With the start of Film Forward in Imperial County on Monday, the dreams of film enthusiasts began in a cinematographic week like no other of its kind in the Valley.
Film Forward is an initiative of the Sundance Institute and the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, which partnered with other agencies to screen award-winning documentary and narrative films in nine different locations.
This traveling film festival has the mission to bring audiences and filmmakers together for cultural dialogue, according Meredith Lavitt, Film Forward associate director.
The festival visited China and India already, and opened in Tucson before coming to Imperial County, said Jacqueline Carlson, Film Forward’s manager.
Imperial County is one of four domestic destinations where Film Forward movies are being shown in the United States, and the only one in California.
As a border community, Imperial County is ideal for cultural exchanges, Lavitt said. It is also an underserved area, “Where there is (a) large audience that usually don’t get to see these types of films,” she said.
The Australian musical “Bran Nue Dae” opened the festival at Cinemark Theaters in the Imperial Valley Mall. This film was once a play by Jimmy Chi, a man of aboriginal origins, said Rachel Perkins, director of the film.
This musical is also a romantic comedy, Perkins told the audience at the beginning of the movie, “And I encourage you to laugh.”
Perkins addressed the audience in a question and answer period after the movie.
“The cinematography was stunning. Really beautiful,” said Cindy Meehl, director of the movie “Buck,” which is also part of Film Forward’s slate of films.
In response Perkins noted that her director of photography was Andrew Lesnie, who worked in all “Lord of the Rings” movies.
For those who didn’t make it to the first screening, Perkins will make more presentations of her film across the Imperial Valley.
And just like Monday’s screenings, admission to all Film Forward movies is free.
Film Forward comes as the area prepares for the second annual Imperial Valley Film Festival and Artist Showcase on Friday and Saturday
“It’s going to be a great week,” said Charla Teeters, executive director of the Imperial County Film Commission. “I am hoping that everyone comes out and shows Sundance (Institute) that we are (a) viable and interesting area to visit.”
Staff Writer Alejandro Davila can be reached at 760-337-3445 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Some events to look for at Film Forward 2012
12:55 p.m. “Bran Nue Dae” — San Diego State University-Imperial Valley campus
Director Rachel Perkins will be in attendance for questions after the film
5:30 p.m. “Buck” — Stockmen’s Club in Brawley
Director Cindy Meehl will be in attendance for questions after the film
7 p.m. “Somewhere Between” — Cinemark Theaters at Imperial Valley Mall
5 p.m. “Grbavica” — Cinemark Theaters at Imperial Valley Mall
7 p.m. “On The Ice” — Cinemark Theaters at Imperial Valley Mall
9 p.m. “The Green Wave” — Cinemark Theaters at Imperial Valley Mall
5 p.m. “Unfinished Spaces” — Cinemark Theaters at Imperial Valley Mall
7 p.m. “Senna” — Cinemark Theaters at Imperial Valley Mall
9 p.m. “Beginners” — Cinemark Theaters at Imperial Valley Mall
10 a.m. Meet FILM FORWARD filmmakers and share ideas at the Imperial Valley Mall Food Court
All showings are free.
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