ST. CHARLES – Those who have ever owned a cat know they can provide hours of entertainment.
And for those who attend CatVideoFest 2019 on March 31 at Classic Cinemas Charlestowne 18 in St. Charles, they not only will be entertained, but also will be supporting the efforts of Anderson Animal Shelter.
A portion of every ticket sold will support the work of the South Elgin-based no-kill shelter, which also has adoption centers in North Aurora and Bloomingdale. The screening begins at 2 p.m. and tickets are $6, available through Classic Cinemas website, classiccinemas.com, under special events. Classic Cinemas Charlestowne 18 is located at 3740 E. Main St. in the former Charlestowne Mall, now known as The Quad.
Bringing CatVideoFest to Classic Cinemas Charlestowne 18 are the organizers of the AfterImage Film Festival, which will be held Sept. 26 to 29 at Classic Cinemas Charlestowne 18 and the Geneva Park District's Playhouse 38, located at 321 Stevens St., Suite P, Geneva.
Geneva resident Andrew Carlin, executive director of the AfterImage Film Festival, promises those who attend CatVideoFest will not be disappointed. Carlin also is director of theatrical distribution at Oscilloscope Laboratories, which has a partnership with CatVideoFest.
"It's been a total phenomenon working on it on a national level," Carlin said. "It's really astounded us. We sold out 500 and 700 seat venues in Chicago, Seattle, Cleveland, Detroit, all over the country."
CatVideoFest recently screened at Chicago’s Music Box Theatre, where it drew more than 1,500 cat lovers over three days. A percentage of the proceeds from each event go to local animal shelters and/or animal welfare organizations.
"Anderson Animal Shelter is a Fox Valley institution when it comes to animal rescue," Carlin said. "One of the key elements of CatVideoFest is making sure that a portion of the proceeds go toward helping cats in the local community."
The first edition of the AfterImage Film Festival will include a wide range of programming that includes both feature length and shorts, narratives and documentaries, American independents and foreign language titles.
"Everybody really believes that the Fox Valley has a really wonderful, bustling creative community," he said. "However, we're also woefully underserved when it comes to independent film. If you look at the most recent Oscars ceremony, very few of the foreign language and documentary nominees actually screened out here. You'd have to drive all the way to Chicago to have that experience. So in that sense, we feel like there's a great opportunity to host an event that would fill that need."
It is his hope that at least one film screened at the AfterImage Film Festival in September goes on to be an Oscar nominee in 2020.
"I want to be ahead of the curve, where we are able to see films that nobody else in the Chicagoland area has seen yet," Carlin said. "I think that would be really cool and I think it is a very attainable goal."
Festival organizers also want to spotlight the work of local filmmakers and is currently accepting submissions for its first event in September. The festival is run by a nonprofit organization.
Although anyone from the Chicago area can submit a film, there are no entry fees for residents of Batavia, Geneva or St. Charles. Carlin said he hopes the festival will help create more opportunities for independent filmmakers.
"We definitely want to encourage local filmmakers to submit their films," he said. "We want to make sure that not only are we bringing in films that have had big premieres at Sundance and Cannes, we also want to make sure that local filmmakers are represented too. Because that's really important, to make sure that people from the area have a showcase for their work."
More information is available by going to AfterImage Film Festival's website at afterimagefilmfestival.com.