And just like that, the 16th edition of the Dawson International Short Film Festival is over. With so much to take in over the three days of the fest, it’s always somewhat of a shock when the Easter Weekend – with all of its myriad screenings, workshops, meet-and-mingles, and presentations – whizzes by, and the exhausted-but-elated staff, volunteers, and participants party down at the final celebration.
This year’s DCISFF had a slightly different finale, as KIAC’s Oddfellows Ballroom was cleared following the last screening, and set up as a concert venue. And then the raucous and irresisitible 11-piece Lemon Bucket Orkestra took over for a final celebratory dance party. LBO, which describes itself as a “Balkan-Klezmer-Gypsy-Party-Punk-Super Band” originally formed in 2010 in Toronto and the group have been playing concerts around the world ever since. While this was their first trip to Dawson, it sounded like it might not be their last as the ensemble gushed over their Klondike experience – including a visit with local celebrity Caveman Bill at his riverside home. (Bill was later seen dancing up a storm at the concert into the wee hours, but he was not alone, as LBO’s infectious ethnic musical mayhem had a throng of merrymakers, young and old, kicking up their heels (literally)). The troupe of volunteers certainly had cause to celebrate, as again their selfless contributions formed the backbone for another successful Dawson Film Fest.
The town had been treated to a preview of the Lemon Bucket Orkestra’s talents earlier in the day, as the group provided the music for the Easter Sunday afternoon Street Feast that has become a DCISFF tradition. This year’s culinary fare was chili, and after huskying down their food (that’s like wolfing down, only with slightly better manners) the crowd was serenaded by LBO playing from the steps of the ODD Gallery. Members of the band then moved into the audience and taught them a few gypsy dance moves, and before you could say “raz, dva, tre”, dozens of people were enthusiastically dancing in the streets of Dawson in beautifully choreographed fashion. It was indeed one of the memorable highlights of a film fest full of great moments.
– Danny Dowhal