San Pedro International Film Festival | October 9 — 11, 2015
Film, Festival, Movies, Independent, Los Angeles, California, CA, San Pedro,
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SPIFFest October 6 — 16, 2016

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5th Annual

San Pedro International Film Festival

October 6 — 16, 2016

SPIFF 2016: Celebrating 5th Year Anniversary

Introducing SPIFFest 2016

10 days of Film, Music, Art and Technology

The San Pedro International Film Festival presents one of the South Bay’s largest film festivals from October 6-16, 2016 in San Pedro’s Historic Waterfront District. SPIFFest  marks this 5-year milestone with expanded multimedia programming for 10 days over two weekends, including art, music and the latest technology innovations spotlighting virtual reality.

 

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Oct 6 – Kickoff  – San Pedro First Thursday Artwalk  and October 15, an evening of Cuban and Chicano culture presented with the San Pedro Waterfront Arts District 

SPIFFest 2016 and the San Pedro Waterfront Arts District presents an art exhibition on October 6 during First Thursday Arttwalk, featuring the work in the documentary Dark Progressivism, directed by Rodrigo Ribera d’Ebre.  The film covers LA’s history of murals, tagging and street art born during the urban upheaval of the 80s and 90s.  Dark Progressivism  screens October 15 in the historical elegance of the Warner Grand Theatre. *

PLAYING-LECUONA-PosterRedDirectorsPavel Giroud & Juan Manuel Villar Betancort

 

A screening of Playing Lecuona follows, the stunning documentary film that explores Cuban pianist & composer Ernesto Lecuona’s influence through the lens of three of the maestro’s most well-known jazz pianist descendants: Chucho Valdés, son of renowned bandleader and composer Bebo Valdés; Gonzalo Rubalcaba, a Cuban from the generation after Chucho;  and the Dominican Michel Camilo. Says Linda Grimes, Managing Director of the San Pedro Waterfront Arts District, “We are thrilled to partner with SPIFFest in sponsoring these two films celebrating Chicano art and Cuban music.”  The evening concludes with a VIP reception.

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Our mission is to promote San Pedro’s authentic arts, culture and entertainment character through Advocacy, Marketing and Education activities.

*The Warner Grand Theatre is a facility of the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs

October 8 – Virtual Reality Comes to SPIFFest

SPIFFest presents its first tech event October 8th with a look at Virtual Reality and its applications in cinema and entertainment, featuring a panel discussion and demo of the latest works by some of today’s top VR innovators including Oscar winning visual affects artist  Kevin Mack (What Dreams May Come, 1999)

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October 14 – Music Showcase 

Beloved music store Alva’s hosts a music showcase  on October 14 with innovative master of styles,  John Heussenstamm (Surf Punks, Deniece Williams). The event begins with a meet and greet book signing for Heussenstamm’s widely respected books Guitar Workout,  100 Jazz Lessons and 100 Blues Lessons, published by Hal Leonard;  live music follows with his Blues Fusion Trio, featuring special guest jazz pianist Ron Kobayashi (Mel Tormé, Peter Frampton, Tom Scott).

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PLAYING-LECUONA-PosterRedDirectorsPavel Giroud & Juan Manuel Villar Betancort
SPIFF 2nd Annual OSCAR-NOMINATED SHORT SCREENING EVENTS COMING FEBRUARY 2017
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Oscar-nominated Short Screening events coming to   Warner Grand Theater in February 2017

You loved it so it’s coming back!  We had a great time at our 2016 screening events for Academy Award nominees Best Short Films in documentary,  live action and animation,  including short winner Bear Story which screened at SPIFFest in 2015.  Details announced here, our Facebook page and SPIFF newsletter.

***CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR 2015 WINNERS & LOOKING FORWARD TO 2016!***

Best Feature Film: 2030 Directed by Minh Nguyen-Vo

Best Documentary: A Ballerina’s Tale Directed by Nelson George

Best EcoDox: Ocean Heritage Directed by Jim Knowlton

Best Short Film: The Story of a Rainy Night by Mehdi Fard Ghaderi

Best Student Film: Unspoken by Eric Michael Otten

Best Horror Film: Drink by Emily Moss Wilson

Best Animation: Wire Cutters by Jack Anderson

Best Bukowski Film: Nirvana Directed by Patrick Biesemans

Best Music Video: Jaysin Voxx “Hands on Me”

Best Screenplay: The Red by Noam Friedlander

OPENING NIGHT 2015 • THE USUAL SUSPECTS 20th ANNIVERSARY SCREENING + Q&A WITH BRYAN SINGER
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SPIFF 2015 The Usual Suspects 20th  Anniversary 

Screening + Q&A with Director Bryan Singer

San Pedro’s historic Korean Bell, Angels Gate Park appear in this iconic film, Bryan Singer’s dazzling who-done-it puzzle that grabbed film-goers and dazzled with cinematography and locations that became characters in the movie. Singer joined us for a celebratory capacity crowd opening night.

