Crass to class: Inaugural Something Wild Film Festival has it all

by Patty Templeton

The Something Wild Film Festival hits Durango’s Stadium 9 Nov. 10 through 12, and they have something for everybody. Want a crass comedy about addicts falling in love? Check out “Assholes.” How about the winner of Cannes’ prestigious Palme d’Or? That’s the Swedish satirical drama “The Square.” There’s over 10 films spanning three days, plus a section of shorts.

DGO spoke to festival founder and program director Derrick Casto about why Durango needs another film fest, must-see movies, and how the death of cinema will never happen.

Why throw another film fest in Durango aside from the Durango Independent Film Fest (DIFF)?There’s a lot of festivals all over the country in the springtime and their focus is on independent movies. In the fall, it’s when big hitter, award-contender films come out. Fall festivals versus spring festivals have very different feels. They’re two different creatures that can showcase different styles of cinema.

Durango has a large enough population that we can have two film festivals and they can both be here without competing against each other. We have events in the fall, but early November is a weird time in Durango where not as much is happening. I thought this town deserved a fall film fest.

Are the films at Something Wild all new?All but one are 2017 films. We pulled a handful from South by Southwest, several films that played at Tribecca, some that recently premiered at Cannes, and one film that was at Toronto International Film Fest. The movies are all pretty new.

We’re in an age of disconnecting from one another. How can film and fests like this connect people?Movies can make you realize that there are universal truths. A movie can show you that parts of life you thought were only specific to the U.S. or to your part of the country, are happening in faraway places. Film can make you go, “Oh, they’re dealing with racism in Germany, too.” It brings an awareness of people and our imperfections and how we face similar struggles. Film helps us do that. It teaches you more about yourself than you might have realized was there.

What are a few of your must-see movies at the fest?(Laughs) That’s a loaded question. Gosh. I would say “The Landing” is going to be really fun and trips you up, and the director will be there.

“A Taste of Ink” is a really powerful French drama.

And “The Square,” which was the Palme d’Or winner (from the Cannes Film Festival). It has Elisabeth Moss, from “Mad Men” and “The Handmaid’s Tale” in it.

How do you hope to make your audience feel by the end of the fest? We are going to bring you up, show you some funny stuff, get you thinking, bring you down, turn you inside out, and then put you back together by the end of the weekend.

Why should someone come to a film fest when they can stream movies they’ve never heard of on Netflix?There’s something to be said about watching a movie with a large group of people. Equally so, watching something with a large group of strangers. It’s a deeper, more aware experience versus sitting on your bed with your laptop.

Then there’s the large screen experience itself. Some films don’t translate to small screens well. Also, a lot of these films, they may not pop up streaming. It can be years if they do.

So you don’t think streaming will kill the cinema experience?No. People have been crying about the death of cinema since sound was introduced to films. There have been more than 80 years of people saying, “It’s the end!” But people remember going to the theater. They want physical experiences, a night out.

Interview edited and condensed for clarity.Patty Templeton


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