creation is to arrange the films as if they’re parts of a larger picture.

“We do try to curate the festival as if it’s made up of short films, but we try to curate it like you’re watching a film with ups and downs,” Ayotte said.

He said after debuting this year’s shorts selection in Bloomington, he and Jones will hit the road to bring the festival to cities around the globe.

He said first, the festival will visit American cities like Atlanta, Boston and Chicago before going overseas to destinations like London, Berlin and Lisbon.

“It’s really fun to be able to share and premiere our program here for Bloomington before we take it on the road,” Ayotte said. 

Many of their venues will be small art spaces, where they’ll set up shop for the night, Jones said.

Jones and Ayote both said that as Bloomington locals they wanted to make the premiere of this year’s festival selection something special.

“I’m glad we’re partnering with Cicada this year to put a little more fun behind the hometown screening,” Ayotte said. “It’s really fun to be able share and premiere our program here, for Bloomington, before we take it on the road.”

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