Indie films need lovin’ too. The major studios have the Megaplex 2020 all booked up with their latest superhero movies — what’s an independent film to do? Film festivals fill the void, and Louisville is lucky to have its share.
The 8th Annual Louisville International Festival of Film (LIFF) is here from Oct. 13–15 with its bundle of documentaries, shorts and features by emerging filmmakers, many with Louisville and Kentucky connections. The screenings will be held at the Kentucky Science Center, Galt House, Muhammad Ali Center and Louisville Free Public Library.
The feature “Le Ride” is opening the festival. The documentary shows Phil Keoghan, host of “The Amazing Race” TV show, and friend Ben Cornell, traveling the original route of the 1928 Tour de France. Their grueling trip — they averaged 150 miles a day for almost a month — was made worse by their use of vintage racing bikes (minimal brakes, no gears) over the Pyrenees and Alps mountains.
“More riders failed to finish the 1928 tour than any other in history,” said Keoghan. “This was a hell-on-wheels race of attrition that was designed to eliminate as many riders as possible. Most of the roads were unpaved and poorly lit; the course was almost twice as long as today’s Tour de France, and the bikes weighed twice as much as a modern racing bike.”
Keoghan and his wife, Louise, produced the film. It will be shown on Thursday with a question-and-answer session after the screening.
A companion film, “The Ride,” will also be screened during LIFF on Friday. Keoghan and Cornell are on bikes again, but this time the roads are in the United States. Their cross-country mission was to raise money for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
Another interesting film, “Lines of Sight,” is about Henry County artist Jim Hall. The documentary tells the story of his invention of a new way to paint. During a bout with shingles, Hall’s vision was impaired, and all he could see were vertical lines. What’s a painter to do? Paint those lines, resulting in a style he calls “lineillism.”
Directed by Steve Oldfield, it is having its Kentucky premiere at LIFF.
“Lines of Sight” is an uplifting lemons-to-lemonade film. “Rubbertown,” by Remington Smith, is grittier, befitting its subject matter. The story concerns an at-her-wits-end woman who is determined to move her entire house out of the Rubbertown area of Louisville. Why? She’s had it with the chemical manufacturing plants in her neighborhood.
LIFF tickets are general admission, with all seats on a first-come, first-serve basis.
A portion of LIFF’s proceeds go to their nonprofit organization Louisville Film Arts Institute, Inc. that focuses on future Kentucky filmmakers. It does this by underwriting film-magnet programs in local high schools, as well as through educational programs and scholarships. LIFF hopes the results will be shown at a future film festival near you.