7th Lake County festival an all-indie extravaganza

The next two weeks will be busy ones for Nat Dykeman. He’s prepping to shoot his feature in mid-March, releasing a film on his Cinema Obscura DVD label and finalizing preparations for the 7th Lake County Film Festival (LCFF), March 4-8.

Dykeman is founder/director of the LCFF, while slimmed down this year it remains one of Lake County’s most popular events.

“We’re expecting an audience of 3,000 this year, as compared with 3,500 last year,” Dykeman says. “We’d like to see 4,000, but we’re closing early Sunday night because of the Oscar broadcast. We also lost one of our screening rooms and dropped from 90 screenings to 56.”

Nonetheless, this is the third year that all-independent films comprise LCFF’s program. Of the 56 films, 18 were locally produced. In total, 11 feature docs, 10 features and 35 shorts will be shown.

The biggest program change is that shorts are mainly screening before feature presentations. “Shorts submissions were down, and the technical quality of most of them was down,” Dykeman says.

Some of the local movie highlights:

LCFF opens March 5 with two local films. Austin filmmaker Alex Karpovsky’s documentary “Trust Us: This Is All Made Up,” a concert film of a show by Chicago improv duo T.J. Jagodowski and David Pasquesi at New York’s Barrow Street Theater, screening at 8 p.m.

At 8:30, Michael Noens’ John Hughes-inspired teenage romance “Darren & Abbey,” starring Mark Stewart Iverson and Annie Rix. Also March 7 at 6:10 p.m. See