Time to press pause on your latest Netflix binge.
Cosmic Rays Film Festival is showcasing short, experimental films at the Varsity Theater on Franklin Street this Thursday and Friday.
The festival, created by local filmmakers, UNC professors and married couple Sabine Gruffat and Bill Brown, is a collection of 42 films that celebrate filmmaking as an art form, including personal documentaries, computer animations and short experimental pieces.
Some are less than three minutes long. Some are personal and poetic. All are created by up-and-coming artists and are free to the public.
The project started with an open call for innovative, original submissions. Gruffat and Brown advertised the project to students and posted the call online to attract national interest. They hoped for the best.
They received over 400 submissions. And they watched them all.
“There’s a fine line between very strange and very bad,” Gruffat said, laughing. “We wanted to be sure we didn’t miss anything.”
After their movie marathon, the committee began the process of selection. They considered which movies paired well together, the length of each program and diversity of genres represented. Their goal was a festival that celebrated innovation in style and subject.
What they didn’t realize was, despite selecting films based solely on content, over half the pieces chosen for the festival were created by women, a rare occurrence in the filmmaking industry.