Hoopla

Cedar Rapids Independent Film Festival coming this Friday and Saturday

Jonny Cournoyer/Paramount Pictures

To survive after an alien invasion, Lee Abbott (John Krasinski, left) must silence his son Marcus (Noah Jupe) in “A Quiet Place.” The original screenplay for the horror hit was written by University of Iowa graduates Scott Beck and Bryan Woods, Bettendorf natives now living and working in Los Angeles. They will speak at 3:45 p.m. Saturday (4/13) during the Cedar Rapids Independent Film Festival at the Collins Road Theatres.
Jonny Cournoyer/Paramount Pictures To survive after an alien invasion, Lee Abbott (John Krasinski, left) must silence his son Marcus (Noah Jupe) in “A Quiet Place.” The original screenplay for the horror hit was written by University of Iowa graduates Scott Beck and Bryan Woods, Bettendorf natives now living and working in Los Angeles. They will speak at 3:45 p.m. Saturday (4/13) during the Cedar Rapids Independent Film Festival at the Collins Road Theatres.

MARION — Collins Road Theatres will be anything but a quiet place Friday (4/12) and Saturday (4/13) during the Cedar Rapids Independent Film Festival.

The University of Iowa graduates who penned the blockbuster 2018 sci-fi thriller “A Quiet Place” will helm a Q&A session at 3:45 p.m. Saturday during the festival.

They will discuss their journey from backyard filmmakers as children to writing, producing and directing in Hollywood. After meeting as sixth-graders in their hometown of Bettendorf and making films with their “Star Wars” action figures, they worked together on many feature and short films.

It won’t be their first trip to the festival. Under the Bluebox Films production company name, their films were screened and grabbed numerous awards at the local festival in the 2000s, during their student days at the UI. Along the way, they created the concept and screenplay for their breakout hit, which grossed over $340 million worldwide and earned them nominations with the Writers Guild and the Critics Choice Awards. The film also received an Oscar nomination for sound editing for Ethan Van der Ryn and Erik Aadahl.

Variety named Beck and Woods to its annual “10 Screenwriters to Watch” list, and they received the Writers Guild of America Evan Somers Memorial Award for distinction in writing characters with disabilities for “A Quiet Place.”

The Cedar Rapids Independent Film Festival remains a showcase for movies with Iowa ties, in pro-am and student categories. They range from shorts to full-length features and documentaries, and include a 2 minute-34 second student freestyle horror-themed short, “Vavav” by Iowa native David Gleason.

Other titles and subjects include the professional documentaries “Aging in America,” shot in Cedar Rapids and set in Iowa City; “The Amish Incident,” from Fourth Wall Films; “The Collins Story: Connecting the Moon to the Earth — Moon Talk,” about the communications technology developed by Collins Radio in Cedar Rapids for NASA’s moon landing; and “Through My Eyes,” in which Individuals with disabilities guide able-bodied people through an afternoon in their shoes to gain an understanding and appreciation for the challenges they overcome each day.

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A special out-of-competition screening and discussion of “Do We Belong” will be held at 2:30 p.m. Saturday before the “A Quiet Place” discussion, both in Theatre 2.

“Do We Belong” looks at the 2017 death of Srinivas Kuchibhotla, an Indian immigrant in Kansas, who was shot and killed in a hate crime, leaving his wife, Sunayana, to grapple with the question of whether America is truly her home. A panel discussion will follow, with Sunayana Dumala, Srinivas’ wife; Sarika Bhakta of Nikeya Diversity; and Bhumika Nayak and Kanu Salaria, Srinivas’ friends and co-workers.

For festival details, go to Crifm.org

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