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Local martini bar hosts film festival

St. Joseph’s first ever film festival has been organized and set to take place at Foster’s Martini Bar downtown on Felix Street.

All entries are in and the categories at the festival are comedy, drama, documentary, animation, and music video.

One of the organizers of the event, Kiefer Helsel, said, “We’ll have an award ceremony at the end of the night for each category and an overall winner as well.”

Helsel is a bartender at Foster’s Martini Bar and began collaborating with the owner, Nathan Karr, about putting on the festival in his bar.

“Helsel and I were talking about it. I said why don’t we just do it here and you guys can do the judging and I can sell drinks,” Karr said.

Foster’s is separated into two different parts, therefore one part of the bar will be acting as the screening room for the films, and the other part will be serving drinks all day as usual.

Helsel, who has been the driving force behind the film festival, said, “They kind of have me out there organizing it, getting entries, and getting the word out about it.”

Although Karr is the owner of the bar, he says that he is just the guy who gets all the smart people together, stands by, sells drinks, and lets the organizers of Fosters Film Festival get it all together.

This year, there were few restrictions implicated for submitted films in an effort to draw in as many entries as possible.

“We made it pretty broad, so we said, ‘basically keep it a maximum of 15 minutes… and as long as it can fit into one of the categories. Other than that, we didn’t put a whole lot of restrictions on it,” Helsel said.

The winner of the contest will be awarded an FFF (Foster’s Film Festival) trophy by the four judges at the end of the night.

“We judge beforehand, so we’ll know the winners before presenting them at the end,” Mallory Edson, a Western alumni and festival judge, said.

The festival took submissions from not only Missouri Western students, but also filmmakers in the St. Joseph area. International entries were also allowed, however, none were submitted this year.

Fear not though, for Foster’s Film Festival will be back next year. The group plans to make this an annual event that grows larger each year. Since they came up with the idea in July, they did not have the amount of time they would have liked to prepare and get word out about the festival. Although they expect to have high numbers in attendance this year, they hope to have even more next year after word spreads of this years’ success.

So head down to Foster’s Martini Bar in down town St. Joseph on Oct. 5, order a drink, bring some popcorn, and enjoy the show.

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