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FAIRFIELD — Film buffs will have the chance to see some of the best products from the state’s film industry this Saturday as the Iowa Motion Picture Association rolls into Fairfield.

The event formally kicks off at 10 a.m. Saturday morning as screenings begin of some of the selected films. The screenings continue until 5 p.m.

Erika Richards is helping coordinate this year’s event, an effort she said has very nearly become a part-time job in itself. But it’s paying off, and the Fairfield community has embraced the opportunity.

“One of my local volunteers has organized a small film viewing week of films that have been made in Fairfield or have Fairfield connections,” she said. That project, which begins Wednesday, is separate from the IMPA. But it underscores the welcome they have received.

The awards “recognize outstanding creative and technical achievement,” according to the IMPA. While Iowa isn’t the first state most think of when it comes to film, especially after the issues surrounding the film tax credit program in 2009, Richards said the industry is working to rebound.

Nominees for awards range from student productions, including some who are not yet out of high school, to long-form projects and animated films. One of the documentary entries is “Heroes of Fairfield,” part of Dick DeAngelis’ series of films on the history of Fairfield and Jefferson County.

Honorees will be announced during the dinner banquet and awards ceremony. While the daytime screenings are free, the banquet and awards ceremony are open to the paying public. Tickets are available at the door for $25, for as long as there is seating.

“There’s also an audience choice award,” Richards said. “We will have ballots for those viewers to pick their favorite screenings.”

As to attendance, well, it’s hard to know exactly what to expect. The 2018 event was in Pella, and they had about 120 people attend. The vast majority were involved in the films or connected to those who were.

Richards suspects Fairfield will be a bit different, with higher numbers. The city’s existing arts community and the novelty of a first visit from the IMPA both help.

“We want to support Iowa’s filmmakers, to recognize their work,” Richards said. “This drives attention and inspiration, so they feel supported.”

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Matt Milner currently serves as the Courier's Managing Editor. Milner is a trained weather spotter and is usually outside if there are storms. He joined the Courier in 2002.