“Dude! You Can’t Handle Snake Alley!”

"The party never stops at The Snake Alley Festival of Film."

“The party never stops at The Snake Alley Festival of Film.”

"It's a tough climb up Snake Alley.."

“It’s a tough climb up Snake Alley..”

That gauntlet gets thrown down to amateur and professional bicycle racers who come to Burlington, Iowa to compete in the Snake Alley Criterium. Imagine pedaling up Snake Alley with its 12.5 % grade. It’s considered one of the most physically challenging streets in the Midwest.
You’re such a lucky devil. You won’t have to climb it (unless you want to) when you come to the 2nd Annual Snake Alley Festival of Film. You can take the tour of Burlington that comes as part of the package. It stops at the top of Snake Alley (and you can walk DOWN) and stops again at the bottom (where they’ll pick you up). You can use your imagination to get a sense of what those poor souls on bicycles must feel.
Instead…you’ll be sitting in the air-conditioned Capitol Theatre watching some of the most amazing talent on Planet Earth. Following that, you’ll go to one of the fabulous “After Parties” and mingle with film makers, film buffs, writers, and actors. Last year the “Original After Parties” spawned “After, After Parties,” which went on into the wee hours. These were so popular that the musicians from the original parties followed the crowd. It was a late–night movable feast, or party, depending on your perspective. (We saw people dancing in the streets.)
After you’ve enjoyed The Snake Alley Festival of Film, the tours, and the After Parties, you can say with conviction, “Dude! I handled Snake Alley just fine!” Just don’t tell them it wasn’t on a bicycle.
On a side note, the judges have started reviewing some of the early entries. They weren’t expecting anything to be able to top last year’s talent, but now they aren’t so sure. There are some amazing films coming in.
If you think you can handle Snake Alley, we’ll see you there.

The Crookedest Film Festival Redux

Winter may be in full force in Burlington, Iowa. But the people who put on the World’s Crookedest Film Festival aren’t in hibernation. They’re gearing up for the 2nd Annual Snake Alley Festival of Film which will run from June 6 through June 8, 2013.
Last year’s festival opened in the 1920’s era Capitol Theater, which had just undergone a multi-million dollar restoration. Films were shown on a state-of-the –art screen in a beautiful retro theater. There was a filmmaker’s reception and a tour of Burlington. (This quaint river town has a surprising number of celebrities who were born or once lived there.)
Filmmaker’s and festival goers had a chance to roam the downtown area which has an artsy feel to it similar to what Key West was a few years back. There are some surprisingly unique eateries in this beautiful river town.
For a brand-new film festival, the Snake Alley Festival of Film drew entries and film makers from around the globe. Two movie makers traveled from Montreal, others from as far away as L.A., San Francisco, and New York, including one who brought his entire family of ten.
There was one after-party in the street in front of the theater. The town closed the street and F&M Bank and Trust converted it into and outdoor bistro, complete with bar, food and live music. The other parties were in other top-notch venues around town
There was an eclectic selection of films, and this year they’ve added a few new twists…and a couple of new categories.
If you were there last year, be prepared for a new experience. This will be a film-fest on steroids. (Don’t take this to mean that the promoters encourage the use of festival-performance enhancing substances of any kind.)
After a glowing review in Moviemaker magazine, we expect this to be bigger and better than ever this year. Don’t miss out. Get your entries in early and if you are coming to Burlington, follow this blog for clues about B&B’s and other great lodging in the area.