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‘The Man Left Behind’ Screening at OIFF

Oceanside CA– Held August 3 to 10, 2014, Oceanside International Film Festival is an annual event held since 2009 in San Diego County’s northernmost city Oceanside, right next door to Camp Pendleton, the largest Marine base in the world. The festival (which finished accepting films June 16) will publicly screen 70 unique and independent films, a good mixture from the locals and around the world, including United Kingdom, Russia, Germany, Australia, Turkey, Spain, India, Canada, the Netherlands, and the U.S. Viewers can choose from a variety of specially-themed screening blocks to suit their tastes such as Sci-Fi, Environmental, Sentimental and Emotional Appeal, Serious Dramas, Comedy, Romantic Dramas, Animations, etc. Especially of interest to many locals this year is OIFF-2014’s screening block of Art, Religion, And War family friendly screening block including ‘The Man Left Behind’, a full length documentary from a filmmaker from Fort Worth, TX, Dr. Gregory Tomlin of Christus Films, LLC. This inspirational film is being shown 6:25 p.m., on Wednesday, August 6, 2014, at Sunshine Brooks Theatre, 217 N Coast Hwy, Oceanside, CA 92054. Tickets are now on sale.

‘The Man Left Behind’ was named Best Documentary at the 2013 Dixie Film Festival and recently at 2014 George Lindsey UNA Film Festival, was also chosen as an Official Selection for numerous other festivals across the country including Oceanside International Film Festival. Presentation of true events, the story of this film is about finding Christ. It unfolds as Paul Longgrear was sent to Vietnam to command an elite combat unit of the U.S. Army Special Forces. At home, his wife tended to their newborn daughter and dutifully kept her promise to pray for her husband at war. The prayers never really meant much to Longgrear until the early morning hours of February 7, 1968. Trapped in a concrete bunker with seven other Green Berets and surrounded by a determined enemy using tanks for the first time in the war, Longgrear retreated to a corner of the shattered bunker and prayed his first real prayer. He knew death would come for him, so he prayed that God would take care of his wife and child. He counted his last 19 rounds of ammunition. Eighteen were for the enemy. The last was for him.

Longgrear miraculously survived the battle, but he knew his life would never be the same… because he had to leave a man behind – himself – to have a personal transformation into a religious man. The Man Left Behind chronicles the return of U.S. Army Col. (Ret.) Paul R. Longgrear to the battlefield at Lang Vei, Vietnam, with his wife and three children. Cameras follow the family as they explore Vietnam, seek understanding about the war, and learn how the conflict created in their husband and father the man he is today. The film is narrated by actor Terence Knox, former star of St. Elsewhere and Tour of Duty, which was the first prime time Vietnam War drama from CBS Television.

Short Synopsis

Paul Longgrear was sent to Vietnam to command an elite combat unit. At home, his wife tended to their newborn daughter and dutifully kept her promise to pray for her husband at war. The prayers never meant much to Longgrear until the early hours of February 7, 1968. Trapped in a concrete bunker with seven other Green Berets and surrounded by a determined enemy using tanks for the first time in the war, Longgrear retreated to a corner of the shattered bunker and prayed his first real prayer. He knew he would die, so he prayed that God would take care of his wife and child. He counted his last 19 rounds of ammunition. Eighteen were for the enemy. The last he saved for himself.

Long Synopsis
Paul Longgrear was sent to Vietnam to command an elite combat unit of the U.S. Army Special Forces. At home, his wife tended to their newborn daughter and dutifully kept her promise to pray for her husband at war. The prayers never really meant much to Longgrear until the early morning hours of February 7, 1968.

Trapped in a concrete bunker with seven other Green Berets and surrounded by a determined enemy using tanks for the first time in the war, Longgrear retreated to a corner of the shattered bunker and prayed his first real prayer. He knew death would come for him, so he prayed that God would take care of his wife and child. He counted his last 19 rounds of ammunition. Eighteen were for the enemy. The last was for him.

Longgrear miraculously survived the battle, but he knew his life would never be the same … because he had to leave a man behind – himself – to have a personal transformation into a religious man. The Man Left Behind chronicles the return of U.S. Army Col. (Ret.) Paul R. Longgrear to the battlefield at Lang Vei, Vietnam, with his wife and three children. Cameras follow the family as they explore Vietnam, seek understanding about the war, and learn how the conflict created in their husband and father the man he is today.

