Ever wondered where other art house films go to premiere if not the big names like Cannes or Sundance or Toronto? Well, starting this year, PBS is hoping to be among those jumping off points. February 27th saw the kickoff of the First Annual PBS Online Film Festival. The Festival will present five new “short stories” every Monday until March 30th, with each week representing a different theme, or type of film. During this time the public will be given a unique opportunity to play judge for the films presented. Each time a viewer “likes” a video shown, it will help the film’s chances of being selected as the “People’s Choice Winner”, and the triumphant film will be announced on April 16th, after all the films have been showcased.
The brand new series will be hosted by a pair of dynamic young filmmakers, Patrick Epino and Stephen Dypiangco, who’s weekly duties will involve introducing each new film and providing a little background on it’s production. Epino and Dypiangco are “celebrities” in their own right—they own and operate The National Film Society, a YouTube channel where, in their own words, they “produce original content, showcase amazing works, collaborate with talented creators and make fun of each other as much as possible”. The pair are not only colorful and highly entertaining in their own videos, but both are clearly cinephiles, coming from impressive backgrounds—Dypiangco attended Georgetown undergrad and NYU film school, while Epino went to University of Chicago undergrad, and has an MFA from San Francisco State. Both have also created successful projects of their own. Dypiangco’s documentary Home Unknown follows his effort to reconnect with his Phillipino roots, and his attempt to help his parents do the same. Epino’s first feature film Mr. Sadman caught the attention of industry big wigs, and the film earned him a place on magazine The Independent’s list of “10 Filmmakers to Watch”.
Below is the teaser for the PBS Film Festival, where new films will be released every Monday, hosted by The National Film Society’s Epino and Dypiangco, who’s comical introductory video for the series is also below