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Arts & Culture

The Fourth Annual Imperial Beach Film Festival

We are about to head into a flurry of film festival activity. The next two months will see the Imperial Beach Film Festival, The San Diego Film Festival, The San Diego Women Film Festival and The San Diego Asian Film Festival, not to mention a film series starting at the San Diego Natural History Museum. Anyway, to kick off this festival season is the Fourth Annual Imperial Beach Film Festival (running September 8 and 9 with the Dempsey Holder Hall as their main screening site).

The Imperial Beach Film Festival is the inspiration of Steve Futterman, an Imperial Beach resident who looked around his community and decided that it could use some more cultural events, especially for young people. So he decided to put together a film festival complete with workshops and seminars geared toward young people. Futterman, along with his wife Martha, designed the festival to be a fixture within the emerging community of filmmakers by creating and sustaining a professional environment that supports and promotes film artists in this country and abroad. His goals are commendable and the festival will showcase independent features as well as locally made short films.

The festival kicks off Friday night September 8 at Dempsey Holder Hall right next to the beach. The opening night films start at 7 pm and have a Latin flavor. The films include: Salvador Gomez Cuenca's Without Seeing (Spain), Carlos Mendez' Apestografia (Mexico), Kirk Weddell's Made in Mexico (USA), Eduardo Avila's Don't Open Your Mouth (Mexico), and Joaquin Ascencia's Straw Men (Spain).

On September 9, local filmmakers will provide a seminar for other aspiring artists. Stephen Knuth, Matthew Krnich, Ace Underhill, Mike Bortoli, and Dan Margules

Are all young filmmakers with dreams and they will share their experiences at 1pm. The program schedule describes the seminar as follows: "To succeed in the film industry, one must be resilient, strong willed, and most importantly, a dreamer. In this panel, a few struggling independent filmmakers that have achieved moderate success will discuss their experiences, hardships, and their fun adventures striving for their career." Then at 2 pm, aspiring filmmakers can talk about screenwriting with Jimmy Diggs.

Among the afternoon's short films is a pair by talented Point Loma High film students.

Jesse Brunt and Tyler Knell collaborated for the claymation PSA Recycle, and Tyler Knell and Eric Louie joined forces to make the documentary Laura Simon-Making Her Mark, about talented artist and author, Laura Simon who recently turned 100 years old. Her book is being published this year, and if past screenings of the film are any indication, she may be in attendance and be the life of the party.

Futterman encourages families to come out for the closing night event at 7:30 pm on Saturday the 9th. "We are screening The Wizard of Oz on our giant screen by the beach! This is a free event. We will have a costume contest so we encourage everyone to come dressed up! Of course, we'll sing-along!"

For more information, visit the web site at .