Twin Galaxies Video Game Film Festival to Celebrate Culture

  1. Twin Galaxies Video Game Film Festival to Celebrate Culture

    07-09-2011, 01:08 PM
    Twin Galaxies Video Game Film Festival to Celebrate Gaming's Impact on Film, Broadcast Media and Culture

    OTTUMWA, IOWA- November 11-12, 2011 – In the last 40 years of film and TV viewing, video games have been the focus of countless feature films, TV commercials, game shows, news clips, documentaries and special features, all heralding the cultural impact felt by these new marvels of space age technology.

    Now, the historical legacy created by these film and TV appearances will be honored with its own annual event — The Twin Galaxies Video Game Film Festival, which, this year, will take place during the 2011 Twin Galaxies Video Game Festival, in Ottumwa, Iowa. This is Twin Galaxies’ second foray into producing a film festival that studies video game cinema, as the 1st Twin Galaxies Video Game Film Festival was produced in June, 2001 in Weirs Beach, NH.

    Ottumwa: Official Home of the Twin Galaxies Video Game Film Festival
    Twin Galaxies has chosen Ottumwa, Iowa to be the official home of this annual Film Festival because of its undying support of the worldwide video game industry. Long recognized as the Video Game Capital of the World, Ottumwa is considered the “birthplace” of organized video game playing and, quite often, is referred to as the “cultural crossroads” of the video game age. As the home of the International Video Game Hall of Fame, now under development, Ottumwa is clearly a city worthy of hosting this cultural gem and turning it into a very valuable showcase for studying video game-based cinema.

    “We are honored to see the Twin Galaxies Video Game Film Festival find a home in Ottumwa,” says Walter Day, Twin Galaxies Founder and co-emcee of the Film Festival. “I can foresee a very symbiotic relationship developing between the Festival and the City of Ottumwa, engendering the same kind of success that has been created by Park City, Utah working closely with the Sundance Film Festival. Park City, Utah, as time has shown, enjoys worldwide fame as the home of the Sundance Film Festival, an asset that has turned the city into a world famous tourist attraction.”

    And, to start the ball rolling, the staff of Twin Galaxies would like to invite the worldwide video game culture to come to the Video Game Capital of the World and experience this thought-provoking Film Festival as Twin Galaxies treats the viewers to a wide sampling of short features, documentaries, full-length films and broadcast news clips that define different periods in the evolution of the video game.

    The Twin Galaxies Video Game Film Festival will study Video Game-Based Cinema
    “Video games have made a significant contribution to the cultural trends of the last 40 years,” adds Michael Sroka, one of the festival’s co-emcees and primary producer of The Twin Galaxies’ Podcast Show. “In every area of entertainment and news, the video game has prominently dominated the airwaves, creating a colorful and rich tapestry worthy of being appreciated by today’s students of film and culture. It’s a very important time for video-game based cinema, as we have an abundance of rich, modern productions to draw upon while also having historic stand-bys from the 1980s to fill in the gaps.”

    The Twin Galaxies Video Game Film Festival is blessed by the rich film offerings now available, as recent years have seen a significant plethora of documentaries produced for the film festival circuit, with all of them finding their way to DVD. Among them are The King of Chinatown, Frag, High Score, Star Worlds and Doctor Kong. Plus, an unending wave of graphic game trailers have been produced which commemorate the birth of new game after new game.

    History Theatre: Focusing on the First 40 years
    The Twin Galaxies Video Game Film Festival is gathering rare footage that shows how the media of the last 40 years has been influenced by the burgeoning global video game culture. To weave the footage into an educational romp through history, the Film Festival will mastermind a sub-theme called History Theatre. Among the historic pieces to be viewed in History Theatre is Hollywood Zap, a little-known feature film that was shot in arcades around Los Angeles in 1983. It reached very few screens before it made its way to videotape and is now nearly impossible to find. Produced by the late Ben Frank, who also starred in the lead role, the story depicts the adventures of a Wall Street stockbroker who leaves New York to find the “Zap,” the world’s greatest video game player, who is famous for playing the game Zaxxon.

    Other Topics Remembered from the 2001 News Release
    Other historically significant pieces to be viewed are the: That’s Incredible Ms. Pac-Man World Championship, which was broadcast on October 11, 1982, and the North American Video Game Olympics, which was co-produced by That’s Incredible and Twin Galaxies on January 8-9, 1983. This Olympics is now viewed to be video game history’s first video game world championship.

    The highlight of the event will be the screening of the special Dragon’s Lair episode of Starcade, — The Starcade television show was history’s first and only Video Arcade game show. This special episode focuses solely on Dragon’s Lair, a laser game hotline, a champion Dragon’s Lair player that completes all screens, a Space Ace Hotline and a 30-second Starcade commercial that you don’t want to miss. The show was donated for the event by JM Production Company, the creators and Producers of 128 episodes of Starcade. “This special show was filmed in 1983 during the height of popularity of the the laser-disc game,” says Jim Caruso, partner with Mavis Arthur in JM Production Company, who gets hundreds of thousands of hits monthly at the web site his company maintains to satisfy all of the Starcaders that are still out there, reliving the exciting times they enjoyed as twelve-year-olders back in the 1980?s.

