Welcome Diner Film Fest 2014: A Bag of Biscuits and Some Talking Animals

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Heather Hoch
Standing room only at Welcome Diner Film Festival's showing Thursday night.
For two nights, people crowded the Welcome Diner front patio to watch 11 short films made in just 48 hours. Each team was randomly assigned an odd genre to make a film, with such options as "talking animal sitcom" and "coming-of-age time travel." What the teams made in just two days ranged from odd and experimental to dramatic and emotional, with many teams going for laughs overall.

Though all the films were interesting to watch in their own right, only one could win.

See also: Howl Theatre Project Presents Its First Production at Space 55 in Phoenix

With a given prop and genre, along with a specific line of dialogue to include in their films, the guidelines appear restrictive -- especially considering that including a bag of biscuits, this year's prop, in a movie about a superhero bromance isn't the easiest thing to do.

Though sometimes you could see the line of dialogue coming, which was "we look forward to serving you," teams definitely got creative with plot. Some films featured competitive hot dog eating, time travel, Abraham Lincoln and robots, and people in animal masks hitting up Grand Avenue haunts like Bikini Lounge.

In the end, host Brandon Huigens announced the winners, whom he said the judges "felt very strongly about." Howl Theatre took the top prize with a French language film called Soupe, which artfully and comedically told the story of a hair in one diner's soup. It was certainly well-acted, which is no surprise coming from the troupe. They were even able to fake French fluency, which they admitted to in their acceptance speech.

The team won $440 in cash, which they said will go toward its next theater project. However, the folks at the diner and the judges, which included Aaron Johnson of Lawn Gnome, Nicole Underwood of Roosevelt Row, John Sagasta of Jobot, and Kris Gade of the Garfield Community Garden, made enough awards so that every competitor won a prize pack with about $75 worth of swag and gift certificates to local businesses.

Here are the rest of the winners:

Best Kiss
Journalism Student by Tom McCoy and Fransisco Orozoco

Best Fight Scene
Superhero Bromance by the Devivo Family

Best CGI
I'm So Glad We're Home by Nesbit Family

Best Sound Effects
Dinner Party by SeaSalt Creative

Best Animal Sitcom
Robots by All The Beautifuls

Best Comedy
Talking Animal Sitcom by Camelbackpackers

Best Use of Line of Dialogue
Sausage Festival by Dolly Dagger

Best Ensemble Cast
You Can Eat It by President Mckinley Productions

Best Use of Genre
Isadora Duncan by Persona

Best Use of Prop
The Run by Media Sheep

If you're interested in watching all of the films for yourself, keep an eye on Welcome Diner's YouTube channel over the weekend because they will all be posted there.

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Location Info

Welcome Diner

924 E. Roosevelt St., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Bikini Lounge

1502 Grand Ave., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Music

Jobot Coffee

918 N. Fifth St., Phoenix, AZ

Category: General

Lawn Gnome

905 N. 5th St., Phoenix, AZ

Category: General


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