A New Day At The Snake Alley Festival of Film!

Tadd's doll collection.

If you read the announcement on Facebook, this will come as no surprise…but Lonnie Schuyler has named Tadd good to be the new Festival director. Tadd is a real go-getter and very talented and creative.

(I have to say these things in case he’s reading this…if you know what I mean. C’mon! The guy collects these little dolls.)

I guess that means he’ll fit right in. Lonnie will still be around—just not involved in the day-to-day activities. Tadd will be handling all of that. He’s excited now, but wait until he finds out what’s in store for him. (Actually, I think he’ll do fine. (I just don’t want him to get a swelled head.)

In other news, there will be a new Schuyler-type at this year’s Snake Alley Festival of Film. I can’t say more than that. You’ll just have to show up to find out.

Start getting those entries ready. It’ll be here before you know it. And have a warm and wonderful holiday season.

One more thing. If Tadd wants to show you his doll collection…run!


Has It Been A Month?

This Friday is July 4th also known as Independence Day. That marks one month since The Snake Alley Festival of Film convened in beautiful Burlington, Iowa. It’s hard to believe a month has passed. It seems like only yesterday.

Of course, the other side of midnight is that it has taken me almost a month to recuperate. What with the rockin’ after parties, great films, fun readings of some fabulous screenplays, and being shanghaied at the last second to play a part in a play I hadn’t read (thanks JoJo and Kara)…it’s a wonder I’m not still in bed. Absolutely too much fun in one place!

On top of that, my children forced me to mow “the back 40” and I have the whip scars on my arm to prove it.

In fact, things were such a blur that I was man-handled (maybe I should say woman-handled) by six women and almost didn’t remember it! (God! I hope that’s not a symptom of old age.) the picture posted here proves it happened—and this was before the drinking started.

Met some old friends, made some new ones, and had a great time in general including the very wet Wiener Dog races. If you missed it…well there’s always next year. And, believe me, next year will be even better!

Happy Birthday America!



Down To The Wire!

We are watching the last block of films for the night. This will be followed by a Catered Red Carpet Party. The Red Carpet Party is usually held in the street in front of The Capitol Theater, but due to a lot of rain, it had to be moved indoors.

Oh, well! The lobby of the theater and the theater annex will be a bit cramped, but the film makers and film goers will get to know each other better. It’ll be warm and cozy.

Following the Red Carpet Party, the Awards Ceremony will be held and film makers, screen writers, and the audience will discover who goes home with the coveted “Alley Award” or the inspired “Writer’s Block.”

Prior to this section of The Snake Alley Festival of Film, was Cyn-A-Palooza. The Wiener Dog races were run in a monsoon, but the short-legged contenders put on their snorkels and were up for the challenge. There was a lot of barking, yapping, and smack-talking…but run they did. No Wiener dogs were hurt during these races.

Once we get finished with the awards ceremony, everyone will head to Martini’s for the final “after party” this year. Then, it’s home to “dry out” and plan a new film project for next year.

If you missed The Snake Alley Festival of Film this year, you missed a fun, and rocking event. Plan to be there next year. I’m already hearing rumblings of bigger and better doings for next year.

Don’t Quit Your Day Job

Well, we’re into day 4 of The Snake Alley Festival of Film. So far it has been a fun and amazing event. Everyone here is friendly and there are some amazingly talented people concentrated in a small area.

One of the new features this year was to have actors read scripts submitted by screenwriters. JoJo Munkee did an amazing job of collecting actors and rehearsing them. This feature gives screenwriters get to see their words come to life. It helps them to visualize how their words play as an interaction between characters.

Just seconds before one of the scripts was to be read, JoJo got word that two actors were involved in a car accident, so she shanghaied yours truly to fill one of the parts. No rehearsal, no nothing. I was literally handed a script as I walked on stage and was told I was playing the part of Ozzie, an elderly black man. The title of the screenplay was “All Aboard!”

I missed my cues a couple of times and missed leaving the stage during one part.

Everyone was very complimentary and told me I did a good job. I thought to myself, “I don’t think I should quit my day job.”

It was all in good fun and in the name of art, so no harm, no foul.

