‘Film Fest’ Is a Solid Satire of the Indie Movie Scene

Ulises Duenas


There’s been a good number of movies about making movies in the past, but this is the first time I’ve seen one about a film festival. Film Fest is an indie comedy about a small group of filmmakers going to a small film festival in the mountains in a last-ditch effort to sell their movie. The main cast of Logan (Matt Cook), Alex (Diona Reasonover), Tomas (Laird Macintosh) and Kyle (C.J. Vana) all work well together and form a solid foundation for the movie’s humor.


After failing to have his movie picked up by any studios, Logan gets an invitation to have his movie premiere at a small film festival out in the mountains. While Logan initially refuses because he thinks that his movie, Unknown Unknowns, is too good for such a small festival, his producer Alex tells him this is the last chance he has to sell his movie and generate some buzz.


The desperation of an indie filmmaker and the greed of Hollywood are an interesting combination and in Film Fest, there is also the added pretentiousness that a lot of indie directors have.



This movie does a good job of satirizing the modern indie film landscape with scenes of studio reps saying that an indie movie needs Ryan Gosling or a woman trapped in a small-scale horror setting if it's going to be successful. Now that big Hollywood is muscling in on the indie scene more and more, it makes the jokes in the film feel very timely and relevant to the current state of the industry. Indie movies are becoming an extension of tired Hollywood cliches that are run into the ground and it all makes for some good laughs. 


The organizer of the film fest is Montgomery Nash played by Will Sasso and he’s the highlight of the entire movie. Sasso’s background in sketch comedy works well as the phoniness and neediness of the character are expressed in more ridiculous ways as the film goes on. What began as a slow burn comes to a head in the third act of the movie and things really pick up. The biggest laughs and most interesting moments come one after another towards the end of Film Fest. Each character goes through their own arc and while Logan’s character comes off as unlikeable for most of the movie, the climax and resolution redeem it and make it worthwhile.


Film Fest shows that making a movie is just the tip of the iceberg for filmmakers and how crazy and seedy the marketing side of the industry can be even at the lower levels of the industry. It also shows the heart of the indie movie scene and how filmmakers will struggle through all the nonsense to see their vision realized.


Author Bio:

Ulises Duenas is a contributing writer at Highbrow Magazine.


For Highbrow Magazine

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