New categories, new experiences await at Reading Film Fest

'I've never seen my film in a theater before'

READING, Pa. - There's nothing quite like sharing a cinematic experience in a darkened movie theater with a group of movie lovers, but what if you're the one who made the movie?

For first-time professional filmmaker Luke Brubaker, that was the case on the "soft" opening night of the 2017 Reading Film Fest at the Reading Movies 11 and IMAX.

"I've never seen my film in a theater before," Brubaker explained. "I was monitoring other people's reactions."

Fresh out of film school, Brubaker joins more than 15 other young filmmakers looking for big reactions to their works at this year’s festival.

"There are parts where I wanted to invoke a certain response, and I was definitely able to do that," he said.

Festival organizers are hoping that happens to many filmmakers and moviegoers through the weekend.

"Most of the films that we're showing, the filmmakers are gonna be here," said Tracy Schott, the festival's creative director. "The films are all unique. We have documentaries. We have a group of films from Iran."

It's a festival for filmmakers, made by filmmakers.

"It's the filmmakers's film festival, because we really want to create an experience that we as filmmakers would enjoy," explained filmmaker and festival executive producer Santo D. Marabella. "Our whole intent has always been to treat people like they've already won their Oscar."

Oscar Award-winner or first-time filmmaker, there will be something for you to do throughout the weekend during the 2017 version of the Reading Film Fest.

"It's one thing to say you're invited. It's another to make people feel welcome," said Marabella.

It's not just about getting filmmakers and movie-lovers to focus on films, but also the Reading area.

"Our mission has always been to become a location destination for films," Marabella explained.

The festival is also trying to expand its reach by adding a new category this year.

"The LatinX category of film. We really want to recognize and include that community," Marabella said.

There will also be plenty of time for filmmakers and film-lovers alike to get to know each other and their respective works, and filmmaker Luke Brubaker is ready.

"I got business cards printed," he said.

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