The Jubilant Grad
"I learned a long time ago how to adapt to a new situation. That's where I see the value of a liberal arts education. What is it they say about...if you teach a man to fish as opposed to giving a man a fish? UCM taught me how to fish."
With nearly 150 volunteers, Andrews has a large support group to help make the new FilmFest one of the premier cultural activities in Kansas City.
Andrews is a consummate film student, always learning from the filmmakers who share their experiences. When award-winning San Francisco director Rob Nilsson decided to create his improvised drama, Opening, as part of a 2004 workshop, he named Andrews the producer. The movie was created in three days, and its 2006 release included a showing at the jubilee as well as other national festivals.
"We want to give them exposure to this whole creative process and build their appreciation of film beyond commercial entertainment."
- Fred Andrews
With so much personal time and commitment devoted to the jubilee, what is the payoff for this UCM alumnus? Andrews says the reward comes with sharing great films with a local audience. He takes great pride in having been part of an event that has taken notice of movies such as Kalman Apple's Speed for Thespians, nominated for an Academy Award in 2001.
"We selected it for the festival before the nomination was announced," he says. "We have had others since then nominated for an Oscar or other major international awards."
Andrews smiles as he talks about being able to provide a showcase that is both worthy of filmmakers' hard work and creativity and, just as important, is meaningful for the audience.
As he puts it, "We want them to see stuff they'll never see anywhere else. We want to give them exposure to this whole creative process and build their appreciation of film beyond commercial entertainment."