Envision a monthly film festival with no gatekeeper and no middleman deciding what plays or what gets rejected — an open forum for filmmakers of any background to show their short films to audiences and get feedback.
Project Resolution, which spurred creative collaboration in a decade or so ago, is back. The only rule is that films be no longer than 15 minutes.
Filmmakers Drew Bolduc and Michele Lombardi, the talent behind "Science Team," a low-budget Troma Entertainment sci-fi horror movie set in Richmond, resurrected the project after consulting its originators and with help from the Virginia Production Alliance.
"We just put it on," Bolduc says. "We wanted to make sure that it was true to the original concept of what it was. I think there's something special about how it worked that's really important to what it is.
Because no one screens the movies, P Res as the festival is known, works organically depending on the filmmakers and audience in any given month. No subject or film genre is taboo. Likewise, the number of films varies depending on their length and how many filmmakers attend — but an average is six or so. For the audience, it's a surefire way to take the temperature of the local filmmaking scene.
People can show works in progress or completed films to get feedback they can then use to improve what they're doing, sometimes a baptism by fire for first timers. At each event, the next month's theme is decided by the audience using crowd suggestions that are then voted on.
"It's rare that people actually follow the theme, since it isn't required," Bolduc says. "It's great when they do and also it gives people the chance to make a movie quickly and then have a place to show it. Great things happen that way."
While many of the attendees have a strong interest in film or are filmmakers, Project Resolution should appeal to anyone who enjoys being entertained by non-Hollywood filmmaking as well as those who like to share their opinions. Think of it as real-time Yelping.
For filmmakers, it's networking. "It's a great learning experience and inspiring to see what other people are doing," Bolduc says. "It's a great way to meet people to collaborate with."
Project Resolution shows the second to last Sunday of each month. The next is July 20, 7 p.m., at Gallery5, 200 W. Marshall St. For information visit facebook.com/projectres.