If you’ve never been to an indie film festival, I urge you to go. If you want to attend a great indie film festival, come to The Snake Alley Festival of Film in Burlington, Iowa.

Tonight’s after party is at The Drake and promises to be a real blast.

And Saturday is Cyn-A-Palooza, complete with a street carnival, big sales, and topped off with Weiner Dog Races.

Then, on Saturday night, we have a street party in front of the Capitol Theater, the awards ceremony, and another after party at Martini’s. Follow Snake Alley Festival of Film on Facebook and see all of the pictures.Image

Thunder and Lightning

Thunder and lightning refers to the weather last night during the last block of films. But it has cleared a bit and is really nice.

Well, day one is in the bag and day two is winding down…except for the after party.  I’ll let you know how that went tomorrow…maybe.

The foreign film block was amazing. People are still talking about it.

I’m going to post a few pictures now that my computer is back on line and functioning. If you couldn’t make it this year, you have my sympathies. This is going to be the best fest yet.

The people in this town (Burlington, Iowa) rock. Warm, friendly, and really into the arts.

Enjoy the early-bird pictures of the 3rd Annual Snake Alley Festival of Film.

“Jaws Was Never My Scene—And I Don’t Like Star Wars!”


If you recognize these lyrics, you’ll recall that they’re from a 1978 “Queen” song called “Bicycle Race.” And this Saturday, May 24th, 2014 in beautiful Burlington, Iowa they held a bicycle race called The Snake Alley Criterium.  This just one of a series of races held this Memorial Day weekend in and around Southeast Iowa.

And, of course, the Snake Alley Criterium is followed by The Snake Alley Festival of Film in little more than a week’s time.

The Snake Alley Festival of Film is followed by Cyn-A-Palooza and their world-class Wiener Dog races.

And on the heels of Cyn-A-Palooza is a big music festival called “Steamboat Days.”

The, of course, there’s the Snake Alley Art Festival followed by…”I don’t know, I can’t keep up with all the happenings in this town.”

The bottom line is—This town rocks. But that begs the question, “When do these folks work?”

All joking aside, this year’s Snake Alley Festival of Film is going to be bigger and better than ever. The reason I mentioned those other events is to show you that there is always something going on here…and something for everyone. So, bring your family to The Snake Alley Festival of Film and let them enjoy all that Burlington, Iowa has to offer.


Can you guess the significance of the number 72 and what it has to do with The Snake Alley Festival of Film?

Is it how old Lonnie looks after The Snake Alley Festival of Film is over for this year?

Is it the number of typos and grammatical corrections that Tina will have to fix before the final lineup is submitted to the printer? (You see, it works like this: Pancho corrects Lonnie’s work. Tina corrects Pancho’s work. Then—when everything is printed—some bright-eyed grammarian will spot a mistake and loudly point it out.)

Could 72 be the number of steps Lonnie takes in one direction when he’s pacing back and forth?

Nope! It’s none of the above.

“72” is the number of unbelievably talented submissions that will be shown at the Capital Theater during this year’s Snake Alley Festival of Film. Add to that the reading of some phenomenal screenplays, tours of Burlington like you’ve never seen it, Q & A’s with actors, screenwriters, and film makers, followed by knock-your-socks-off after parties…and you’ve got some idea of what’s in store for you at this year’s Snake Alley Festival of Film.

If this is your first time, you’ll see why this is called a “must see” event!

And I’ve got one word for that grammarian whose waiting. (Should that have been who’s?) And that word is “Theiy’re”! (As in, “They’re buying their tickets so they can be there.) Pffftt!

Here’s The Line-Up!

Turn to your left! Okay, turn to your right! Now face the front! Number three step forward, please! Oops! Wrong type of line-up!

Here is the line-up you’ve all been waiting for! The films in this year’s Snake Alley Festival of Films are listed below in alphabetical order.

The List

4GLove – Comedy 5 minutes – Josh returns home to confront his

girlfriend Sara about her addiction to her iPhone 4g and

their disintegrating relationship forcing her to choose

between her phone or her man. A cliffhanger about technology

addiction, relationships, and following your heart.


5 Words – Student Film – 9 minutes – Based on actual events,

“5 Words” is a short film set in the former Soviet Union in

the year of 1958. It is a short episode from the life of a

young woman who is persecuted for her Christian faith by the

godless Communist movement. In the film, the young woman

who is interrogated only speaks “5 Words.” (in Russian).


