Red Carpet Affair
story: Kallie Markle photos: Courtesy Of Jesse Rosten
Second Annual Sundial Film Festival
You’ve purchased your ticket, picked out the best plush red seat and have already started nibbling popcorn when the theatre lights dim and the projector behind you starts up. There’s something different about this film, though: instead of a Hollywood soundstage, it’s set in your neighborhood, and instead of preternaturally attractive super-celebrities, it stars your dentist.
Welcome to the Second Annual Sundial Film Festival, the Redding Rotary Club’s celebration of local film and photography.
After a successful debut in 2009, the festival is back to foster the cultural enthusiasm of Northern California. This year’s festival runs March 10-13 and will include internationally made films and films for children in addition to saluting locally made films. (Non-local entries are provided by festival management services.) The photography competition is also back; winning entries will be framed and hung in the Cascade Theatre.
The aim, according to Event Chair Peggy O’Lea, and Mark Lascelles, who oversees the film selection, is to create a community-wide event that provides a cultural and educational experience for youth. The festival is made for and by the community.
As Lascelles explains, “It’s fostering film and photography in the hope that someone will let you take it and make a career out of it, which for a lot of (youth) hadn’t been an occurrence before. (It creates) an awareness that film is far more than an art form; it’s used in law, medicine, business, so many formats now in terms of video and video production, that it’s become a career.”
According to O’Lea, “The goal is to have a Northern California celebration of digital expression, both professional and amateur, but with a youth component so they can see there are opportunities they never would’ve considered exploring otherwise.”
It takes about 100 volunteers to execute the festival and all proceeds go to the Redding Rotary Charitable Foundation, which supports a variety of local cultural and educational experiences.
If you attended last year’s festival, you may remember “Pigeon Pilfer,” a delightful stop-motion animated short featuring some very greedy birds. You might also have cheered for the awkward romantic in “Profiles Are Lovely” and, unless you have a heart of stone, were moved by the heroism of an undaunted shopping cart in Jesse Rosten’s Best of Festival winner, “Cart.”
The coordinators received glowing reviews of last year’s festival, and were “blown away” by the quality of work that was produced. “We also got positive responses from the filmmakers in terms of completing projects that they might not have otherwise completed,” says O’Lea. “It’s different for (filmmakers) to complete a project, ship it off and never see how it’s received, versus sitting with an audience as they view it. It provides a dose of reality that they wouldn’t get otherwise, and some accolades that were well-deserved.”
Attendees at this year’s festival will follow Carter as he attempts to woo Juanita in “Slice Of Pie,” only to be thwarted by a dead dog he just can’t seem to shake. The Canadian film, “Skylight,” uses daffy, stop-motion animated penguins to explain a bizarre truth about the hole in the ozone layer, and the documentary, “Signatures,” offers stunning footage of nature and some extreme ways to enjoy its bounty.
The variety of genres and subject matters makes the Sundial Film Festival effective family entertainment. Along with the added international and children’s films, the festival is offering a school competition and features several films created as school projects. The school competition will include a workshop made up of filmmakers and guest speakers. There are also a number of outdoor extreme films to please more adrenaline-inclined audiences.
Sacramento State University will judge this year’s photography entries and the Los Angeles Film Studies Center will judge the local films.
The festival begins with a formal gala on March 10 at the Cascade Theatre, and films will be shown at the Cascade on March 11-13. The children’s festival will be held March 13 at Turtle Bay Exploration Park with corresponding family activities. Saturday evening’s awards show will be a red carpet event and the ticket price includes two beverages and popcorn.
A festival schedule, list of supporting sponsors, and ticket information is available at www.sundialfilmfestival.org.
Roll credits. •
2nd Annual Sundial Film Festival March 10-13, 2010 Tickets: $5-$15 sundialfilmfestival.com