Film Festival marks sixth year with 60 films

OCEANSIDE — The sixth annual Oceanside International Film Festival will bring 60 international films to the city’s downtown theaters Aug. 7 to Aug. 14. Among them will be 20 films from local San Diego County filmmakers, and six films that feature Oceanside.

Dmitriy Demidov, chair of the film festival and president of Oceanside Cultural Arts Foundation, said filmmakers credit the festival for honoring local films as much as it does those featuring known actors.

“We make the selections in a democratic manner,” Demidov said. “There is criticism in big film festivals about what it takes to get into them. Our festival is the opposite of that notion, that’s what we hear from filmmakers.”

Indie film festivals serve as venues for startup filmmakers to screen a short they would like to find funding for to make into a full-length film. It is also a public venue for hobby filmmakers to share their production.

Films at the upcoming Oceanside festival range from serious drama, to social awareness, to science-fiction and animation. Screenings are grouped by genre, and adult or family-friendly viewing.

A unique feature of the festival is there will not be simultaneous screenings. This allows viewers to see every film. Workshops during the festival are scheduled during screening breaks to respect the schedule.

“If moviegoers don’t want to miss a film, they don’t have to,” Demidov said.

Demidov has been part of the festival committee since its first year in 2009. He said the next two years went without a festival due to discord among organizers. Demidov became co-chair in 2012, and the festival has been gaining momentum ever since.

Each year the level of entries, and notoriety of the venue increases.

“It’s known in the world of filmmaking as a great film festival to screen films,” Demidov said.

Demidov said another accolade is more celebrities will be at this year’s festival, than in previous years.

Among them will be Jonathan Lisco and Llewellyn Wells, the producers of the “Animal Kingdom” television series.

A major part of the series was shot on location in Oceanside.

Local filming, including shots for future episodes, finished in June.

During the television shoot there was a casting call for 1,000 extras. The production company hired a large number of Oceanside residents to give the series a “local” look.

The fictional crime drama is about a matriarch-driven gangster family that lives in “Oceanside,” or at least a television version of a town by the same name.

The series finale will be Aug. 9, so Turner Network Television requested a guest screening of the last episode be held off until Aug. 12.

Demidov said due to the screening date the “Animal Kingdom” finale will be shown at the Sunshine Brooks Theatre, which holds 200 seats. He recommends buying tickets in advance for the festival, and especially for that day’s screening.

There will be a Q & A session with Animal Kingdom producers and some cast members following the film.

For more information on the film festival and ticket purchases go to osidefilm.org.

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