Animal Cookies – animation – 2 minutes – Molly has proudly

baked herself a batch of animal cookies for dessert.

But when her mother calls her away, the animal cookies decide

dessert is NOT what they want to be.


A Short Film – Comedy 3 Minutes – The epitome of a short

western film with short actors, short horses and long


Awaiting Dilation – Music Video 8 minutes – A band is about

to play on local morning show, but after being asked to fake

their performance, things take a turn towards the



A Well-Proved Helpmate – Drama – 15 minutes – Meet Pontain

Mitchell, a folk preacher. He has an uncanny, perhaps even

revolutionary gift for spiritual language, but only when he

goes behind a curtain. He even has a different name behind

the curtain—”Jabez.” Even Pontain can’t explain why he must

be hidden for Jabez’s words to come forward.

His gift divides him and makes him a peculiar figure in his


A Zombie’s Trip – Australia – 2 minutes – After a sudden turn

of events, a zombie is suddenly brought from the world of

fiction into the world of reality.


BALLKONI – Kosovo – 20 minutes – An entire village reacts to

a boy dangling from a balcony in this one-shot film.



BEHIND THE BUSH – SPAIN – 12 Minutes – Humiliation and

violence are what punctuates the life of this broken man. The silence

is his refuge, the perversion his outlet…


BETWEEN SHADOWS – Student Films 7 minutes – It’s just

Cassandra and her 1970 Chevy Nova on the empty night highway.

While driving through the darkness she stops at a gas

station, which has unsettling consequences.


BICITOWN – SPAIN – 4 minutes – Bicitown portrays the life of

Modou an immigrant now living in Bilbao (Spain). Using close

ups to stay inside the character we journey through what the

center of his life is nowadays while he speaks about what

took him to Bilbao and how he faces his new life.


BONO – SPAIN – 10 minutes – The lead singer of Zaragoza’s

second biggest U2 tribute band refuses to go on stage.


Breakdown – Australia – 13 minutes – Lovers who haven’t seen

each other for years have a chance meeting on a deserted

country road. What are the chances?


CATCHPHRASE – Comedy 3 minutes – A short film that raises

social awareness about one of our favorite games:


CAUGHT IN CONDIMENTS – Comedy – 5 minutes – After a new law

to increase sales tax on condiments is passed, a group of

grocery store employees carry out a heist: steal condiments

from their employer and sell them on the black market as a

form of tax evasion.


CLOSET – Drama – 19 minutes – Closet is the story of Elliot,

a young boy who is trying to deal with the monster that is

hiding in his closet. Elliot’s parents are in a tense

relationship that makes dealing with his fears more real than

he can accept.


Conversations with Richard – Documentary – 7 minutes – A

short film that portrays my Grandfather’s life after


CoPay – comedy – 20 minutes – ‘Kidney Stone’! Anyone who’s

experienced one or more…cringes just seeing those two

words, knowing the intense pain an attack brings on. ‘CoPay’

is an uncomfortably realistic and comedic journey into this

medical emergency experience and an indictment of our medical administration community. You may experience a slight burning


DAS KIND – Austria – 18 minutes – It’s the end of the 19th

Century. His name is Alois. He waits in fearful agony for the

dramatic birth of his child. He is ignorant of the dark

future. History always has a beginning.


DEMOCRACIA REAL – SPAIN – 4 minutes – Gathered in a park an

assembly of five persons belonging to social movement 15m is

an insurmountable obstacle to democracy. Is everybody ready

to vote? Don’t worry you will not find the answer in this

short film.


Dust of War – Special feature – 94 minutes – In a post-apocalyptic American Frontier, a soldier fends off a brutal warmonger. His goal is to rescue the girl fated as the savior of humanity.


EL HOMBRE EQUIVOCADO – Spain – 16 minutes – He is an ordinary

sales rep. She is an attractive sea archeologist. Add 200.000

Euros which may or may not have been embezzled. These are the

ingredients of this romantic comedy/thriller.


