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The Oceanside International Film Festival is ‘going to be big’

OCEANSIDE — The Oceanside International Film Festival will show 50 independent films Aug. 16 to Aug.19. 

A variety of narratives, documentaries and animated films will be shown in several locations, including the downtown Civic Center Library, Star Theatre, Grace Chapel of the Coast Theater and Media Tech Institute.

“We have military theme films, serious dramas, comedies, student films, even a gay and lesbian screening block,” said Dmitriy Demidov, festival organizer and chairman of the Oceanside Cultural Arts Foundation. “This is going to be big.”

A special screening of military theme films will be held at the Civic Center Library Aug. 16.

Included in the block of films is the documentary “Flat Daddy” that follows military families who have a deployed loved one and who are coping, with the help of a cardboard cutout.

Film co-director and co-producer Betsy Nagler described the process of making the independent film on a shoestring budget with a crew of three. She said it took a year to shoot the film at different locations across the United States. Funding delayed the editing process and the film was completed four years after shooting began.

The total cost of making the film was $130,000. Most of the expenses were for traveling. Work on the film was largely done on a volunteer basis.

The inspiration for making the film came from a newspaper article Nagler and fellow co-director and co-producer Nara Garber read.

“We’re both civilians,” Nagler said. “We didn’t know anyone going through this. It was eye opening. Only 1 percent of the population serves in the armed forces. Most people need to take the journey we took.”

Student made films will be shown at the Media Tech Institute Aug. 19.

The student film block includes the 8-minute animated film “Home Animations by a Student.” The film, by 10-year-old Pavel Demidov, is a mix of stop-motion Lego models and drawings.

Demidov (Pavel’s father) said Pavel looks to filmmaker legend Ray Harryhausen for inspiration.

“Stop motion is one of the things he’s crazy about,” Demidov said.

Fourteen of the films were produced by San Diego County filmmakers. They include the award winning narrative “Callous” by producer and actor Thom Mulligan and writer, director and actor Joey Lanai. “Callous” screens Aug. 16 at the Star Theatre.

Another locally made film is the documentary short “The American Dream of Owning a Mobile Home” by producer and editor (and The Coast News reporter) Promise Yee. The film looks at mobile home life and the potential impact of Proposition E. It screens Aug. 17 at the Grace Chapel of the Coast Theater.

There are also films from Canada, France, Spain, Australia, Ireland, Japan and all parts of the U.S.

This year the Oceanside Cultural Arts Foundation teamed up with Withoutabox independent films to attract more filmmakers. The result was 20 more films from six additional countries than were included in the inaugural film festival in 2009.

The technical level of films also out shines those in the previous festival.

“Some films are ready for mass audiences and are waiting to be picked up by a distribution company,” Demidov said.

All film entries were reviewed by a panel of judges and graded on storyline, editing, acting, music and technical merit.

Demidov said the festival gives filmmakers broader audience exposure and puts Oceanside on the map as a city that values the arts.

Another highlight of the festival is a series of filmmaking workshops that cover the topics of screenplay writing, business contracts, copyright laws, free music and video resources, and airing films on the PBS television network.

Oceanside Cultural Arts Foundation organizes and sponsors the festival. The foundation is a nonprofit organization that awards grants to nonprofit groups and school projects that promote the arts.

For more information see

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Nara Garber August 10, 2012 at 11:43 am

The date for the military-themed double feature is actually incorrect. This will take place on Saturday, August 11th from 1pm to 4pm, and the event is free to military, veterans and their families with advance registration. Flat Daddy will screen again on day 2 of the festival — Friday, August 17th, at the same venue as Ms. Eye’s film. Please visit the Oceanside International Film Festival website for details. Thanks!

Nara Garber August 10, 2012 at 11:45 am

Ah, autocorrect — that should have read “Ms. Yee’s film…” Sorry, Promise!

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