Carnegie Screenwriters host their second annual film festival


The Carnegie Screenwriters hosted their second annual “Script and Screen Festival” on Sunday, August 26 at the Tull Family Theater. Featuring directors from Pittsburgh and beyond, viewers were able to enjoy 24 short films from every genre imaginable.

Carngie Screenwriters' Festival Graphic.jpg
Logo used for the Script and Screen Festival.

“Having attended events locally and even farther out, I decided that our group should look into holding our own film festival here in town to highlight some of the local artist,” Wendy Eiben, Festival Director, said.

A writer and producer from the Pittsburgh area, Eiben’s credits include everything from TV commercials and romantic comedies to horror. Working with the Carnegie Screenwriters, Eiben organized the event to showcase Pittsburgh talent as well as various foreign films from France, Brazil, and Iran.

The screening room at the Tull Family Theater. Photo credit: Garret Roberts

“The Tull Family Theater is able to offer the space for our reception, which we have the night before the festival, as well as the screening and are very willing to work with us,” Eiben said. “They are very interested in local entertainment, especially local film. They’re one of our biggest supporters, so the relationship has been very good.”

Featuring 15 local films and 9 films from countries around the world, the lineup of entertainment ranged in emotional tone and message. While some films were experimental and absurd, others revealed issues facing other parts of the world that we typically don’t address in American-made entertainment.

Poster for The Cookie Table, a film centered around the Pittsburgh tradition of having cookie tables at weddings.

Some standout films included “The Snag,” a French drama addressing the issues and drama of dating, “Paper Dolls,” which tackles individuality in a surreal and unique way by invoking cult like images, “Are You Volleyball?!,” which paints a picture of the border relations in different parts of the world, and “Casey,” a story which details the life of a strange little girl and the secret her family keeps.

Comedy also found its way into the festival in a big way. “A Tap Dancer Murders Her Father” and “It Could Be You” both offered a dark spin on comedy at the event–achieving laughs with the absurd tone of the films. Ranging from murder to SUV accidents, the darker side of the comedic world is shown through these pieces.

A more straight-forward comedy can be found in “No Way In Hell,” directed by Raul Toledo. The story follows a demon trying to leave his job in Hell for a more fulfilling position in Heaven. With amazing set design and well timed and subtle jokes, the film was quick to fill the theater with laughs.

Poster for Red Jacket, a film shot in Wheeling, WV.

However, the most standout short at the event was “Red Jacket” by director Pasquale Anthony Greco. Taking place in the town of Red Jacket, The Sportsman’s Bar receives a mysterious and dangerous visitor as it is about close. With a story you would never expect, the film is sure to please horror and drama fans alike. While certainly not for the faint of heart, this thriller is easily the best of the genre in 2018. Using a simple and small set, the world outside the bar is built through character interactions and the TV in the corner. The stellar acting by the entire cast makes the crisis seem more believable and grounded in reality. Each character feels like they belong in the world, which is a hard task to achieve in under 15 minutes.

Offering something for everyone, the Carnegie Screenwriters’ festival was able to show a side of movies not typically seen on the silver screen. If you study film or even have a passing interest in movies, the event is a way to see what new and upcoming directors have to offer. You may even find a new favorite.