EL TIEMPO DEL AGUA – Canada 13 minutes – Rosa has decided to

leave the safety of home, and meet her estranged lover with

whom she hasn’t spoken in years. But in doing so, she also

leaves her past and secrets vulnerable to be discovered by


Eropa – Sci-fi – 15 minutes – An astronaut’s discovery of

intelligent alien life on Jupiter’s moon Europa reminds him

of a tragic past while giving him hope for the future.

Meanwhile, the government must decide what to do about his

profound discovery.


Families Are Forever – Documentary – 21 minutes – Tom and

Wendy were devout Mormon parents living in a conservative

community: Attending church every Sunday, actively serving in

their ward, raising five children and knocking on doors to

promote support for California’s Proposition 8 to prevent

same-sex marriage. Then one day, Wendy read 13-year-old

Jordon’s diary and discovered he was gay. What happened next

changed their lives forever.


FEED – Animation – 5 minutes – One fine evening, a lonely

grandma took her tiny creature to enjoy an outdoor meal. She

has prepared this meal specially for tonight to appease her

little fellow. But, hunger, greed, and lust can be satisfied by

no one. The result will be beyond imagination!


Girl – Horror – 8 minutes – Deep in the dark woods, a girl in

a cage is being held captive by a man with a knife.


Green Acres – Animation – 5 Minutes – A parched tortoise

wanders through a vast desert desperately in search of water.

He comes across an oasis only to find that trespassers are

unwelcome. Somehow he must slip past the defenses to quench

his thirst.


Harold’s Gift – Student film – 15 minutes – Jim inherits a

piece of magical piano music that re-connects him to his

estranged father.


Heat – Foreign Film – 20 minutes – Heat is a sensation

produced in the sentient organs of animals and people by the

burning of calories. When we touch or approach a hot body,

the heat passes from that body to our sense of feeling, and

gives the sensation of heat.


Heebie-Jeebies – Horror – 9 minutes – After hearing a scary

bedtime story, a young boy and girl become convinced they

have monsters under their beds. They may be right…


I Never Said I Wasn’t Happy – Documentary – 38 minutes –

Happiness doesn’t always make a good story. Before and after

the death of her father, Sara Peak Convery (filmmaker and

artist) obsessively examines her parents’ conflicted

relationship through the lens of her own paintings, family

photography, and revealing interviews. The film observes how

her mother finally claims her own identity as a widow.


Jungle warfare college – documentary- 10 minutes – When

people think of India they think of spiritual awakening, “the

world’s largest democracy,” lush jungles and the towering

Himalaya. But inside this country of 1.1 billion is an

ongoing insurgency that tests the limits of India’s

constitutional democracy.

Love Letter – Drama – 13 minutes – Love Letter examines the

fantasies of Basil, an eight-year-old coping with the

emotional anxieties triggered by the divorce of her parents.


MARINA – Israel – 8 minutes – After an exhausting job quest

Marina gets a suspicious offer that she cannot refuse. This

offer will expose her to a dark and gray world.


MOLLY – Dramedy – 12 minutes – After a breakup with his

girlfriend Molly, Byron and his best friend organize a

complicated breakdown.


Money 1955 – Drama – 15 minutes –

The international press descends on a remote

courthouse in Tallahatchie County, Mississippi and draws the world’s

attention to the murder trial of two white men accused of

the horrific lynching of a 14-year old black boy from Chicago

named Emmett Till.


Motivating Stanley – Dramedy – 11 minutes – Stanley thought

he was having a normal day. But he was wrong. Today he is

presented with an unusual opportunity. Will Stanley take the



Noah Hammer – Brazil – 15 Minutes – On a surreal farm Noah is

a 30 year-old Afro American who confronts his father pursuing

the dream of playing the Blues with white farm workers. This

journey goes against principles of Southern society where

racism wasn’t a choice for a young, polite and naive person

like Noah.


NO MIRES AHÍ – SPAIN – 15 minutes – Marta goes back to her

mother’s house to stay a few days with her little sister. The

girl’s weird behavior and the latent memory of a sad event

will lead Marta to suspect that the house is being haunted by

an uncanny presence.


Not Anymore, A story of Revolution – Documentary – 14 minutes –

The story of the Syrian revolution as told through the

experiences of two young Syrians, a male rebel fighter and a

female journalist, as they fight an oppressive regime for the

freedom of their people.



