by Dan Lybarger
It hardly seems like 10 years since the Kansas International Film Festival (KIFF) brought a series of worthy movies to the area that might not have played here otherwise. In some cases, KIFF, which takes place at the Glenwood Arts Theater and formerly known as Halfway to Hollywood, has provided an important launching pad for movies that later had successful theatrical runs. The festival helped whet Kansas City’s appetite for Jill Sprecher’s Thirteen Conversations about One Thing and A Wedding for Bella (a k a The Bread, My Sweet).
Ray Harryhausen with one of the skeletons from The 7th Voyages of Sinbad and Jason and the Argonausts at KIFF, 2003 (photo by Dan Lybarger)
KIFF has also attracted a remarkable array of filmmakers to Cowtown. Stop-motion animation wizard Ray Harryhausen not only presented Earth vs. the Flying Saucers but he even brought along one of the skeletons from Jason and the Argonauts. Zombie film specialist George A. Romero and makeup guru Tom Savini (who can be seen in Machete) came to scare new audiences with Creepshow and Night of the Living Dead.
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