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Fresno's Swede Fest Celebrates Cinema, Do-It-Yourself Style


On Sunday May 19th, Fresno's Tower Theatre will feature some of Hollywood's biggest films. But you aren't likely to see many stars or Oscar winners on the screen. Instead, Swede Fest 11 will feature a collection of 20 low-budget, summarized recreations of Hollywood's most popular movies, all shot by amateur filmmakers.

It's a do-it-yourself approach to filmmaking inspired by the film Be Kind Rewind. The characters in the film claim that the bogus videos in their rental store are actually imported from Sweden. That's led many amateur filmmakers to adopt the approach, taking on everything from Citizen Kane to Iron Man 3.

On Valley Edition, KVPR's Ezra Romero interviewed Swede Fest co-creators Bryan Harley and Roque Rodriguez of Dumb Drum. Their sweded versions of Hollywood films and trailers have generated millions of views on YouTube, and have even been featured on NPR's Morning Edition. They talk about the origins of the festival, how it's grown, and the national attention it has received. For Swede Fest 11, the pair are partnering with Fresno Filmworks to host a screening of Be Kind Rewind prior to the festival.



Ezra David Romero is an award-winning radio reporter and producer. His stories have run on Morning Edition, Morning Edition Saturday, Morning Edition Sunday, All Things Considered, Here & Now, The Salt, Latino USA, KQED, KALW, Harvest Public Radio, etc.