Shh! Can you keep a secret? Vino Vérité offers a secret screening at FilmScene

Vino Vérité: Secret Screening Tropicana

FilmScene — Sunday, Sept. 4 at 6:30 p.m.

A still from a film of unknown name and origin being screened at Film Scene on Sunday
A still from — a film, of unknown name and origin, being screened at Film Scene on Sunday

I’m not telling you what film is screening on Sunday, Sept. 4 at FilmScene. To be fair, that’s because I don’t know — but even the very few folks who are in the know aren’t spilling the beans. With this film, Vino Vérité (sponsored by FilmScene, the Bread Garden Market and Little Village) is testing the waters of the phenomenon of the Secret Screening.

“The Secret Screening concept is one that we’ve borrowed from other fests, like the fabulous True/False Film Festival in Columbia, MO,” says Andrew Sherburne, Vino Vérité curator and co-founder of Film Scene. The concept, in short, is this: By keeping the film a secret, audiences are treated to something that hasn’t yet premiered in the United States, without jeopardizing the film’s ability to compete on the festival circuit. Since it’s a secret, this isn’t its “premiere.”

Who composed this shot? You'll have to head to FilmScene on Sunday, Sept. 4 to find out!
Who composed this shot? You’ll have to head to FilmScene on Sunday, Sept. 4 to find out!

The audience shares in the secrecy: “We want them to come to the show and be trusted with the secret,” Sherburne says. “Don’t tweet out the title of the film. Don’t make a Facebook post. Because these filmmakers are giving us a great privilege and we want to do it right and be able to do it again.”

Everything about the project is being held close, except the two stills shown here. The filmmaker, the stars, the studio — all a mystery. The FilmScene website offers only this terse, sterile — yet intriguing — summary: “In a paradoxical land, three individuals seek a metamorphosis. Suppressed by societal norms, supported by surprising allies, these resolute revolutionaries pursue new identities amid a country in transition.”

Why Secret Screening Tropicana, then? “Tropicana is merely a code name,” says Sherburne, “to differentiate the film from any future secret screening events we host.” You’ll have to decide after you see the film whether there were any clues hidden there.

As is typical of Vino Vérité screenings, the film will be paired with wine (the wine selectors have seen the film), and will feature a Q&A afterward with one of the filmmakers, whomever that may be. Hors d’oeuvres & wine tasting begin at 6:30 p.m., at 7 p.m. the theater opens for seating, and at 7:15 p.m. the screening begins. The reception with the filmmaker, with wine and dessert, is at 9 p.m.

Tickets are $25 ($20 for FilmScene members). With Vino Vérité’s reputation for challenging, interesting films, and the chance to see something completely fresh to U.S. audiences, it’s a risk well worth taking.

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