This story was updated on April 25, 2013.
It’ll be show time at the South Bowie Library as the facility will be the site for the Prince George’s Heritage Film Festival.
The three-day festival starting at 6 p.m. today will be the first major event to be held at the library, which opened last October, and represents the first film festival hosted by the Prince George’s Memorial Library System since at least 2010, said Kathleen Teaze, executive director of the county’s memorial library system.
Festival organizers say the event is intended to introduce people to independent films.
“I’m a real promoter of Prince George’s,” said festival founder/director O.Funmilayo Makarah of Largo. “We have lots of wonderful directors here. We have lots of wonderful things in Prince George’s.”
The festival is a welcome opportunity for local filmmakers to not only get exposure, but to mingle with others, said Omar DeBrews, a Clinton filmmaker.
DeBrews, 22, has an online video series called “OutOfSkool TV,” which features videos designed to speak to young people who are fresh out of high school or college and finding their way in life. DeBrews’s three-minute-long film, “Super Powers,” which talks about fantastical abilities and the extraordinary skills people already have will be screened Saturday.
“Filmmakers particularly in this area aren’t given a platform,” said DeBrews, who will be a junior at the University of Maryland in College Park in the fall. “There’s not a lot of opportunities to do that here in Prince George’s County.”
The eighth edition of the festival will be held on the second floor of the 45,000-square-foot, two-story facility and is expected to draw more than 200 filmmakers, movie lovers and other attendees, Makarah said.
The festival was formerly based at Prince George’s Community College in Largo.
Makarah said the final slate of films were still being determined, but will most likely include about 50 films with selections varying from ones that are less than a minute and others that are around 15-minutes long. Makarah said she selects the films with input from others who work on the project.
Festival expenses are about $15,000, which go to advertising, space rental and refreshments, said Makarah, who declined to reveal all of the funding sources.
The county’s Arts and Humanities Council is contributing $1,000 towards the running of the festival, said Rhonda Dallas, executive director of the council. The festival will pay about $450 to rent the library’s space for the entire festival, Teaze said.
Makarah said she is considering bouncing the festival among the library system’s various branches in order to touch more communities across the county, she said. Various libraries such as the Greenbelt, Bowie and Oxon Hill libraries potentially have space to support the festival, Teaze said.
Hosting the festival is a “natural fit” for the library system, which has grown beyond being a place to just get book, Teaze said.
“We’re a foundation of the community. We play a lot of different roles,” she said. “We’re not just books and computers. We’re a gathering place.”