Oceanside Film Festival Runs Wednesday Through Sunday
Festival will showcase shorts, animation, TV, docs, features
Since 2009 the Oceanside International Film Festival, or OIFF, has been bringing unique screening experiences to North County. The festival runs Aug. 7 through 11 at the Sunshine Brooks Theater.
Lou Niles has only been managing director of OIFF for a couple years but he is trying to give it a personality to distinguish it from all the other film festivals in town. As someone who loves the music scene, he has brought some innovative programs to the festival. Last year he had Morricone Youth come and do live original scores to the films "Night of the Living Dead" and "Mad Max." I got to attend the "Mad Max" screening and it was an amazing experience with the live music pumping an incredible energy into the intimate Sunshine Brooks Theater.
This year prepare to turn up the volume to 11 again with a special preview event on Aug. 4. OIFF will host the world premiere of the documentary "Mrs. Henry Presents The Last Waltz." It captures the band Mrs. Henry doing a kind of re-enactment of The Band's famous Last Waltz concert that Martin Scorsese had famously captured on film. The San Diego version of the The Last Waltz was performed at The Belly Up in 2017 to a packed house of more than 600 people.
"We came across this wonderful documentary and it just happened to be an event that I actually attended," Niles explained. "We were super excited to tell them that they were going to be in the festival only to find out that [musician and co-director Daniel Cervantes] wasn't going to be able to be there because he was on tour and this is just impossible that he can't be at the world premiere having been so involved with the film and we were lucky enough to work out this added day of Aug. 4 the kick off to the event."
Niles added the extra date to the festival and the film will be screened along with some live music from the band. Cervantes is used to playing in front of a live audience but this will be the first time he has made a film and screened it at a film festival.
"It's a little unreal," Cervantes said. "Lou and I actually went to go check out the theater just this last Sunday and it was a lot to take in. I've never done anything like this in my life. So it's really a new adventure for myself and for the band."
The festival kicks off officially on Aug. 7 with five days of programming at the Sunshine Brooks Theater. One of the special events is a one-on-one discussion with actress Joanna Cassidy, best known as the replicant Zhora in "Blade Runner."
Niles also wanted to create a special event around Taylor Steele, a filmmaker specializing in surf movies.
"Taylor Steele is a real legend in surf film-making," Niles said. "He is an award-winning, extremely influential filmmaker in the genre. He started off his career filming a lot of his footage here in North County with local surf stars and those films were kind of punky, and had skits and costumes and weird themes to them and then suddenly he evolved into this very international cinematic filmmaker and really influenced the genre of what we see today. So it's amazing to have him come and he's going to hand select clips from his three decades of film-making and talk about different stories about behind the scenes. It's going to be really interesting to see what he has to say."
The festival also has sidebars for local filmmakers, animation and short films. The full schedule is available online at the OIFF website.