Cornfed Film Fest article in The Voice

Two featured films to fit festival’s “Firsts” theme

The McDonough County Voice - Posted Mar 22, 2012 @ 11:12 AM

Macomb, Ill. –Two exciting new films will be part of the upcoming Cornfed Film Fest set for April 13-15 in Macomb.

In keeping with the festival’s theme of “A Festival of Firsts,” “Fever Year” and “Zielinski” are both first films by their filmmakers. Also, both are documentaries offering insights into two complex, but very different, men.

Cornfed Film Fest

“Fever Year,” a film by Xan Aranda, comes to west-central Illinois on a wave of interest that’s been growing throughout the country and now worldwide.

This “feature-length concert documentary film” presents a look into the creative process of acclaimed singer-songwriter Andrew Bird. Filmed during months of Bird’s most rigorous year of touring, the motion picture sees him cross the December finish line in his hometown of Chicago – feverish and on crutches from an onstage injury.

“Fever Year” features live performances at Milwaukee’s Pabst Theater (with collaborators Martin Dosh, Jeremy Ylvisaker, Michael Lewis and Annie Clark of St. Vincent) and is the first to capture Bird’s precarious multi-instrumental looping technique.

The film premiered at the Lincoln Center in New York as part of the prestigious New York Film Festival in October.

Since then it’s been well received at film festivals around the country, with several international premieres forthcoming. Described by the Film Society of Lincoln Center as “a cunning hybrid of documentary and concert film,” “Fever Year” will show at the Cornfed Film Fest at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 14.

“Zielinski” brings home the work of Macomb native Ryan Walker.

The first film of Walker and Chase Thompson, the documentary brings to the screen “the rise and fall of John Zielinski, the most blacklisted author in the history of Iowa.”

The genesis for the film is described as: “John Zielinski walked into Columbia Access Television holding a huge, muddy VHS camera. It was just the three of us. He said, ‘There’s a tape stuck in here that will bring down the U.S. government. Can you help me?’ This jarring first impression kick-started an investigation (that) went much deeper than expected.”

“Zielinski” premiered at the Slamdance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, in January 2011 and has been screened at multiple festivals throughout the country.

Described by Variety as “both a profile and a provocation,” this movie brings a portrait of a complex and unforgettable character to life. See “Zielinski” — and chat with filmmaker Ryan Walker — at the Cornfed Film Fest at 1 p.m. Saturday April 14.

Cornfed Film Fest is down-to-earth while providing a strong and healthy serving of films.
It nourishes with well-crafted film and engaging conversation and is made strong by the region’s enthusiasm for film.

The festival will bring first films by well-known directors of various genres as well as films that represent a “first” or innovation in filmmaking.

The festival is also dedicated to cultivating an audience for talented first-time filmmakers, both young adults and emerging professionals, and providing them with much-needed support and encouragement.

The festival brings to the region a broad range of movies that are not typically available on a large screen.

Festivals provide a unique viewing experience where people can watch a movie together and have an engaging dialogue.

Cornfed Film Fest brings a well-considered program to the community that builds appreciation and understanding of film as well as the field of filmmaking.

The festival will be a weekend long event beginning on Friday, April 13 with a welcoming reception and a screening of famous directors’ short films.

Saturday has a full schedule of firsts, beginning with student films and ending with full-length feature films.

The festival winds down with a Sunday brunch, awards and a family feature.

For more information on Cornfed Film Fest, go to or email Ticket sales will begin soon.