Shooting Wall Film Festival

posted by , University of Pennsylvania, '14 on April 4, 2012 at 9:00 am

Photo © Shooting Wall Films

Temple senior Karl Starkweather was 20 years old when he became frustrated with the mainstream Philadelphia film scene.  But instead of complaining, Starkweather decided then to influence the Philly scene by starting his own independent film group, Shooting Wall.

2 years later, Shooting Wall will present it’s first local film festival on May 6th starting at 4:00 pm at the Philadelphia Mausoleum of Contemporary Art.  Shying away from corporate sponsors or high-priced admission fees that make traditional film festivals unattractive, the Shooting Wall Film Festival is 100% free-of-charge and open to the public. The goal is to present an alternative space for independent filmmakers in an environment that is small enough to promote artists and viewers to engage with one another.

“We are interested in films that are a bit more cutting edge and can open up dialogue about cinema,” said Josh Martin, co-founder of Shooting Wall.

Equally important is keeping costs to none. “We find film festivals in general frustrating because of the price,” said Martin. Shooting Wall launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds for the festival in order to offer modest compensation to the filmmakers involved. “The point of the films we make are not totally to make money, but to expand the form in some way.”

The group is heavily influenced by film theory, promoting and producing films that they believe in some way advance film theory. “Part of what we do, we think about film theory but we also think about film history. We are not trying to recreate things from the past, but we are trying to build on things of the past,” Martin said.

Much a part of the Philly film scene, Shooting Wall hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including cafe screenings of movies often unavailable on DVD and reading groups dedicated to studying film theory.  A quarterly zine aimed at exploring the future of film is also available online.

Student filmmakers, connoisseurs or critics can get involved with Shooting Wall and help influence the Philadelphia film scene by emailing


You can contact Dominique Clarke at

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