The film begins with Longgrear’s induction into the U.S. Army Ranger Hall of Fame in Fort Benning, Ga. Brief interviews with his now grown children, Honey Lee, Bo, and Fred (‘Bubba’) provide insight into what the children of this well-known Vietnam veteran expect to find in Vietnam. The documentary offers a brief glimpse into Longgrear’s early life; an unsettled upbringing without a father in Arkansas, heavy drinking, trouble with the law, drifting and violence are all thematic elements that characterized Longgrear’s life. But things changed in 1965 when Longgrear received his draft notice. The Army offered structure, authority figures who did not give up on those for whom they cared, and rewards for good performance. Longgrear excelled, became an officer and won the Green Beret. In addition to offering Longgrear’s account of his time in Vietnam, the film also focuses on Patty Longgrear. Her interviews offer insight into the costs of war on an American family. While Paul, her husband, was in Vietnam on his second tour, her brother was also. On a day in September 1970, the doorbell rang. An Army notification officer and a chaplain stood outside. She was confronted with the news that someone she loved dearly had died in Vietnam … but was it her husband, or her brother?

The film is narrated by actor Terence Knox, best known for his roles on St. Elsewhere and Tour of Duty, television’s first Vietnam War drama.

Trailer of The Man Left Behind can be seen here [Link] Tickets are: $10 one-day admission for seniors, military, students or $15 regular (screenings on one day only: Aug 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, or 9; excludes workshops). Festival passes (screenings & workshops on any or all August 4 thru 9) are $35 for seniors, military, or students; or $50 regular. Guests may also optionally purchase tickets to the stand-alone workshops (Casting For Film Workshop on August 8, and Crowdfunding Workshop on August 9, $10 each), the Red Carpet Welcome and Opening Evening (August 3, $25), or Closing Awards Gala (August 10, $35).

Oceanside International Film Festival is conceived and once again underwritten by Oceanside Cultural Arts Foundation / OCAF, which is OIFF’s parent entity, the same 501c3 non-profit organization that has conducted Oceanside Days of Arts for 22 years. This year will be the 25th year OCAF has brought quality artistic, visual, performance, and musical arts to Oceanside and the surrounding communities. Its Film Festival showcases narrative features, documentaries, shorts, animation, and student works from filmmakers who have not yet signed distribution agreements and look for recognition among wider audiences. All proceeds go towards scholarships and for the purpose of putting out more public events by OCAF.

This year festival’s organizational committee and Jury consists of almost 20 film passion-driven individuals, who have been meeting monthly since September 2013 (!) to make sure this year’s August event is another success. Among the submissions are works by independent filmmakers from all over the world. Nearly every continent is represented this year. The committee is excited to have at their disposal two wonderful venues downtown Oceanside for the purpose of publicly screening films. Firstly, it is historic Star Theatre. It was opened in 1956 with capacity for 986 people. Now, with 440 stadium-style seats and no obstructed views, it boasts a “California Historic Landmark” marquee decorated by multi-colored lights, and a beautiful round ticket booth as a centerpiece at the entrance that brings a sweet movie-going nostalgia to many North County’s old timers. Then the audience will get a chance to become familiar with the historic facility of Sunshine Brooks Theatre, built in 1936 originally with 659 seats, now with capacity of 200. The Brooks is the oldest standing theater in Oceanside.

Film buffs remember Golden Globe Award winner and Academy Award nominee Sally Kirkland, who was present at last year’s OIFF along with other prominent figures. This year the audience has an opportunity to feel star-struck again by rubbing shoulders with a veteran casting director D. Candis Paule, CSA, Charles Kaufman, Saginaw Grant, and other high profile guests. Charles Kaufman is a writer and director, known as the creator of the classic 1980 horror film Mother’s Day and its 2010 remake. He was also a writer for The Bob Hope Show, Dennis the Menace TV series (1986), When Nature Calls (feature film, 1985). Saginaw Grant is a veteran Native American actor, whose face is easily recognized by many, especially after his latest big role as Chief Big Bear in The Lone Ranger, starring Johnny Depp (2013).

The festival is particularly thrilled to welcome Saginaw Grant in association with this place in San Diego known for profound Native American history. Oceanside is rich with history of Luiseno Band of Native American Indians based from around Mission San Luis Rey. Other film industry’s stars are expected to make a surprise appearance at the festival.

For description of educational workshops, festival schedule, or complete list of award categories, please go to http://www.ocaf.info or Facebook Tickets now on sale.