SPIFF 2015 SPECIAL SCREENING
A Ballerina's Tale

A Ballerina’s Tale – Directed by Nelson George

SPIFF 2015 was in the early tier of presenters for a screening of this extraordinary story of Misty Copeland, the first African American principal ballerina in the 75+ year history of the American Ballet Theater. The inspiring feature documentary examines her prodigious rise, her potentially career ending injury alongside themes of race and body image in the elite ballet world.

SPIFF 2015 SPECIAL EVENT • JAMES CAMERON DOCUMENTARY 'DEEPSEA CHALLENGE 3D' & PANEL
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DEEPSEA CHALLENGE 3D Screening & Panel 

Innovation in Filmmaking, 3D, Technology, and the Future of the Planet

SPIFF 2015 presented this fascinating 3D documentary chronicling the diving expeditions of blockbuster filmmaker James Cameron (Avatar, Titanic, Aliens) in his Deepsea Challenger submersible with a dynamic panel discussion featuring the filmmakers John Bruno and Jonathan Kitzen.  Film and television are at the forefront of technological innovation and virtual reality continues its seismic growth. With the proliferation of platforms, tech solutions and computer-based discoveries in the fields of special effects and filming, the opportunities –  from 3D and green screens to iMax and CGI, the steadicam and digital – the possibilities abound.   Directed by John Bruno, Ray Quint, Andrew Wright Screens USA, RT: 90mins 

SCREENS WITH
SOLDIERS’ STORIES

Jonathan Kitzen pairs meticulously restored stereoscopic photographs with commentary by veterans of contemporary wars for a haunting reminder that the human cost of war has changed very little in the past century. Produced by Academy Award®-winner Nicholas Reed (The Lady In Number 6: Music Saved My Life), with moving narration by the late Academy Award winner and World War II veteran Mickey Rooney. Kitzen will also demonstrate a Virtual Reality version of the film for audiences during the Q&A that brings the viewer to a 360 version of the trenches.   Directed by Jonathan Kitzen USA, RT: 28mins

Leaves_of_the_TreeLEAVES OF THE TREE

A mystical tree, shrouded in religious lore, leads a once powerful lawyer sidelined by a life threatening disease to a remote corner of Sicily. He struggles to discover the secret of the tree’s medicinal leaves. “The Tree” intersects faith, doubt and belief for all those that come into contact with its unique ability to heal. Written and Directed by Ante Novakovic USA, 2015, RT: 1:36

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Set in 2030s Vietnam when water levels have risen due to global climate change that causes as much as half the farmland to be submerged. To subsist, people have to live on houseboats and fish with a depleting supply. Huge multinational conglomerates compete to build floating farms to produce the needed vegetables that have become highly priced commodities. The story follows a young woman in her journey to find out the truth about the murder of her husband whom she suspected has been killed by the people of a floating farm. She ends up finding different “truths” about her husband’s death and has to make a dramatic decision. Is there any absolute truth? Or is it all a magic realism? Written and Directed by Minh Nguyen-Vo Vietnam, 2014, RT: 1:36

LUNAFEST SHORTS
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BALSA WOOD

Directed by Dominique Lecchi UK, 2015, 9 mins A lighthearted slice of life about two mixed-race siblings visiting their extended Filipino family for lunch. Director: Dominique Lecchi, London, England

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BEACH FLAGS

Directed by Sarah Saiden France, 2015, 14 mins A young Iranian lifeguard, determined to participate in an international competition in Australia, experiences an unexpected obstacle when a new team member arrives.

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Directed by Meg Smaker USA, 2015, 17 mins One woman defies Fidel Castro’s ban on female boxing to follow her dreams of Olympic glory and become Cuba’s first female boxer.

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FINDING JUNE

Directed by Anna Schumacher USA, 2015, RT 18mins Through the eyes of a deaf woman just diagnosed with breast cancer, communication’s role in understanding one another is explored.

First World Problems
FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS

Directed by Hanna Maylett Finland, 2015, 7 mins A tired housewife loses her car in a shopping mall—sometimes problems can open a door to a whole new world.

