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Of the movies to be shown at the upcoming YS Film Fest's "Mini-Fest," on Saturday, April 6, is "Thank You Very Much," a documentary about the life and career of enigmatic comedy legend Andy Kaufman, including never-before-seen footage and intimate interviews with friends, colleagues and family members. (Submitted photo)

Yellow Springs Film Fest to showcase ‘Mini-Fest’

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Yellow Springs Film Festival is gearing up to present its Mini-Fest at the historic Little Art Theatre Saturday, April 6, offering audiences a lineup of films that promise to leave a lasting impact.

The event serves as a prelude to the main festival, which debuted last fall and is set to return the first weekend of October this year.

Festival founder and filmmaker Eric Mahoney highlighted the significance of the Mini-Fest as a means to showcase the organization’s commitment to the arts throughout the year.

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“This is a way for us, midway between the last fest and the next fest to put on something to show people that we’re an arts organization that will be here for many years,” Mahoney told the News. “It’s a cool way for us to kind of kick off spring and bring some really interesting films to town that you can’t see anywhere else.”

The lineup for the Mini-Fest includes four films, each offering a unique perspective and storytelling experience. The documentary “Thank You Very Much,” directed by Alex Braverman and produced by the Safdie brothers, explores the life and legacy of comedy legend Andy Kaufman. Classic road drama “Gasoline Rainbow,” directed by Ohio natives Bill and Turner Ross, follows five teenagers on a life-affirming trip to the Pacific Coast. Comedy “Thelma,” featuring Academy Award-nominated actor June Squibb and actor Richard Roundtree in his final role, follows the 93-year-old titular character as she seeks vengeance against a phone scammer.

Audiences will also have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the world of hip-hop culture via a conversation between Mahoney and writer, music critic and filmmaker Nelson George. The conversation will include a screening of his short documentary “A Great Day In Hip Hop,” which chronicles a 1998 photo shoot by Gordon Parks with a host of hip-hop musicians; the shoot aimed to recreate the 1958 photo, “A Great Day in Harlem,” which featured 57 jazz musicians in Harlem, New York. During the conversation, George will also present a preview of his upcoming film on 1970s NBA star David Thompson.

Mahoney shared insights into the selection process for the Mini-Fest, noting the influence of renowned film festivals in curating the lineup. “Gasoline Rainbow,” he explained, caught his attention after its success at the Venice Film Festival. “Thank You Very Much,” which also premiered in Venice, was a personal favorite due to Mohoney’s admiration for Andy Kaufman.

Highlighting the importance of community support, Mahoney expressed optimism about the future of the Yellow Springs Film Festival.

“This will be year two for the main Yellow Springs Film Festival, and the support of the community and the region around the success of last year has been so large,” he said. “I feel really pleased and optimistic about the conversations we’re having with some films and filmmakers that I think we’ll be able to bring to town in the fall.”

As anticipation builds for the main festival in October, the Mini-Fest aims to offer audiences a taste of what’s to come while reaffirming the Yellow Springs Film Festival’s commitment to showcasing diverse and compelling films.

For more information on the film festival, including how to purchase tickets, go to ysfilmfest.com.

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