November – Germany – 5 minutes – November brings with it a

creeping damp, cold fog, as we follow the spiritual

reflections of a downtrodden creature….


OUR URBAN WILDERNESS – comedy – 24 minutes – ‘Our Urban

Wilderness’ is a hilarious rewriting of American history. A

film that tells the story of a true national icon, the North

American shopping cart. From prehistory to present modern

day, Our Urban Wilderness is a comedic look at American

consumerism, as well as a spoof of old 1980s nature



Pages – student film – 8 minutes -‘Pages’ tells the story of

two siblings whose heartwarming relationship is jeopardized

by a dispute. Absorbed in their own worlds, the two struggle

to stay connected. A gift from the past may hold the key to

recognizing what is most important. Will this realization

come too late?


Pan – France – 9 minutes – 3 woman and a dustbin. And…Bang!


Pauline In A Beautiful World – Drama – 20 minutes – A young

debutante transcends the rigid society she once knew and

discovers a better place that exists inside a dream.


Playing with The Devil – Horror – 7 minutes – While home

alone, three sisters conduct a Japanese ritual of Hitori

Kakurenbo or ‘One Man Tag’ with their beloved doll. Terror

ensues as the girls realize that one should never play a game

with the Devil.



Naples Italy. 1950. Four friends are playing soccer out on

the street when their ball is accidentally kicked into the

evil old lady´s yard. They’ll never play with their ball

again…and for that the revenge will be deadly….


Sad Monster – Canada – 7 minutes – Sad Monster is a short

film by Award Winning Creative Director Kurt Dettbarn based

on the original song written and recorded by Kurt Dettbarn.

The short film attempts to capture a moment in the life of

Kurt’s 2 year old daughter (Maja) as she out grows the

imaginary monster in her closet.


Salvage – Documentary – 34 minutes -‘Salvage’is a documentary

that takes a look at the stories of women on Skid Row, and

their struggles with homelessness, abuse, and addiction.

Filmed at and with the help of the Union Rescue Mission, the

film takes a special glimpse into the Mission and the

transitional housing facility Hope Gardens. The stories of

the women are as varied as the way that they got to Skid Row,

and each is salvaging their life in a different way.


Say My Heart Goodbye – Music Video – 7 minutes – Part love

story, part nod to classic monster movies, “Say My Heart

Goodbye” is a narrative music video that traces the journey

of a man as he attempts to bring back the love of his life

from the dead.


SEARCY COUNTY – Student film – 6 minutes – This short film

depicts the little-known and unusual world of the Searcy

County Livestock Auction in Marshall, Arkansas.


She’s Da Reason – Music Video – 4 minutes – A music video for

the song ‘She’s Da Reason’ by artist Misalanyus. The video

captures an emotional response to an intimate partner’s


SIN RESPUESTA – Spain – 10 minutes – Lola goes through the

pressures of the day but she does her job without giving it

too much thought. She works as a telemarketing phone operator

for a financial institution. From her tiny cubicle she phones

those who owe the company money to remind them that when it

comes to payment there are no valid excuses. The telephone

allows her to keep enough distance… but one day comes to a

head when she is left with no answer.


Smile – Italy – 10 minutes – Smile is about the relationship between a father and son, with the father teaching the son how to deal with his imperfections.


SUGAR ZOMBIE – Colombia – 16 minutes – In a film that starts

from the end and moves progressively backwards, until we

discover the origin of the events, Sugar Zombie tells a story

of how things work in a small Latin American society.


Talk To Strangers – Sci-fi – 13 minutes – A man brings home a

strange woman with an even stranger condition: she says she’s

EMOTIONLESS. As the man tries to understand her, his less than-

normal girlfriend tries to undermine her, and life in

his apartment gets just a bit weird.


TARDE DE FÚTBOL – Spain – 19 minutes – Sara has been declared

innocent. S

In this film, she and her lawyer, Mariola, talk about the

circumstances of the day Sara was accused.



