4FKC: Bringing Kansas City filmmakers into the spotlight

The lights dim as the 131 seat theater fills up. Up next are13 short films with one purpose: To prove that Kansas City has a rich film community.

Matthew Dunehoo, a writer and director, from Kansas City, created the 4KC film festival and hosts the monthly viewing on the first Friday of every month.

Fredrick Francis is a regular at the film festival, and he hasn’t missed a session since its launch in January of last year.

“Honestly, I think it’s to kind of showcase other talents in the art community that’s in Kansas City,” said Francis, “I think a lot of times we see the visual art; we see the graffiti, we see the artist’s painting, but then we forget about the actual visual art of films and the filmmakers and the writers and the actors.”

This month’s festival consisted of 13 short films of various categories. Five filmmakers attended and were able to take questions from both Dunehoo and the audience at the end of the screening.

Brandon Green is a local filmmaker who has lived in Kansas City for 20 years. His short documentary, “Tattooed”, focuses on tattoo artists who have been in the industry for a long time, with interviews full of colorful expression.

Brandom Green screened his film “Tattooed” at this month’s First Friday Film Festival. (Source: First Friday Film Festival).

Brandom Green screened his film “Tattooed” at this month’s First Friday Film
Festival. (Source: First Friday Film Festival).

For Green, this film was a passion project that started after he amassed a collection of tattoos himself.

Speaking on his initial inspiration for the film, he said, “A good friend of mine who tattooed me a bunch in Kansas City said, ‘man these old guys are gonna die soon, somebody’s gotta talk to them.’”

This lead Green on a journey around the world to talk to artists who have made an impact on the industry itself.

4FKC is a festival open to all levels of filmmakers, from students to professionals. Many first time filmmakers debut their work at the festival.

Dunehoo had a word of advice when asked if UMKC students should feel encouraged and invited to submit their films.

“I would say, absolutely submit it,” Dunehoo said, “But the most important thing is: make it, make it, make it. That’s how any area becomes richer, through the production of content, through sharing the work and through discourse on the work.”

First Fridays in Kansas City is a widely popular event that typically consists of art gallery peeking and antique shop browsing. As 4FKC grows in popularity, more will enjoy this unique experience in the film industry.

The First Friday Film Festival takes place at 7:30 p.m. on the first Friday of every month at the MTH Theater in Crown Center.

According to the festival’s website, “Every screening is roughly 120 minutes with an intermission and admission is always free” but it’s suggested to reserve tickets.

Francis takes pride in the exclusivity of the festival, and encourages anyone who is interested to come.

“The part I like about it as well is as a platform, it’s a judgement-free zone,” said Francis, “we’re just here supporting the filmmakers, which also helps the film festival continue to run because of the film that they submit.”

Preview next month’s lineup, submit a film, and reserve tickets at http://firstfridayfilmfest.com.



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