THE MAN IN THE RED BERET, 104min., USA
Directed by Derek Bridges
Chess Master Jude Acers has set up his "World Chess Table" on Decatur Street in the New Orleans French Quarter since 1981, where he continues to play all comers for $5 a game. This is his story.
Get to know the filmmakers:
1. What motivated you to make this film?
I wanted to learn how to make a movie, and I'd already written a long article about Jude Acers and I knew he would be a great subject for a documentary. And I was inclined to make a documentary rather other genres because it's perhaps the most forgiving genre when it comes to technical proficiency, which seemed important since I didn't know what I was doing.
2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?
We started in 2012 and finished in 2023. 11 years.
3. How would you describe your film in two words!?
Moxy and heart.
4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
Finding funds to pay for the rights to use copyrighted material -- photos, archival video footage, music.
5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?
I was a bit surprised at how thoughtful folks were in their hot takes. I thought they made a lot of connections that I hoped the audience would make, so that was particularly satisfying.
6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?
I guess that would be the late 1990s? That's when I first began to play around with digital video.
7. What film have you seen the most in your life?
Fitzcarraldo by Werner Herzog. Absolutely beautiful film.
8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?
I'm honestly not sure since this is the first time I've submitted anything to a film festival. I just want to get as many people as I can to watch my movie, so the best thing festivals can do to help would be to screen my movie.
9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?
It's been smooth so far.
10. What is your favorite meal?
Breakfast. Got to start the day right.
11. What is next for you? A new film?
I've fielded a 48 Hour Film Project team in New Orleans, so come Aug 4-6 I won't be sleeping much but I'll be writing, shooting, and editing a 4-7 minute scripted movie.