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Oceanside International Film Festival Announces Early Selections

Oceanside CA— During the course of eight days from August 7th through 14th, the 2016 installment of Oceanside International Film Festival will publicly screen a mixture of unique and independent films from many countries, states, and local filmmakers. The screenings are conducted at a single auditorium as one-time showings, as accustomed to most films festivals, and advance ticket purchase is recommended to ensure seating.

North County San Diego’s oldest and largest film festival, OIFF is an all-inclusive festival, not limited to any one genre. Last year it showed 75 films on big screen. Among this year’s selections are films by independent filmmakers from the U.S., Italy, Switzerland, Ireland, China, Spain, etc. Nearly every continent is represented this year. Movie goers can choose from a variety of screening blocks to suit their tastes: Environmental, Sci-Fi, Emotional And Sentimental Appeal, Coming of Age, Comedy, Experimental, Serious Dramas, Romantic Dramas, Experiencing America, Gay and Lesbian, Horror, Military, Animation, etc. Family friendly films and mature content are grouped separately.

Every year, the festival selects early a handful of films to be shown on the big screen ahead of the submissions deadline. The following films highlight the early list of Official Selections.

A Life Lived (in Narrative Feature Films category) is a serious drama filmed in San Diego, which was the most recent work completed featuring Oceanside-raised actress Denise Richards known for Starship Troopers (1997), Wild Things (1998), Drop Dead Gorgeous (1999), and The World Is Not Enough (1999). Richards graduated in 1989 from El Camino High School in Oceanside, California. The story is about the life of a dollar bill, and the many lives it passes along the way. Having primarily shot in and around San Diego, the very first day of shooting on June 1, 2015 was actually in Oceanside (at the Red and White Market). In fact, Oceanside-recorded footage ended up in the very first and the last scenes of the film.

Blind Date à la Juive / Jewish Blind Date (in Student Films category) is a romantic comedy from Switzerland. Unhappy in love, Mary Lou decides to reconnect with her religious roots by marrying a practicing Jew. In order to get married, she has to pass the Shidduch test, which will determine whether her life will be a success or failure. The short film was completed in September 2015. Its maker Anaëlle Morf recently graduated from the film department of Ecal (University of Art and Design) presenting her narrative film Jewish Blind Date as a thesis project. It recently became an Official Selection of Warsaw Jewish Film Festival (Nov 2015), Warsaw, Poland, and Winner of Best Student Film Award at Crystal Palace International Film Festival (Nov 2015), London, United Kingdom. [Trailer]

High Hoops (in Student Films category) is a serious drama, coming of age story, filmed in NY. This film was made in “Narrative Workshop” class during its filmmaker’s last semester of NYU Tisch School of the Arts, who studied there for a degree in film & television production. This short film has two great African American actresses. Sherri Shepherd is an American comedian, actress, author, and television personality. She first became known for recurring roles on the sitcoms Suddenly Susan, Everybody Loves Raymond and The Jamie Foxx Show before starring as Ramona Platt on the ABC sitcom Less than Perfect from 2002 to 2006, for which she was well received and was nominated for the BET Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series in 2005. From 2007 to 2014, Shepherd was a co-host on The View, for which she received multiple Daytime Emmy Award nominations. Lyn Alicia Henderson is an actress and producer, known for ER (1994), The Relic (1997) and Weak Species (2009). She had roles in Criminal Minds, Will & Grace, Home Improvement, Seinfeld, and Melrose Place. High Hoops recently won the Grand Prize at the Revolt TV Film Festival. [Trailer]

Leonarda (in Narrative Short Films category) is a horror film from Italy. The submission latter sated: “My name is Rosaria Cianciulli and I am the producer of the short film Leonarda. Leonarda tells the story of the female Italian serial killer Leonarda Cianciulli, who was born in my same town, Montella, and was my great-great-aunt. The movie explores a variety of themes and conflicts like faith and superstition, motherly love, and motherly rejection. [Trailer]

