MAGFest is known for its four nights of amazing video game concerts, but this year it forges a new path with Games on Film. The scope of this brand new video game film festival is larger than any other in history, with a whopping 15 feature offerings. Curated by Chad Williams, a documentary filmmaker from NYC, GoF brings the best and brightest video game films of 2012 to MAGFest attendees.
There are a few exclusives, including the highly anticipated Minecraft: The Story of Mojang and the sneak peek of Beyond the Game. The DDR black comedy The FP will screen alongside Sundance-winning Indie Game: The Movie. There are some special previews of films that will premiere in 2013, and several high-quality web series including Standard Action 2 and Journey Quest 2. Director Micah Moore and crew will be on hand to take questions and screen Mario Warfare. The winning films of the Nov 2012 Machinima Expo will also be screened as a partnership between the two festivals.
Games on Film has a wide variety of features, and no shorts program. Gone forever are the "con video rooms" of old; GoF is a curated film festival featuring the best and brightest of this year's video game films.
To ensure fairness to those who have waited in lines for panels, please be advised that it is our policy to clear each panel room between panels. If you'd like to watch the following panel you'll need to leave the room and return to the back of the line. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
Over the past year, the computer game Minecraft has become a cultural phenomenon, drawing millions of players into the unique, low-res world created solely by Swedish programmer Markus "Notch" Persson. When Persson announced that he would invest his Minecraft earnings in founding his own development house, Mojang AB, 2 Player Productions seized upon the rare opportunity to fly to Stockholm and document the first week in the life of the new studio.
During the editing of what was supposed to be a twenty-minute short, it became clear that an important chapter of gaming history was still being written, and that a feature-length documentary about Mojang's first year would make a powerful statement about what it means to create, release, and play games in the twenty-first century.
An extreme love of video games has become quite a global phenomenon, influencing and inspiring people in ways well beyond just sitting there and actually playing.
Beyond the Game_ explores both the evolution of gaming, as well as the immeasurable impact it's had on mainstream popular culture.
Ecstasy of Order: The Tetris Masters chronicles over two decades of jaw-dropping video game wizardry. Get an up-close look at the masters as they reveal their secrets, recount their decades-long obsession with the game, compete against each other to set new world records, and enter the transcendental state required to reach the highest levels known as the “Ecstasy of Order.” Directed by Adam Corneilus.
In a post apocalyptic future, two rival gangs fight for control of Frazier Park by playing "Beat Beat Revelation", a deadly version of Dance, Dance, Revolution. Written and Directed by Brandon and Jason Trost.
Computer Adventure Games. In the early 1980s, an entire industry rose over the telling of tales, the solving of intricate puzzles and the art of writing. Like living books, these games described fantastic worlds to their readers, and then invited them to live within them. Get Lamp is a documentary that tells the story of these incredible games, in the words of the people who made them. Directed by Jason Scott.
Welcome to the colorful world of designer board games. Going Cardboard is a film about the new board gaming, a phenomenon going on right under your nose, probably in your very community! This film will take you into that world to meet the players and designers responsible for this radical departure from technology. And you just might discover it's the hobby for you. Directed by Lorien Green.
A documentary that follows the journeys of indie game developers (Fez, Journey, Minecraft) as they create games and release those works, and themselves, to the world. Directed by Lisanne Pajot and James Swirsky.
Director Martin Touhey will give us a special sneak peek at his upcoming documentary. The film Inside the Dragon's Lair will give the audience an in-depth view of the extensive production process that created the arcade classic Dragon's Lair. Utilizing the laserdisc medium, this technologically advanced game was a marvel during its release in 1983 and has impacted the video gaming world forever. Interviews of the original creators Don Bluth, Gary Goldman, John Pomeroy, and Rick Dyer will be featured as well as additional interviews featuring artists and programmers involved in the game's production, collectors, technical gurus and die-hard fans. The documentary will revisit the game from its initial conception to its most current release on mobile devices, showing the many different variants and iterations of the game.
The winners of the juried online film festival, Machinima Expo 2012, will screen at Games on Film at MAGFest! Machinima films, made inside video games (licensed and otherwise), range from comic gold to action / thrillers.
The Mushroom Kingdom is rocked by a terrorist attack. The King is dead and Princess Peach is missing. Brothers Mario and Luigi trade in their plungers for guns, risking their lives to defend the Kingdom from Bowser and his Koopa Army!
Beat Down Boogie (makers of "Modern War Gear Solid," and "Modern Warfare 3 Starring Ghost") will be showing exclusive Mario Warfare content at MagFest, as well as answering your questions making movies on YouTube.
The trailer for Mario Warfare hit 2 million views on YouTube in under 3 weeks.
More than a Game charts the progress of international pro-gamers as they prepare themselves for the world's biggest annual kumite: The 2011 Evolution Series Fighting Tournament. Featuring contributions from top-level Street Fighter players, arcade veterans, game developers and the occasional scrub, MtaG is an in-depth look at the fastest growing genre in competitive gaming. Produced by Jack Abbot, David Hedley, Tom Hewett & Timm Ridder.
Q&A with Peter Hirschberg (author of Vector Tanks, Adventure, and owner of the Luna City Arcade) to follow the screening.
Beginning with Space Invaders in 1978, arcade games began to appear everywhere. In 1982, 13,000 dedicated arcade locations existed across North America, generating $3.2 billion dollars in 1983 alone, the hard way: one quarter at a time. By 1985, revenue had fallen 97%. Atari declared bankruptcy. Arcades began to disappear. Most of the old games were converted or destroyed. A few, packed into warehouses, largely forgotten for another decade.
"The Space Invaders: In Search of Lost Time" is the story of classic obsession, the second life of games in basements and garages across the country.
Standard Action’s first season of 14 episodes and nearly three hours of content took the web by storm in 2011 with its brilliant cinematography, gorgeous art and design, fantastic performances, intelligent writing, and unique, quirky characters.
Who knew Pac-Man was a junkie and a wife-beater? Or that Frogger was really an insane terrorist, and that Donkey Kong and Super Mario are pitted in an epic menage-a-trois of princess passion? With puppets by BJ Guyer (CRANK YANKERS), Videogame Theater was created/written/directed/voiced by G4TV.com producer Frank Meyer and comedian Scott Chernoff, who currently creates comedy videos for Conan O'Brien's CONAN on TBS, and has also created videos for AdultSwim.com, ComedyCentral.com and Channel101.com, in addition to multiple appearances on TV's SARAH SILVERMAN PROGRAM and JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE. Scott also played Gannon in the Zelda-inspired cult hit LEGEND OF NEIL (MTV2, Comedy Central) and Dr. Victor Peppar on Tim & Eric's TOM GOES TO THE MAYOR (Adult Swim). More info on Twitter: @ScottChernoff
About the curator
Chad Williams is a filmmaker from NYC whose camera / editor credits include a trilogy of documentaries on the American puppetry scene. He has worked on BAM Cinematek's 2011 and 2012 "Puppets on Film" festival in NYC and co-curated "The King of Filming" festivals at SUNY Fredonia (2001-03).
He currently co-hosts the Jumpmen Podcast every week. 10 years ago he shot / cut the "MAGFest 2.0 Doc" and has gone back every year since.
MAGFest Incubator Program
Games on Film is made possible through our "incubator" program. Do you have an idea for a brand new feature of MAGFest that you'd like to see in the coming years of MAGFest? Submit it to the MAGFest Incubator!