Weekend Warrior Film Fest expands NoCo film culture

Sarah Ehrlich

Northern Colorado is starting to appear on the map as a local filmmaker’s hub.

Film lovers from all over NoCo gathered at the Lyric on Saturday night for the third round of the Weekend Warrior Film Festival, hosted by filmmaker Jesse Nyander. Nyander’s mission is to turn northern Colorado into a film-heavy community, where filmmakers have plenty of tools and opportunities to expand their skills.

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“If you are interested in making and learning about film, I need you to come find me,” Nyander said. “The only way we can keep this creativity up is if we help each other out.”

“If you are interested in making and learning about film, I need you to come find me,” Nyander said. “The only way we can keep this creativity up is if we help each other out.”

The host of the night, Jesse Nyander, stands up on the bar to announce that the awards ceremony was about to start.  (Olive Ancell | Collegian)

The six short films that premiered are the result of just 48 hours of work and whole lot of imagination. Given only a prop, a line of dialogue and a character, the rest of the film is up to its makers.

The films made their premier to an enthusiastic and close-knit audience who cracked jokes and had no problem cheering on their fellow filmmakers. 

Keep reading for a breakdown of each film and the awards they earned.

“Entropy” by Hanging Ellipses Films

This film begs the question, if you could get a second chance, what cost would you pay to have those moments back? An employee of a print shop discovers this while helping a customer and disciplining a fellow coworker, only to find those small passing moments have the most effect on him. “Entropy” picked up an award for best use of prop and best graphics.

Team Onspec wins the Cheesy Award at the Weekend Warrior Film Festival Saturday evening for their strange film, “Used Car.” Photo by Olive Ancell | Collegian

“Used Car” by OnSpec

Colorado State University’s video training team brought the laughs in their quirky film, “Used Car” and earned the “Cheesy” award for the film being so bad it was good. A typical Craigslist encounter to buy a used car goes strange and reminds us to expect the unexpected when it comes to meeting people on the Internet; they could turn out to be freaky inanimate objects.

“Perpetuum” by BTSD

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“Perpetuum” swept the awards ceremony with wins in theme, writing, editing, musical score, sound design, cinematography and directing by Justin Aarestad. Perpetuum means everlasting in Latin and the film explores the question we often ask throughout our entire lives: why?

Team BTSD wins the directing award at the Weekend Warrior Film Festival Saturday evening. (Olive Ancell | Collegian)

“The hardest part of making this film was writing with such tight time constraints,” said Justin Aarestad, director of “Perpetuum.” “Our team is so intuitive with each other, but at the same time we’re presented with new challenges, so it was a bit of a tradeoff.”

Burundanga” by Esteban Was Eaten

Thomas, a harmless delivery guy, accidentally ingests a dangerous South American street drug, called Burundanga, that makes him lose all sense of free will. This put him into situations he never could have imagined. Film crew Esteban was Eaten picked up awards in set design, poster, promotion, and perhaps the most coveted award, “audience choice.”

“Strange Fun” by EvrGlo Media

“Strange Fun” was a more abstract film that allowed the audience to contemplate nostalgia and consciousness through trippy visuals and thoughtful dialogue. The poetic lines, spoken by Terrah Schultz, reminded us that things change over the years and we realize “we are just another pipe dream, fight scene, light beam.”

people pose at a film fest
Jesse Nyander has some fun while interviewing Team EvrGlo Media about their film “Strange Fun.” (Sarah Ehrlich | Collegian)

“It is always a privilege to be in festivals like this one,” said Royce Hoffner, owner of EvrGlo Media. “We really had no idea what we were going to do this round, but it was awesome to be fully immersed in collaboration with my teammates.”

“SO” by Factor 5 Films

This eerie film shows how life would be in a world of disease, with no cure in site. A man named Ziek searches for an answer in a strange new friend while scientists fight over the next stage of human evolution. Factor 5 won best use of line, use of character, special effects and Steven Sickles won best supporting actor and Maetrix Fitten for lead actor. 

Round four of the Weekend Warrior Film Festival will happen July 26, 2018, during the 2018 Fort Collins Fringe Festival. The films can be viewed now on the Weekend Warrior Film Festival YouTube Channel.

Editor’s note: In a previous version of this article, best director was incorrectly identified as Steven Fox, not Justin Aarestad. The article has been updated.

Collegian reporter Sarah Ehrlich can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com and on Twitter @sarahehrlich96.