From Don Hertzfeldt’s I Am So Proud Of You.
Music and movies and theatre—oh, my! Thanks to local indie music impresario Eric Warner, you’ll be getting all three of these forms of entertainment in one tidy festival package. With events kicking off today and continuing through to Sunday, Warner has jam-packed Over the Top‘s schedule with all sorts of tricks and treats for the whole family to enjoy.
Now, we know what you’re thinking: since when has “indie music” ever deigned to be associated with “family fun?” According to Warner, this seemingly oxymoronic notion has been kicking around for some time—thanks, in part, to Over the Top’s original MO: “It’s been all-ages since the beginning,” says Warner, who started the festival eight years ago. “I’ve had people as young as six at some of the shows, and my grandfather, who’s in his nineties, always comes out, too.”
And it makes sense—Warner’s soft spot for the under-nineteen set, that is; the now twenty-five-year-old was just seventeen when he organized the very first Over the Top festival. “I had a fake ID when I was seventeen. I mean, I didn’t have it to drink or anything—I just wanted to see bands, I just wanted to hear the music. So the festival was created so that I could—and people my age could—see bands. Even if just five people under the age [of nineteen] come to a show, it’s still worth it. They’re still getting to participate in the experience.”
While Over the Top began as a music-only festival, Warner decided to expand his lineup to include indie film and theatrical productions. Although he initially programmed the film portion himself, Warner has since offloaded these duties to Jeff Wright, an individual who describes himself as “really into film.” “We’re showing ten films this year,” says Wright; “That’s five features and five shorts. But what I find most exciting about these films is that majority of them have been produced by first-time filmmakers—so Over the Top is really showcasing new talent.”
Some of the festival’s highlights (in our humble-ish opinion) include tonight’s Canadian premiere of White Lightnin’ (a UK-produced film about a troubled mountain dancer), Friday’s Think About Life show with the Tune-Yards and Bayonets!!!, and Saturday’s Budos Band show, featuring Word People and DJ John Kong. Warner also recommends checking out a performance of The Book of Judith (which actually runs until Sunday, May 31), and we think Chad VanGaalen‘s animated shorts, and Don Hertzfeldt‘s 22-minute film, I Am So Proud Of You—all showing on Saturday—look pretty great, too.
And for those who like their music (or films, or plays… or, uh, puppet shows) without Teen Spirit, Warner has just a few words of advice: “They can suck it up.”