    Other videos on the schedule include numerous big-city TV news broadcasts that covered the era of high-score competition in the early 1980s. “In almost every American city back in the early 1980s, TV news teams were covering local youths who were making new world records on video games like Asteroids, Missile Command and Stargate,” explains Gary Vincent, Manager of Operations for Funspot. “It was a widespread phenomenon, and we will be watching many of these old newscasts from 1981 and 1982 to examine the historical mood of those times.”

    Two additional tapes on the schedule include an edition of Entertainment Tonight, broadcast January 12, 1985, featuring the 1985 Coronation Day Video Game World Championships which were held in Los Angeles, CA, and a 1982 documentary that saw North America’s 17 best video game players brought together for a photo session with LIFE magazine on November 8-9, 1982.

    Other TV ads and news appearances enjoyed by specific companies have also been donated for use during the event. “Whenever major developments happened in video game history,” notes Day, “TV cameras were never very far away. Now, its time for the entire worldwide electronic gaming industry to open their archives and support a regular, annual Film Festival that celebrates the history of the video game.”

    The Festival starts Friday, November 11, at 12:00 PM and continues through late Saturday night, November 12. Admission is automatically part of the ticket purchase for the Twin Galaxies Video Game Festival and seating for all screenings is available on a first-come, first-served basis. The screenings will be held in Ottumwa’s spacious and modern Bridge View Center.

    For more information on the Twin Galaxies Video Game Film Festival, contact: Grace Snoke, Event Administrator, at Or call Walter Day at (641) 472-1949.

    Documentary Films Planned for the Twin Galaxies Video Game Film Festival

    Doctor Kong: Cutting Up the Competition
    Short documentary starring Hank Chien directed by Alexis Neophytides. Doctor Kong: Cutting Up the Competition is a short documentary that follows New York plastic surgeon Hank Chien’s year-long journey as he challenges the Donkey Kong world record. Dr. Chien’s successful crowning as 2010 champion makes the Guinness Book of Records amid media and fan explosion. The classic gaming world scores high points with this affectionate homage. Learn More Here

    Exploited, abused and sometimes abandoned most gamers fail to reach the top, but like all sports heroes exist. FRAG is the true story of professional video gaming outlining the evolution of the 1980s arcade game competitions to the elite tournaments of today for millions of dollars around the globe. Much like the dream of becoming a professional athlete, young cyber-athletes dedicate long hours to achieve their dreams. They spend hours training and preparing themselves for tournaments knowing their future depends on it.

    FRAG sheds light on the struggles these cyber-athletes face while breaking into professional video gaming and maintaining success. At a young age, professional video gamers are faced with making adult decisions impacting the rest of their lives with sometime little or no support from their families. Deeper below the surface, you will see much more, an underbelly of corruption, money and drugs. FRAG pulls back the curtain on one of the biggest sports industries in the world, one thats just evolving and you know nothing about. Directed by Mike Pasley and produced by Judd Saul of Cohesion Productions.

    High Score
    Although technology continues to evolve, a group of die-hard gamers refuses to abandon the classic arcade games of yesteryear. The 80?s live on for these enthusiasts, who compete against each other and history to record the world’s highest scores. Portland gamer Bill Carlton is one of the most brazen, fearlessly taking on some of the toughest records on the books. HIGH SCORE follows Bill as he attempts to take down the Atari classic Missle Command and its twenty year-old record. To get the 80 million points he’ll have to play the game on one quarter for over two days straight. There is no pause button. There will be no sleep. There can be only one victor in this classic story of Man versus Missile Command.

    King of Chinatown
    A video game documentary created by Calvin Theobald and Jordan Levinson of Psycho Crusher Productions. The film documents professional gamer Justin Wong’s rise to main stream fame through the Street Fight 4 competitive scene. Along the way Justin battles past foes, new challenges, and a financial goal set by his manager TriForce.

    Star Worlds: A Pocket Full of Tokens and I’m Heading to the Arcade
    A documentary film produced by Byron Czopek and Andrew McLaughlin that chronicles the story of Patrick O’Malley’s Star Worlds Arcade from its inception in 1985 to present day; meeting the community along the way. Starring Patrick O’Malley and Glenn Thomas and produced by Byron Czopek, Andrew McLaughlin, Dr. Laura Vazquez, and Northern Illinois University’s Department of Communication.
  2. Re: Twin Galaxies Video Game Film Festival to Celebrate Cult

    07-23-2011, 12:56 PM
    very nice! I love historic films! anything about Twin Galaxies history. :)
    "Have YOU Played Atari Today?!"
  3. Re: Twin Galaxies Video Game Film Festival to Celebrate Cult

    10-03-2011, 07:11 AM
    Here's a quick rundown of some of the films scheduled to appear within the Festival and some other current gaming-related film and TV productions: ... roductions
    Patrick Scott Patterson

    Twitter - @OriginalPSP
  4. Re: Twin Galaxies Video Game Film Festival to Celebrate Cult

    10-06-2011, 01:57 PM
    Yeah!! cant wait to see all of those films, thanks Mr. Patterson.
  5. Re: Twin Galaxies Video Game Film Festival to Celebrate Cult

    11-04-2011, 08:55 PM
    It is so impressive news that the tween galaxies is holding Video game film festivals. The occasion will present the culture of the video game film industries. I am so much interested in this. Hope it will be a successful festival than ever held.
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