A festive audience of seventy-five showed up for the February Cinema Slam. The program was about ninety minutes long, with a ten-minute intermission. Like a microcosm of a film festival, it offered a wide variety of images, narratives, and concepts from the road film Down South, in which filmmaker Rachel Milkowski proclaims, "I like my martinis dirty, and my men dirtier," to the shocking revelation in the six-minute short Grandma that little ol' Grandma is a biker chick.
Whether it's a first-time effort or the work of a seasoned filmmaker, all submitted works are shown. Expect some tired, repetitious pieces to remind you that this is not only amateur material but quite experimental as well. Jefferies helpfully prints a number of programs, in which all films to be screened are rated on a five-point scale that ranges from "Not quite there yet" to "Great."
Each slam is followed by an informal discussion at the Espresso Royale on State, where viewers can talk with filmmakers about shared interests and film techniques. "I wasn't aware of the postscreening get-together until Walt the projectionist asked if we were going to the cafe afterwards," Jefferies admits. "It's a very relaxed atmosphere in which people can share ideas and interests."