The Adventures Of Sheriff Kid McLain – Action – 18 minutes –

A young and frightened Billy goes on a journey with his older

Brother, Johnny, to the Old West.  Ever since the Governor’s son

rolled into the town of Ferro Grande, it has been threatened by

Dirt Man Duke and the Lightning Gang.  Now, Sheriff Kid

McLain must protect the Governor’s son and this peaceful quiet

town against from the vengeance of Dirt Man Duke and his gang.

His only help is a young cowboy barely in his teens.


The Man Who Feed His Shadow – – minutes – A man intrudes into

rich people’s dinners claiming that he can collect the food

from their table and feed his shadow which, curiously enough,

is a female figure.


The Mock Destruction Of The World – Drama – 9 minutes – Tommy

Roach is an unusual toy maker, who finds grace in malfunction

and creativity in decay. A science fiction story plays out

that features the decay of nature, as described by glorious

autumn colors, and the gleam of an automated modernity, as

described by the sheer light bouncing off glass and steel and

peculiar glow of boulevards at night. Tommy’s toys come to

life and act out his thoughtful cosmological vision.


The Not So Good Pilot – Iowa made film – 5 minutes – It is

taking a greater collaborated effort from more and more

financial backers and studios to produce a movie of epic

proportions. Furthermore, in order to insure financial

success, a movie needs to use the multi-talents of a super

star, who can direct and write as well as act. The Not So

Good Pilot is what is in store for movie goers if this trend


The Organizer – Dramedy – 11 minutes – Shirleen lives in a

van, but convinces her brother she lives in the apartment she

cleans. When he insists on staying overnight, she must force

him out before the owner returns.


There is no God and we all die alone – comedy – 21 minutes –

After the death of his father, Henry Fleetwood embarks on a

whimsical journey to find the meaning of life and death.


The Tedious Existence Of Terrell B. Howell – Dramedy – 25 minutes – Terrell and Nancy Howell’s tedious existence is changed forever when middle-aged Terrell finds Joy. She’s a seductive young woman who reignites his passion. But will Nancy and Terrell’s marriage survive?



THE VIOLINIST – Student film – 24 minutes – A ten-year-old

boy wants to be a violinist like his grandfather, but his

father forbids it because he does not want to pursue the same

life that his grandfather did; the life of an artist

following his dreams.



The Wheeler Parker Story – Drama – 16 Minutes – Wheeler

Parker gives his firsthand account of events leading up to

the abduction and eventual murder of his cousin, Emmett Till,

in 1955.


This Is (Not) Yates – Student Film – 3 minutes – This might

(not) be a fake self-portrait.


We Are Alone In This Together – Music Video – 5 minutes –

Music video for Graham Lindsey by award-winning

writer/actor/director Michael McCallum.


We Are Somebody – Documentary – 7 minutes – The film examines

youth from some of Kansas City’s toughest neighborhoods. The

stories in this documentary are written and voiced by the

youth themselves while filming takes place in their

environments. This is in effort to raise awareness and

provoke action to enable all of our youth to dream, create,

and explore their ideas.


Wunderland – Action – 5 minutes – Set in WWII during the

Battle of The Bulge, ‘Wunderland,’ follows a squad of US

soldiers and their dedicated officer as they fend off the

brutal onslaught of German attackers.


Zombeo and Juliecula – Comedy – 35 minutes – An elementary

school is split between two feuding populations. A young boy and

a young girl discover that they’ve got much more in common

than they’ve been led to believe. The only thing standing in their way

is the same thing that divides the school: He’s a zombie, and She’s a vampire.




Give Mom A Special Treat!

This Sunday is Mother’s Day. If you’re still at a loss for a gift, how about giving her tickets to The Snake Alley Festival of Film. It will be something unique and unusual. And it will be something she’ll remember forever.

Sure, flowers are nice. But how many Moms’ can say, “My child took me to an indie film festival?” Buy the big package and get her into the after parties. She might just blow your mind when she rocks out to the live music.

Think of all the joy she’ll get out of sitting in at the stage reading of the screenplays, or hanging with the filmmakers at the filmmakers panel discussions.

Then there’s the tour of Burlington and the not-to-be-missed Wiener Dog Races and Cyn-A-Palooza.

C’mon! You know she’ll love it. And you might just get to “Favorite Child” status! It’s worth a shot.

June in Iowa…what’s not to love? Load her on the old Harley and ride on over. See you there on June 3rd.