Way To Get Your Big Break

Photo: Michael Keany

Editors' Pick

 If you’ve ever daydreamed about filming a movie, wish fulfillment doesn’t get much more accessible than participating in Showdown in Chinatown, a kind of cinematography open mic that takes place every other month at Next Door. Aspiring Tarantinos get a week (or less) to whip together a short film on a specific theme, and the top 12 submissions get shown at Next Door. “There’s such a range of filmmakers who submit,” says Cyrina Hadad-Ralya, one of the event’s organizers. “We always try to get people who may not necessarily do a great job, because we like to encourage the process.” So, yeah, there are a fair number of films featuring bad wigs and amateurish segues, but the creativity on display is inspiring, and the Showdown has seen its share of success stories, too. “The first time the guys from Wadalife Films submitted something, it was horrible,” she says with a laugh. “But they progressed, and recently just made their first feature film.” Contestants vie for cash prizes, and Hadad-Ralya says they’re even working on offering a distribution deal as a future top award. Time to break out that camcorder! This month’s Showdown is on March 20; find out more at showdowninchinatown.com.