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RAISING RYLAND

Directed by Sarah Feeley USA, 2015, 14 mins An intimate look at parenting with no strings attached—a journey inside the transgender experience as lived by a six-year-old boy and his two loving parents.

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Photo by Elisa Leonelli

The Laughing Heart:  95th Birthday Celebration

A Night for Charles Bukowski

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Bukowski in his San Pedro home

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Photo Mark Hanauer

SPIFF celebrated with a tribute to the legendary writer (1920 -1994) and San Pedro resident.  Held in Old San Pedro, the event included a screening of Bent Hamer’s feature, Factotum, a film based on one of his novels; readings of selected Bukowski works and Q&A; and a curated exhibition of images taken by several leading professional photographers, books, Bukowski ephemera, poetry contest and souvenirs for purchase.

ABOUT CHARLES BUKOWSKI

A prolific author of thousands of poems, hundreds of stories and six novels, Bukowski eventually published over forty-five books and various collections of his work chronicling his own personal experiences reflecting the gritty glamor of Los Angeles and society in general. After a few years working as a mail carrier and later for many years as a clerk at the US Post Office, Terminal Annex, in downtown LA, his experiences inspired his acclaimed debut novel, Post Office.  His works address the full spectrum of the human condition, from his own tangled youth and the wretchedness of the world in general, to more uplifting works that have heartfelt expressions of love and joy highlighting the good things that come our way in life. Through his unbridled passion for writing, Bukowski became a philosopher in his own right and his works remain widely influential and more popular today than during his lifetime. Since his death there have been over 20 more works published. The universal accessibility of his poetry and modern works resonate within the hearts of readers worldwide. In 1978, Charles Bukowski moved to San Pedro with his wife to be, Linda Lee Bukowski, where he continued to write prolifically, until his death in 1994.

About The Festival
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Photography by Ingrid Dietrich-Visual Artist www.mobilestudio.us

The San Pedro International Film Festival was founded to celebrate the diverse culture and community of San Pedro with a wide spectrum of independent film, documentaries, and shorts. SPIFF is committed to exhibiting films that embody inspiring entertainment for all.  Works that express fresh voices and differing global perspectives, with the intent that these films enlighten audiences while providing invaluable exposure for filmmakers, local and international.

MISSION

The San Pedro International Film Festival’s mission is two-fold:

– To help promote and develop the exhibition of media arts to audiences in and around San Pedro by presenting a forum for film festival professionals and filmmakers;

– To make the international community aware of San Pedro as both a film festival forum and event destination, film production destination, and to promote the works of international and local filmmakers to an international and domestic audience.

EDUCATION

With the objective of supporting the development of local filmmakers and actors, as well as enriching local audiences, SPIFF will offer a series of workshops, panel discussions and presentations. The San Pedro International Film Festival will endeavor to collaborate with other festivals and film organizations and encourage education of new technological advancements that make filmmaking accessible to everyone.

SPIFF will aim to encourage young people to enjoy films as well as develop their interest in filmmaking careers. SPIFF will organize “youth in film” workshops to further encourage and educate young people interested in film, with potential grants and loans of digital equipment.

See Complete Film Schedule

For inquiries, please email info@spiffest.org.

San Pedro
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Images © 2015 Lee Uran

San Pedro has been the port district of the City of Los Angeles since 1909 and it is documented that Spanish ships visited the port back in the 1540′s.  Because of its proximity to the ocean, San Pedro attracted various cultures with prominent fishing traditions.  It became ethnically diverse and people were able to settle down, continue their own traditions, and eventually start businesses in the area.  San Pedro is a melting pot of people from Italy, Croatia, Greece, Portugal, Norway, Japan, and a large portion of the community is made up of Mexican-Americans and African-Americans.

The up and coming waterfront city is one of Los Angeles’s hidden secrets and has loads of activities to check out.  There is a great art scene, with several galleries in the Art District as well as Crafted, a large craft and artisanal food marketplace.  San Pedro is a wonderful mix of this emerging culture and cultural history.  Points of interest are the USS Iowa floating museum, the fully operational museum ship the SS Lane Victory, the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, the LA Maritime Museum, the Vincent Thomas Bridge, and the Williams’ Bookstore, the oldest fully operated bookstore in LA.  You can even take a ride on a vintage Red Car Trolley Line to get a view of the waterfront.

Some of DW Griffith’s early short films were shot in San Pedro. These days you’re more likely to find film crews for NCIS, Mad Men, and Dexter.  Other films shot in San Pedro include ‘King Kong’, ‘Chinatown’, ‘Point Break’, ‘Silence of the Lambs’, ‘The Usual Suspects’, ‘Pearl Harbor’, ‘Titanic’, ‘500 Days of Summer’, and a ton more.  SPIFF is thrilled to present our inaugural festival in a city with such a rich film history.

