72 Film Fest goes virtual with 50+ film premiere


FREDERICK, Md (WDVM) – The 72 Film Fest in Frederick went virtual this year with dozens of teams scrambling to write, film, edit and submit short films in under 72 hours.

Typically having an in-person launch event and a premiere at the Weinberg center in downtown, festival creators had to think outside of the box during COVID-19.

Festival Producer Samuel Tressler IV said they decided if they reached a certain number of signups, the festival would continue virtually.

“Sure enough, we reached that cap within a few days, so the feedback was overall positive,” Tressler said. “People were excited that the festival is still happening and that it wasn’t one more thing that coronavirus put a damper on.”

The virtual aspect of festival wasn’t without its hiccups. This was Tony Lazzeroni’s 10th year at the fest, and his film team shot scenes primarily outside with crews wearing face masks and gloves throughout the day.

“I think it was a good stretch,” Lazzeroni said. “It just pushed us out of our comfort zone which is always going to lead to better creativity in the long run.”

Filmmaker Laura Harding said when things go back to some semblance of normal, she still hopes the festival can remain open to participants from all over the world.

“While at the core it will always be the Frederick 72 film festival, having the opportunity to be able to participate if I ever go somewhere else or if another team goes elsewhere, they can still come back and be part of it,” Harding said.

The festival premieres online October 9-11 with multiple ticket options available for viewers.

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