The Western Idaho Fair in all its fried Twinkie mullet-fest glory may be just around the corner, but that's not until later this month. In the meantime, satisfy your carnival needs and simultaneously benefit local filmmakers at the Evil Wine Films Carnival in Twin Falls this weekend.
The carnival, intended to expose film buffs not only to a different kind of independent filmmaking, but also to the people behind it and their upcoming projects, may be a slightly different kind of carnival than Expo Idaho offers. Evil Wine Films' mission is "sarcastic, sardonic, sadistic and morally satiating to cleanse your palate of the mainstream."
This is true indie stuff, and the pack of filmmakers who make up Evil Wine Films hail mostly from the Twin Falls area. Some, like Wes Malvini, 22, who started Evil Wine four years ago when he wrote and directed a film called Fear in the Freezer, are making their way to Boise to live and work.
Malvini says their objective is to try to make the best films possible with little or no money. This weekend's carnival is a fundraiser intended to spark interest and create a fan base, and to find both potential investors and people who may want to get involved in the Evil Wine group. In short, it's networking for local indie film fans.
"We'd like to advance to the next step of being seen and having people exposed to our films," Malvini says. "There are all sorts of people involved, young and old. We write, direct, act in the films. And we're always taking on new people."
Since its inception, about 45 people have come on board to help run the business, including two of Evil Wine's head honchos, Dustin Jones, 22, and Jill Hofman, 20, both of whom are still in Twin Falls organizing the carnival.
According to Boise-based Malvini, carny fun-seekers can expect the usual carny stuff, just on a slightly less mainstream level. "We'll have lots of carnival games but they are ... what's the word? Disturbing!" Malvini says. "Like the toilet toss. It's like a beanbag toss but instead you toss poop into a toilet. And a syringe throw, which is like darts but with syringes and you try to hit people's veins." To clarify, the veins are drawn on regular dart boards and the poop for the toilet toss is fake. Aside from games, the carnival also features a silent auction, performances, screenings and the world premier of Evil Wine's new film The Seven Sins of Daniel, about which Malvini points out, "It's really good. You'd think we spent more than $1,100 on it."
Like carnivals you may be more familiar with, it'll cost you to play the games. But forget winning an oversized stuffed animal. Unlike the typical small town carnival, the games aren't rigged against the players and the prizes are cool: gift certificates, posters, DVDs and the like.
Though there's no admission fee, Evil Wine asks carnival goers for a donation upon admission. Malvini jokingly suggests a generous gift of $300 per person, but notes that anything is helpful. And then, to cap off the night with something resembling a carnival beer garden, the Evil Wine peeps are hosting a beer chugging competition. Perhaps it would have been more appropriate for Evil Wine to host wine chugging. But on second thought, I've never even seen wine at the fair.
Saturday, August 5, 6 p.m. The old Lamphouse Theatre (now the Colfax Room) in Historic Old Towne Twin Falls. For more information visit www.myspace.com/evilwinefilms.