Volunteer

Interns

Want to work with a film festival that’s small enough for you to get real, hands-on experience, but large enough for you to network with and learn from several industry professionals? Our interns work with department heads to prep for various upcoming SPIFF events as well as for the festival itself. Please note while our internships are unpaid and part-time, we can offer letters of reference, documentation for credit and we are flexible with your school and work schedules.

We currently have a need in the following areas: • Social Media • Website Maintenance • Marketing/Publicity • Sponsorship Outreach • Programming • Volunteer & Community Outreach 

For guidelines and  information, read more here: SPIFF 2015 Call For Interns. To apply, please send resume to volunteer@spiffest.org

Volunteers

Volunteering with SPIFF provides an opportunity to put your talents to good use, learn new skills, and meet people who love film as much as you do. Our volunteers are present at every point of the festival and have a variety of assistant-level tasks to do:

  • Taking tickets at screenings and events
  • Registration
  • Hospitality at our filmmaker lounge
  • Proctor/monitor for our new art and music outdoor events
  • Administrative  in social media, publicity and outreach
  • Youth Film Intensive Program
  • Additional events throughout the year  

Most tasks require no prior experience; we’ll host Volunteer Orientation meetings in September and again in October just prior to the fest.  With a small staff of 3, SPIFF volunteers are the heartbeat!  Contact volunteer@spiffest.org

SPIFF Youth Film Intensive 2016

January 29-31, 2016

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SPIFF Youth Film Intensive presents a three to five day community classroom, immersing students in a project-based filmmaking experience. The students are given the opportunity to be mentored by professional film and television Writers/Directors/Producers, to experience a complete film production work flow. Our students will create short documentary films, where San Pedro will be prominently featured, and each film will be screened during the 2016 film festival in various locations including the Warner Grand.

Our Staff includes Todd Felderstein, a filmmaker who has worked with Sony, Marvel, and various independent productions; Dawn Higginbotham, an award winning filmmaker who has worked with James Cameron, Lucasfilm/THX and Dolby Laboratories; Renee O’Connor, a filmmaker, best known for her role as Gabrielle, on the television series, Xena Warrior Princess; and additional instruction on Cinematography and Editing.

What the Students will Accomplish

Using SPIFF provided technology, including cell phones, GoPro, and High Definition cameras, 4 teams of 4 high school students, each from a variety of schools and community centers around San Pedro, will create a 3-5 minute story where San Pedro is a prominently featured character.  These films will be nonfiction in nature.

Program Goals
  • Teamwork
  • Creative collaboration
  • Storytelling
  • Project Management
  • Camera
  • Sound
  • Post Production
2015 Short Film Documentary Series

“CAPTIVATING OUR MEMORIES, WITH LOUIS LEE”
a film by Michael Helm and Aleena De La Cruz

“SWEET SUSIE”
a film by Daniel Chavez and Michael Helm

“BRAVERY OF THE L.A. FIRE DEPARTMENT”
a film by Mario Garcia and Miles Muir

ENROLL NOW at info@spiffest.org

WORKSHOP IS FREE

SPACE IS LIMITED

Our Sponsors
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Become A Sponsor
WHY SPONSOR US?

Organized and operated entirely by a small volunteer staff, the San Pedro International Film Festival would not exist without the generous support of private, corporate sponsorship and community partnerships as well as in-kind donations. The festival welcomes and encourages collaboration with organizations and institutions that are enthusiastic in the mission of supporting the community. Your monetary contributions and in-kind donations provide you with a selection of benefits including:

§ Association with an annual film festival located in your community

§ Targeting a diverse, educated, professional, active audience

§ Increase brand recognition and corporate identity through naming opportunities and specific program sponsorship

§ Stimulate sales through trial usage or demonstration of product or services

§ Receive complimentary tickets to a landmark event

§ Tax benefits: SPIFF is produced by Art In Motion, a 501(c)(3) public charity and all donations are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law

Support us and become a valued partner of the San Pedro International Film Festival!If you have any questions regarding sponsorship or are either interested in becoming a sponsor or making a donation, please email info@spiffest.org.

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For more information, email us at info@SPIFFest.org.

San Pedro International Film Festival’s mission is to celebrate the city’s cultural diversity and film production history.  SPIFFest provides audiences with extraordinary films from new local and international filmmakers that educate, enlighten and entertain.  We also support community programs that help young filmmakers develop the skills needed to achieve their aspirations.

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