With the South Texas Underground Film Festival (STUFF) 2013 set to kick off in early October, we revisit Strike #2 and this brief interview with STUFF “Up and Coming Filmmaker” award winner Niko Kostet.
(Finnish Filmmaker Niko Kostet at STUFF 2012)
By Julia Arredondo
While collectively contemplating the name change of their local filmmaking support group, South Texas Underground Film continues to struggle with active community input. Perhaps the term ‘underground’ scares people away or challenges Corpus Christi’s fascination with mainstream culture; whatever the case be, it’s due time Corpus
Christi steps up to the plate.
Specializing in alternative cinema and film shorts from around the country and giving local film curious movers and shakers opportunities to produce multiple features,
South Texas Underground Film ceases to gain stamina and prepares for the 2013
South Texas Underground Film Festival.
Although local turnout at the 2012 STUF Festival was sparse, those who did enjoy a week of international films and free beer were blown away. Bringing in national and
international filmmakers and boosting Corpus Christi’s status as a filmmaking destination, South Texas Underground Film gained international media attention whilst remaining virtually unheard of within Corpus Christi.
To attest to the success of the 2012 STUFF, Finnish filmmaker and winner of the
2012 STUFF Up and Coming Filmmaker Award, Niko Kostet relays his experience at
the festival and reflects on his time in South Texas. Having featured his film
‘Christian Dreadful” about an ex-choirboy rockstar attempting to save his fans
from eternal damnation by the hands of his antichrist manager, Kostet found a
supportive venue for screening his film and plans to continue screening future
releases in Corpus Christi.
(STUFF 2012 mixer)
Julia Arredondo: Give us an overview of your
experience at the STUF Festival.
Niko Kostet: STUFF was a film festival for filmmakers by filmmakers. There were a lot
of interesting panels and workshops and the festival was planned very well.
Everything was close by and they had a great variety of films from different
cultures and countries from all over the world. Everybody was treated like a
movie star plus the after parties rocked.
(Screening space at STUFF 2012)
JA: Have you gained attention as a filmmaker due to winning a STUFF award?
NK: Oh yes! Since we arrived back home, the local press has been very interested, and we just got two big screenings for Christmas at the new local art center called Logomo. It’s going to be an awesome event here in Turku, with all the cast and crew getting together and celebrating our award winning movie! I also met a bunch of filmmakers from all over the world, and they are very interested in coming to Finland. It is very rare that a Finnish feature gets to go abroad and our movie is a low budget feature, but it still got awarded and that means a whole lot.
(Niko and crew on the set of his new film “Pyro” that will debut at STUFF 2014)
JA: Do you have plans to attend the 2013 STUF Festival?
NK: I promised the STUF crew that I’d collect the best of Finnish independent and underground films from the past year and showcase them at STUFF 2013. Hopefully, the Finnish filmmakers will join me there. My next feature, “Pyro”, won’t be released until 2014 but we would be delighted to have our US premiere be at STUFF with all the cast and crew present. It would rock the house for sure!
For more information about STUFF’s upcoming events, STUFF volunteer opportunities and how to get involved visit www.southtexasundergroundfilm.com
Julia Arredondo is a sub-cultural enthusiast with an uncanny ear for rhythm. Arredondo divides herself amongst various career paths including professional printmaking, editorial writing, and doing the supernatural boogie woogie. For excerpts from her zines and travel adventures, visit www.viceversapress.com
Niko Kostet is a filmmaker living and working in Finland. He is the winner of the STUFF 2012 “Up and Coming Filmmaker Award”. His film “Christian Dreadful” premiered at STUFF 2012.