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 9 — 11, 2015


San Pedro International

Film Festival

October 9 — 11, 2015


Best Feature Film: 2030 Directed by Minh Nguyen-Vo

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

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”


The Usual Suspects + Q&A with
Director by Bryan Singer

The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was to convince the world he didn’t exist. A sole survivor tells of the twisty events leading up to a horrific gun battle on a boat, which begin when five criminals meet at a seemingly random police lineup.

October 9th, 7pm — Warner Grand Theater

20th Anniversary Screening • Q&A with Bryan Singer

A Ballerina's Tale

A Ballerina’s Tale

Directed by Nelson George A feature documentary on African American ballerina Misty Copeland that examines her prodigious rise, her potentially career ending injury alongside themes of race and body image in the elite ballet world. October 11th, 5pm — Warner Grand Theater Limited Seating • Only 250 Tickets Available



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

Panel Discussion to Follow the Screening   INNOVATION IN FILMMAKING, 3D, TECHNOLOGY AND THE FUTURE OF THE PLANET The film and television industry continues to be at the forefront of innovation. From 3D and green screens to iMax and CGI, the steadicam and digital film, the world of cinema has remained ceaselessly dedicated to technological advances throughout time. With the proliferation of digital platforms, tech solutions, and computer-based discoveries in the fields of special effects and filming, the innovations that lie ahead are certainly no less thrilling than those of the last 100+ years. Join us for a panel discussion following the screening with filmmakers John Bruno, Jonathan Kitzen and others for a 3D and Virtual Reality experience.   Directed by John Bruno, Ray Quint, Andrew WrightScreens USA, RT: 90mins Saturday Oct 10th • 6pm • Warner Grand Theater


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 Saturday Oct. 10 • 2pm • Warner Grand Theater


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 Sunday Oct. 11 • 3pm • Warner Grand Theatre

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


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.


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.


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

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.


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.


Photo by Elisa Leonelli

Charles Bukowski

The Laughing Heart 95th Birthday Celebration


August 16, 2015 • 3pm


Photo Mark Hanauer

Charles Bukowski: the laughing heart – A 95th Birthday Celebration is a tribute to the legendary writer Charles Bukowski, (1920 -1994). Taking place on his 95th birthday Sunday, August 16th in old San Pedro, the event will include a screening of Factotum, a feature film by director Bent Hamer, based on one of his novels, poetry and art contests, readings of selected Bukowski works, a Q&A, a curated exhibition of images taken by several leading professional photographers, books, Bukowski ephemera, and souvenirs for purchase.

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.


The event will take place The Grand Annex, located at 434 W. 6th Street, San Pedro, CA 90731 and will start off with announcing the poetry and art contest winners, followed by a panel discussion and audience Q&A with special guests, including director, John Dullaghan, who created the award-winning documentary, Born Into This alongside Gerald Locklin, Sue Hodson of The Huntingdon Library, Abel Debritto – author of the book On Writing and Michael C. Ford moderated by Andrea Kowalsi. A presentation by Sue Hodson and screening of Factotum and Bukowski inspired shorts. A mini photo exhibition, portraits of Charles Bukowski at The Gallery Future-Post the Art Company at Williams Bookstore across the street is also participating. Attendees will be able to purchase the just released collection of letters On Writing by Abel Debritto and other items.

Poetry & Art Contest

A Call For Entries for Bukowski style poems and best original artwork of Bukowski, for more information please email or submit works to One entry per person.

Where & When

The event will take place in Downtown San Pedro:


            • Grand Annex




          • Future-Post Art Gallery


3:00pm, Sunday August 16


Members of the media must RSVP to attend.  |  | instagram: @spiffest | twitter: @spiffest

For media and press passes, please contact

About The Festival

Photography by Ingrid Dietrich-Visual Artist

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.


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.


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

San Pedro

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.



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 specific department heads to prep for various upcoming SPIFF events as well as for the festival itself. Please keep in mind our internships are unpaid and part-time, but that we are flexible with your school and/or work schedules.

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

For qualifications, position duties, and more important information, please read more here: SPIFF 2015 Call For Interns. To apply, please send resume to


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. Most volunteer jobs require little to no experience. Because our staff is so small, we depend on our volunteers to help make the festival run as smoothly as possible.

We do not currently have any upcoming events where we will need volunteers (other than the festival itself in October), so email us at to find out what projects we might need help with at the moment.

Youth Film Intensive
Location: TE San Pedro   |   Hours: 10am — 5pm
Day 1

Introduction to Staff and Program Introduction to Documentary Films Structuring the Story Lunch, provided by SPIFF Introduction to Editing

Day 2

Continue With Production Lunch, provided by SPIFF Review Editorials Teams Interview Teams

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. Preparation prior to the 2-Day intensive is welcome but not mandatory.  Completed films will be programmed into the 2015 SPIFF held October 9-11.

Program Goals
  • Teamwork
  • Creative collaboration
  • Storytelling
  • Project Management
  • Camera
  • Sound
  • Post Production
Our Sponsors


Become A Sponsor

Staffed, organized, and operated entirely by an unpaid team of volunteers, 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 partnerships with organizations and institutions that share in the mission of supporting the community. Your monetary contributions and in-kind donations in support of our mission provide you with a selection of benefits including:   § Association with an annual film festival located in your community   § Targeting a diverse, educated, professional, and affluent 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


For more information, email us at

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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