Filmmakers get creative to make KC Film Fest happen in 2020


KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Events and competitions around the world are turning virtual due to the coronavirus pandemic including the Kansas City Film Festival International.

It’s no surprise filmmakers are getting creative to make it work. KC Film Fest is underway, and you can still be a part of it — only this year, virtually.

Crowds of people filing into movie theaters to watch art play out on screen won’t be part of the picture this year.

“We’re going to miss having everybody here to showcase Kansas City,” independent film producer and KC Film Fest board member Tom Rooker said.

The show must go on — online. The nonprofit decided to take it virtual. The board didn’t want to let down the more than 94 filmmakers.

One of them being Adam Mervis. He’s the writer and director of “The Last Days of Capitalism.”

Mervis, producer Mark Stolaroff and lead actor Sarah Harper were all set to fly from LA to KC for the premiere this Friday.

“This one took months. It was a very fast turnaround and then it was like, ‘Ready? Here we are,’” Stolaroff said. “And then there’s no like film festivals. There’s no where to take it. So that was kind of the weird irony.”

“I was really looking forward to it,” Mervis said. “Our plan was going to be BBQ, screening, beer.”

But you now what they say about the “best laid plans.” Instead of a red carpet, along with many other filmmakers, the festival is holding a Q&A virtually.

“I think you make this to engage with people and communicate with people and say, ‘This is what I feel,’” Mervis said. “What do you feel?”

Mervis said festivals like this remind filmmakers about the art and magic of what they do.

“So it’s a little disappointing not be able to be with an audience experiencing this thing with them,” Harper said. “But with that being said there’s a lot of online community building that is happening.”

No matter which drama or documentary is online waiting to be seen, artists are grateful to have this opportunity to interact with Kansas Citians despite social distancing.

“That’s kind of the great point of this whole process,” Stolaroff said. “So at least there’s kind of a way to do that now with the virtual part of it.”

You can buy a ticket online to see all screenings through Sunday.

“The Last Days of Capitalism” will be shown Friday at 9 p.m., along with a Q&A.

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