OCEANSIDE — The eighth annual Oceanside International Film Festival kicks off Aug. 9 and brings together independent films starring big-name actors, and works of low-budget, first-time filmmakers during eight days of screenings.
“The popularity and importance of film festivals is growing,” Dmitriy Demidov, co-chair and director of the festival, said.
Film festivals serve as a launching pad for aspiring filmmakers and provide moviemakers working on a shoestring budget a platform to share their work.
Oceanside film festival theaters seat between 200 and 450 viewers, and allow audience question-and-answer sessions with producers, directors and actors after each screening. Audience members are also asked to rate the films and select a people’s choice award.
Demidov said one not-to-miss screening is “The Magic Bracelet” that stars Bailee Madison, Hailee Steinfeld, J.K. Simmons, Jackson Rathbone, James Van Der Beek and surf dog Ricochet.
The film has gained a lot of acclaim for its professional cast and writing.
“The Magic Bracelet” is a story about friendship, love, adventure and magic. Demidov describes the film as very upbeat.
The short film was created by young Rina Goldberg, with the help of Mitchell Eiven, a family friend and president of Movie and Theater Corporation. The idea was to distract Rina from her chronic illness.
Eiven proposed the film project to the Make a Film Foundation, a nonprofit that teams chronically ill children with professional writers, directors and actors with to make their film dreams come true.
Rina worked on writing, directing and producing the film.
Sadly she passed away from mitochondrial disease at age 15 in 2010, before the film was completed.
“The Magic Bracelet” screens Aug. 14.
Seventy-four additional films, from more than a dozen countries, will screen during the festival. Twenty-eight of the films are entries by San Diego County filmmakers.
Films will be shown in blocks by film genre, which range from sci-fi to serious drama, animation, comedy and social injustice, among others.
“WildLike,” which stars Bruce Greenwood, will go on to play in movie theaters nationwide in September.
There will also be a student film block of full-length and short films produced by college film students, middle school students and younger filmmakers.
Anita Romaine has served as film jury member for four years. Romaine said judging begins as soon as entries are submitted, about a month after the previous year’s festival ends.
Jury members view the films through an online feed on their home television or computer, and score each film. Top scoring films are accepted into the festival. Those with the highest points are awarded prizes on the final evening of the fest.
Romaine said after viewing films for a year, it’s still a thrill to see them larger than life on the big screen.
Independent films will show at the Star Theatre and Sunshine Brooks Theatre Aug. 9 through 16. For more information go to osidefilm.org.