Film junkies can get their full fix this coming week as four days of Film Forward activities descend on the Mexicali and Imperial valleys Tuesday through Friday.
It’s the second year Film Forward has partnered with the Imperial County Film Commission and Mexicali Rose to bring the program to the area.
The visit to the Valley and Mexicali is the first of the 2013 locations including Bosnia and Herzegovina, China and Taiwan, Colombia, Jordan, Puerto Rico, Maine and Washington.
“We’re very lucky to be on the list and very lucky for them to come back for a second year,” Imperial County Film Commission Director Charla Teeters said. “They had a good experience last year and we hope the experience is only enhanced this year.”
The Film Forward program entails four days of film screenings, discussions and workshops at a wide variety of venues including cultural centers, a skate shop, high school, libraries, museums and self-touted “last free place on earth,” Slab City.
“It’s important for these things to come to the Valley because we in the Valley are underserved when it comes to cultural events and opportunities that are slightly different or not the blockbuster-type film. We don’t receive a lot of independent films and documentary films in the area,” Teeters said.
Film Forward is an international touring program “designed to enhance greater cultural understanding, collaboration and dialogue around the globe by engaging audiences through exhibition of films, workshops and conversations with filmmakers,” according to its website.
It’s an initiative by the Sundance Institute and the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
All of the Film Forward activities are free and open to the public.
“We have the opportunity to view, respond, to take in these pieces of work. The main focus of this Film Forward program is cultural dialogue and exposing us to different ideas, culture, to start different dialogue in ourselves and our place,” Teeters said.
Each film is “interesting in their own unique way,” she added, with a variety of feature films, documentaries and more being shown.
Filmmakers Stacy Peralta and Jerry Rothwell will be on hand during the screenings of their films for question and answer sessions.
Peralta’s film “Bones Brigade: An Autobiography” tells the story of the Bones Brigade skateboarding team while Rothwell’s film, “Town of Runners,” followed four Olympic hopefuls as they train in Bekoji, Ethiopia to join the national running team.
Filmmakers from all over the world are selected by the Sundance Institute and partners annually to participate and travel with the program.
“It’s a unique opportunity for our area for people to see a movie and then interact with someone that’s so involved with the pieces,” Teeters said.
There’s also a large social media component to the program, she added, with all the events also promoted on Twitter and Facebook as “a chance to continue the dialogue after the screenings and Q&A sessions are over,” with people experiencing Film Forward in other countries.
“Its’ not just a Imperial Valley thing but really does continue beyond that,” she said.
A full schedule of events is available at www.ivpressonline.com or http://www.sundance.org/filmforward/.
Staff Writer Chelcey Adami can be reached at 760-337-3452 or email@example.com.
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