“And since Indie Oaks last year I’ve been to just about every fest Pittsburgh has, and Indie Oaks remained the strongest for both lineup and networking… It really does bring together the beating heart of the local scene.”

These words were said to me this week.

They were said by a Pittsburgh Indie Film Making colleague of mine, Benjamin Wilson. Benjamin was featured at our lovely little festival last year and will be again this year. These words hit my ears, went right to my brain, and they really got my mind buzzing. You see, I only know Benjamin because of last year’s Indie Oaks Film Festival, and he’s not the only connection I made, and I’m not the only connection he made last year, either!

And that’s kind of the point.

You see, Benjamin’s words just kept rattling around in my head until I knew I had to throw up this post about it. The reason is: if Benjamin is telling me this—that is– if even one local film maker feels this way, then this whole little film festival thing is really a resounding success.

You see, Indie Oaks Film Festival is in our second season, but this is our fourth season as a family of Festivals in conjunction with The Oaks Theater – we also host the Haunted Oaks Film festival every October, now in our 3rd year. This was all started with the idea that The Pittsburgh indie film scene has so much heart and craft that we NEED events that really put a spotlight on the heart of our community– and really spread our wings. Haunted Oaks has begun to be more of a celebration of the Northeastern US horror scene, but Indie Oaks is OUR festival. All Pittsburgh. All night.

And you guys are amazing.

This little festival this year is solid showing of what the Pittsburgh scene has to offer from industry professionals to students to those, like myself, who just decided go indie. We have a great little culture here, and now we really have a festival that groups it all together to celebrate our mutual craft. We can also showcase it to those who may attend having no idea what this area has to offer in terms of indie cinema. We have some amazing men and women killing it this year, and here, at the Indie Oaks Film Festival, you can all support and meet and talk to one other.

And I love it.
The best part is that you all clearly support us in this.

The submission response this season was amazing. So many fantastic films. However, I personally, as well as Indie Oaks Film Festival as whole, believe that curation of quality, variety, brevity, and tone is KEY to a successful showing. We need this night to reach beyond our circle and let those outside our circles have a fantastic night as well. Thus, some great films had to be turned away for various reasons this year. When you’re getting so many great films that you can’t even hold onto all of them, then you know that whatever you are doing is working. To me, this says that YOU , the community, are supporting the mission of this festival.

Our mission was to help give the some of our best talent an opportunity to showcase and connect to one another. That’s it. If you think I’m making a killing in the indie film festival biz, then I got some bad news for you. It’s a ton of work, and ticket sales are not the reward.

We do it for all of you: The ones out there making this great stuff.

And it’s been such a pleasure serving you.

See you Saturday.

Lance Parkin
Co-Founder and Programming Director
Indie Oaks Film Festival