Twisted Oyster Experimental Film Festival 2018
July 20 - August 5
Chicago, IL
Miami, FL

This year's theme: Vital Signs

The 2018 Twisted Oyster Film and Time-based Art Festival will place its focus on the environment and the impact of climate change on the planet. The festival will be a platform to drive awareness with an impactful exhibition that brings forward works that speak to this concern. This year’s theme, Vital Signs, reflects on the ongoing climatological crisis the delicate state of the planet and will invite an audience to enjoy its magnificent beauty and paralleled decay.

The observable effects resulting from the increase in global mean temperature has caused glaciers to melt, coral reefs to die, rivers to shrink, animals to shift behaviors and trees to flower sooner. The human induced gases and warming are causing the planet’s sea ice to melt rapidly, accelerating the rise of sea levels and experiencing more intense heat waves and drastic temperature changes. The idea for this year’s exhibition derives from an individual and global concern to broaden awareness to the current state and continuous deterioration of the earth’s sensitivity to human actions.

2018 was declared International Year of the Reef and last year the United States was pulled out of the Paris Agreement. Doing nothing on climate change is irrational and reversing its non-participatory status is impossible for now, but we cannot stay numb or paralyzed. A significant number of organizations, private firms, some of the world’s biggest businesses and average individuals from all corners of the world are taking action with the understanding that climate change is good for everyone.

The primary goal is to promote understanding of the importance of preservation, create awareness of present realities, be conscious that we need these natural features alive and active, and help implement measures that can help us reactivate or retain some lost resources. Take for example a coral reef: besides containing one of the most diverse ecosystems in the planet, they protect coastlines and a habitat to fish species. Climate change, wastewater and fossil fuel pollution, careless tourism and overfishing has impacted these habitats, produced mass-bleaching and decay where marine species are disappearing and oceans are becoming more acidic affecting an entire food chain. There is value in preserving the ocean, it produces 50-80% of the oxygen we breath, we depend on its ecosystem, and yet, we continue to dump 300 tons of waste per day. If the reefs disappear it would be disastrous in the tropics, large coastal regions will disappear and an entire economies will be affected significantly.

The films and video art presented throughout the duration of the exhibit will tease the imagination and express a profound impact. The show will entertain and cultivate ideas that enlighten and unify a diverse, rich and enthusiastic community while promoting a continued understanding through the language of art.

This years films and art show will be presented in Chicago and Miami!

Awards given in five categories:

Best in Show Awards + $200.00 (USD) discount voucher towards professional marketing services to:
- Feature
- Short
- Documentary
- Experimental
- Animation

Runner Up Prizes:
$100.00 (USD) gift certificate towards web/design services for your film.

1. Films of all genres will be considered, as long as they are written, directed with the subject matter described in the synopsis above at the center of the story.

2. This year's event will accept experimental and traditional narrative feature films, short films, feature documentaries, short documentaries, animation and short web series episodes.

3. Feature films and feature documentaries must be over 60 minutes and short films, short documentaries and web series episodes must be under 30 minutes.

Twisted Oyster Film Festival:

- The filmmaker has read and understood the rules and regulations and to the best of their knowledge, all statements are true. The filmmaker is duly authorized to submit this film to the Twisted Oyster Film Festival.

- TOFF reserves the right to disqualify any submission without refund of submission fees.

- Films must not have publicly screened in the greater Chicago or Miami area prior to the festival. While world premieres are not requirements for TOFF, this information is taken into consideration when making final programming decisions.

- All accepted films may be screened more than once, and are scheduled at the discretion of the Twisted Oyster Film Festival staff.

- Films produced or financed by a major motion picture studio are eligible for festival screenings but are not eligible for competitive awards. Films that have acquired distribution are eligible for festival screenings but are not eligible for awards.

- Upon submission, the filmmaker consents to allowing their screener material to be shared in its entirety with appropriate TOFF staff, including programming staff, volunteer screeners, and other appropriate members of staff; shared with press outlets in efforts to secure press for the film; with final jury members; and with select individuals representing community partners who may be interested in supporting the film’s screening or taking part in a panel or q&a associated with the film.

-The festival is hereby also granted the right to utilize image(s) and/or biographical information of the filmmakers for promotional purposes. The festival reserves the right to fill in any information not supplied by the filmmaker from whatever source available and will not be responsible if incorrect information is entered.

- It is the responsibility of the filmmaker to secure authorization for any copyrighted material that may be used in the film. The filmmaker shall indemnify and hold harmless Twisted Oyster Film Festival from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney's fees, and costs of the court) which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the screening videos entered.

- TOFF does not pay screening fees or guarantee travel or distribution for filmmakers.

- Although rough cuts can be taken into consideration for submission, a FINAL CUT will be only screened and reserve the right to decline an unfinished project.

- Promotional trailers, reels, or anything other than a screener for the film will not be considered.

- By submitting, the filmmaker expressly acknowledges and agrees that they shall be bound by the terms of this agreement.

- Open to film/new media/video artists in the world, ages 21 or over.
- Entries must be submitted via FIlmFreeway online platform, with a working screener attached to your profile on the platform.

- Entry Fee paid via FilmFreeway
- A working screener that is accessible via your film’s profile on FilmFreeway

- Films selected for screening will be notified on or around June 30, 2018

About founder Pía Cruzal­egui (MFA):
Pia is a North American ba­sed artist, filmmaker an­d curator ­and has exhibited in­ multiple ­group exhi­bitions around the world. She h­as worked in numerou­s producti­ons and multimedia environments for te­levision, films, web, Universit­y of Miami­ and Miami­ Dade Coll­ege. Presently, Pía directs a multimedia consulting agency, curates art shows and creates installation art all over the world w­ith a miss­ion to provide artists and community a spac­e for enga­gement and dialogue.

Overall Rating
  • ana barroso

    keep on the good work.

    December 2016
  • fantastic festival!!, thanks a lot and go experimental!!

    December 2016