Tower Theatre wraps up another successful Swede Fest

Swede Fest is a film festival that featured 28 films this year. (Paige Gibbs/The Collegian)

Over 300 people gathered for Swede Fest ‘18 Monday to view 28 sweded films on the big screen in the historic Tower Theatre.

Swede Fest is not to be confused with a Swedish festival, which is a common mistake, hosts of the film festival said.

According to the Swede Fest website, “a sweded film is a low-budget, summarized re-creation of a popular Hollywood movie or TV show.” They’re essentially home video versions of films that inspire creativity.

This year’s festival included re-creations of titles, such as “The Sandlot,” Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction” and a one-man-show version of “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” — all of which were crowd favorites.

Sweded films are fun and aren’t taken too seriously, which allows both skilled and aspiring filmmakers to submit to the festival, according to the organizers. Participants included young producers from as far as Minarets High School in O’Neals, California and Parlier High School.

All films are required to have a running time of five minutes or less and contain family friendly content.

This was particularly evident in the “Pulp Fiction” sweded film titled “Swede Fiction” by Kevin Searcy. Guns were replaced with bananas and long monologues of Bible references were switched out for humorous self-references to the fact that a sweded film has a time limit.

Swede Fest is hosted by Dumb Drum, a YouTube film duo consisting of Roque Rodriguez and Bryan Harley, and FresYes Realty.

Dumb Drum started the festival with the sweded film that prompted the team to organize Fresno’s Swede Fest 10 years ago, a sweded version of Steven Spielberg’s “Raiders of the Lost Ark.”

This version included a bright blue jump rope for Indy’s whip and a giant cardboard “ball” that rolled toward him, like in the famous scene where Jones narrowly escapes.

Dumb Drum also premiered its “Captain Marvel” sweded trailer. Last year, Rodriguez and Harley sweded a shot-for-shot version of Rian Johnson’s “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” trailer. Dumb Drum films are characterized by their unique acapella versions of the accompanying film scores.  Last year’s sweded films can be viewed on their website. Dumb Drum prompted community members to get inspired and submit their best sweded films for next year’s Swede Fest ‘19.

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