TrashFest2019 – “a raging assault on the senses” – Westender
Meet Andrew Leavold from Queensland: Video store owner turned filmmaker, author, film historian, world traveler and now international travel guide and creator of the new two-hour compilation TrashFest 2019, on tour in Australia from June 26.
As part of a Kickstarter fundraising campaign for his latest venture Film Safari – taking small groups of moviegoers on guided tours of foreign filming locations – TrashFest 2019 is drawn from 30 years of collecting and sharing Leavold’s bizarre films, and promises to be one of his craziest creations to date.
“Expect a raging assault on the senses… ESPECIALLY the taste! I have prepared for you a real Filmic Freak Show of absolute favorite moments, both for the audience and for the audience of Trash Video. Expect trailers, music videos, Bollywood-a-go-go, crazy evangelical horrors, Turkish scams (like Turkish Star Wars… made with stolen George Lucas footage!), L Strange Asia and Africa, and LOTS of nightclubs. And bad kung fu. ALWAYS with the excruciatingly dubbed bad kung fu, ”says Leavold.
“I call it a party tape for Cine-generates. That pretty much covers it.
Leavold ran Recycle Bin Video, Australia’s biggest cult rental store, in Brisbane from 1995 to 2010, before technology killed the video store. It was then that he realized his other longtime passion – MAKING movies.
“Closing Recycle Bin Video was the death of a dream, ”says Leavold, whose life has been devoted to exploring the strangest fringes of the film world since childhood. “But, as devastating as it was to say goodbye, it was definitely the start of making an even bigger dream come true!”
He finished his first documentary The search for Weng Weng (2013) on his decades-long obsession with the two-foot-nine-inch Filipino James Bond (naturally, Trashfest presents Weng Weng rarities). The seven-year-old shoot took Leavold from Manila’s poorest slums to former First Lady Imelda Marcos’ birthday party, and ultimately to Leavold’s little hero’s last resting place.
The search for Weng Weng – which Leavold also turned into a book – has become a cult film itself, screened around the world and taking Leavold with him TWICE. Standing in the old spaghetti western settings of southern Spain and watching masked wrestling in Mexico City, Leavold began to plot his next creation: Film safari.
“It’s cultural tourism with an irresistible hook,” he explains. “There I was in a crypt in Mexico City, looking at the mummies of San Angel and beaming with joy, at the exact spot where some of my favorite movies were made – it’s the closest thing to an experience. religious for moviegoers like me. And I thought to myself, why not share the love with other monsters? “
Reservations for Film safari Spain and Mexico can be created during the month-long Kickstarter campaign starting June 27e; Customers can also help fundraise by pre-purchasing downloads of the Movie Safari feature and all kinds of exotic goodies, such as a piece of a western town, Mexican wrestling masks, Weng Weng figures, and even more. But it does not stop there, future Safaris are planned in Italy, Cambodia, Japan, West Africa and of course in the Philippines.
“Film safari is only limited by our collective imagination, ”says Leavold. “There is definitely a book and a movie to tell about the adventures, and maybe even a cable series. And, I’m happy to report that my next documentary should be finished by next year.
“I have spent my life obsessed with movies, and the obsession only grows stronger. Love too. And I can honestly say, making a living doing what you love, conjuring up new dreams and making them come true: there is no greater feeling or reward.
TrashFest – When and where: 7 p.m., Thursday June 27 to Elizabeth Image Theater.