“It was easy, it was cheap, go and do it!”
— The Desperate Bicycles, “Handlebars”
The history of New American Cinema is dotted with one-offs and anomalies, pictures like Little Fugitive, On the Bowery, Shadows, Girlfriends, Killer of Sheep, Mala Noche, and Slacker, movies made on a shoestring by enterprising young directors who practically willed them into existence. Often, the films didn’t receive the recognition they deserved until years or decades after they were made.
Meanwhile, the proliferation of inexpensive digital video cameras in the early 2000s meant that for the first time, anyone with time and energy could make a feature film, and the advent of DSLR video in the 2010s provided the means for non-professionals to make self-financed films that looked great. A scene grew around actors and directors like Amy Seimetz, Kentucker Audley and Kate Lyn Sheil, and before long micro-budget filmmaking existed not on an island but within an ecosystem.
But while the means to make films were increasingly accessible, opportunities to exhibit them became harder and harder to come by. That’s where you and I come in. Believing that it’s our duty to support art created outside the barriers of industries and institutions, PubX is a semi-annual, randomly recurring pop-up film festival and cinematheque, showing the best undistributed or under-seen micro-budget features from around the country, offering public exposure and retrospective context to movies that saw little or no theatrical exhibition in the first place.
In keeping with the DIY ethic of the films, pictures are screened at creative venues throughout Western Massachusetts. Whenever possible, the filmmakers themselves introduce the movies, which are curated around the conviction that, given the right tools—cameras, mics, a girl and a gun—anyone can make a film, and open a window to their world in the process.
2015 is our first year doing this. It’ll be easy, it’ll be cheap. We’ll go and do it!
Director & Founder: Otis Wheeler
Associate Director: Rachael Powers
Poster Design: Sophy Romvari
Special Thanks: Hilary Stoddard
Thanks: Robert Robinson, George Myers, The Quarters, Don Wheeler, Melissa Mills-Dick, Fred Hubbard, Glynnis Eldridge, Lindsey Musielak, Sasha Statman-Weil.