April 23, 2008

Walking Off the Big Apple's Squirrels in New York You Tube Film Festival

I'm getting ready for the Tribeca Film Festival today, organizing a daily schedule of film screenings, roundtables, and press events. I am one of 2,000 accredited press people, by the way. As I mentioned, I'm writing a second blog about film matters for Reframe, a website of the Tribeca Film Institute. This morning, after filing a post on the Visual Artist as Documentary Subject, I walked up Fifth Avenue to check out the Target-Tribeca Filmmakers Lounge, a meeting place for badge holders. I found a dazzling room of contemporary furniture and lighting, buzzing with pre-festival action and bathed in Target's emblematic reds and target shapes.

It takes a lot to organize such as festival. Then I thought, "How about if I started a modest online festival, one perhaps built around a NY theme that would be accessible to the whole wide world?" After almost no time at all, the idea came to me.

Walking Off the Big Apple's Squirrels in New York You Tube Film Festival



There are currently 175 videos on the subject of squirrels in New York now on You Tube. This is sort of hard to believe. Squirrels are popular in many feature-length films and TV shows (of which Rocky of Rocky & Bullwinkle holds a special place in my heart), but few know how popular they are in amateur independent video productions, such as the ones you see here. While most would fall into the category of documentary short subjects, and none at all qualify as a feature film, the squirrel in amateur film is ready for some celebration, I think, or even a panel discussion at a film theory conference.

The sequence of films and credit lines for the festival selections you see above:

1. Squirrel on Yankee Stadium Foul Pole
by MustangFan424 (added August 29, 2007)
Note: The Tribeca Film Festival features a special ESPN-sponsored list of sports films, so I thought I could begin this festival with a sports-oriented squirrel film. This one is a fan favorite.

2. Calling All Squirrels
by maddojo (added January 16, 2008)
Note: a Mr. Rogers-like voice, but not at the end; location in Washington Square Park

3. New York Squirrels
by BIllNYC
(added Jun 26, 2007)
Note: aggressive squirrel, with a Garage Band soundtrack

4. New York Squirrel Eating French Fry
by mirage1125
(added Dec. 26, 2006)
Note: avant-garde world documentary

5. Squirrels Gone Wild
by zantar100
(added July 2, 2007)
Note: high production values

6. Cute squirrel in Central Park
by obiesheila
(added May 24, 2007)
Note: Danish language film; no subtitles

Playlist also available at this link

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