g The Film Panel Notetaker: IFP'S DIY Screening: The Guatemalan Handshake (original post 9/19/06)

Friday, September 22, 2006

IFP'S DIY Screening: The Guatemalan Handshake (original post 9/19/06)

IFP'S Special DIY (Do It Yourself) Indie Screening Series:
The Guatemalan Handshake
Written & Directed by Todd RohalTuesday, September 19
DGA Theater - NYC

Tonight, I attended the first of IFP's special DIY Indie Screening Series during Independent Film Week – The Guatemalan Handshake, an incredibly strange and original comedy about a myriad things…the loss of power, the loss of a dog, the loss of a friend, demolition driving, an electric car, etc., with a cast of the quirkiest characters to hit the screen since Napoleon Dynamite, possibly even quirkier. It has brilliant moments of hilarity that just come out of nowhere, but also pauses for dramatic moments. It's hard to define the film's genre, storyline, and title, but it all just seems to work. This was a low-budget film with absolutely gorgeous 35mm cinematography. The Guatemalan Handshake is the winner of the Special Jury Prize at the Slamdance Film Festival.

After the film, Rose Troche (Director, The Safety of Objects, Go Fish) moderated a Q&A with writer/director Todd Rohal. In the lobby, T-shirts were sold for $20. Proceeds were going toward a second print of the film. They currently only have the one print.

Also present at the screening were Boredom at Its Boredest blogger and Cocaine Angel director Michael Tully (see Sept. 5, 2006, blog entry ), Aaron Katz, director of Dance Party USA, several of their friends and cohorts, and one of the stars of The Guatemalan Handshake, Ken Byrnes.

Tomorrow night, it's the second of IFP's special DIY Indie Screening Series – Head Trauma directed by Lance Weiler, and Thursday night, it's the third and final in the series – Four Eyed Monsters, directed by Arin Crumley and Susan Buice, which I saw at the 2005 Trenton Film Festival, but I'm going to see it again. As an aside, I went to the Trenton FF for director Jay Paramsothy's short film Blinding Goldfish, for which I was an associate producer. J

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