My Bonnie (in Narrative Short Film category) is a film from Ireland, which had been screened at Cannes Film Festival, Cannes, France, in May 2015. It is about two people at sea, trapped between a rock and a hard place, who must face the distance between them. The film’s director Hannah Quinn has worked for over 20 years as an Assistant Director on many films such as Gladiator, Black Hawk Down, Children of Men, Song for a Raggy Boy and The Canal. My Bonnie is her debut short film. [Trailer]

Sunflowers (in Narrative Films category) will be shown during OIFF as part of Emotional and Sentimental Appeal screening block. Presented in Mandarin Chinese language, the story is about an orphaned girl and her grandmother, who live in a metropolis of Asia. The girl is a makeup artist. In the course of the film, she gives up her celebrity-oriented profession for something else. The filmmaker wanted to tell a story that would educate people on the process of parting with loves ones and hopefully help them move on with their lives. According to the filmmaker, the process of parting is important not only for the dead, but also for the living.

Vicious (in Student Films category) is a serious drama about L.A. gangs. It was made by a student of USC’s School of Cinematic Arts Graduate Program. You may recognize the main character played by actor Rafael Martinez known for McFarland, USA (2015). Yolanda Ross (mother) appeared in the episodes of television series New York Undercover and Third Watch. She guest starred on Law & Order and Law & Order: Criminal Intent, had the recurring role of HBO’s Treme, and was cast opposite Viola Davis in Lila & Eve. In 2015, Ross played Robyn Crawford, the friend, assistant, and reported girlfriend of Whitney Houston, in the Lifetime movie, Whitney directed by Angela Basset. “Vicious” was made with the donated help of award-winning industry professionals such as producer Maritte Go (Guest Room, Loveland), cinematographer Matthew Edwards (The Labyrinth), composer Michael Kramer (Lego Ninjago), and sound designer Sung Rok Choi (Snowpiercer). [Trailer]

Oceanside International Film Festival attracts both movie-goers and celebrities alike. Some prominent figures who attended OIFF in the previous years included John DeBello (creator of Attack of the Killer Tomatoes!), Saginaw Grant (Native American actor from The Lone Ranger and many other films), Sally Kirkland (Golden Globe Award winner and Academy Award nominee), Jason James Richter (most commonly known for his role in the Free Willy films as Jesse, the boy who befriends Willy), Christopher Pennock (known for his long run on the cult television show Dark Shadows), Michael C. Gross (executive producer for 11 films including Heavy Metal, Ghostbusters, Ghostbusters II, Twins, Beethoven, Legal Eagle, Kindergarten Cop, and Dave), Daniel Benzali (Golden Globe nominee, Star Trek: The Next Generation, The X-Files, NYPD Blue and L.A. Law. L.A., and James Bond film A View to a Kill), Charles Kaufman (creator of Mother’s Day remake, 2010, and Mother’s Day horror film, 1980; writer for The Bob Hope Show; Dennis the Menace TV series, 1986; When Nature Calls, 1985), Peter Sherayko (Texas Jack Vermillion in Tombstone, 1983, alongside with Kurt Russell and Val Kilmer), Laura Williams (voice actress who provided her singing talent for cub Nala in The Lion King), Larry Groupé (multiple Emmy-winning film composer), Cori Schumacher (three-time world surfing champion), William T. Stromberg (film composer, brother of Oscar-winning Robert R. Stromberg, composed music for over twenty-five films), etc.

Oceanside International Film Festival 2016 is still accepting films through June 13. OIFF screenings and celebrations will take place at two oldest theaters in Oceanside, Star Theatre and Sunshine Brooks Theatre. The festival’s program includes screenings of independent films, educational workshops, and special appearances by celebrities. Tickets can be purchased online. A whole day worth of films is only $15, or $10 for seniors, military, and students including college students. Festival passes for the whole week are available. Call to leave a message at 760-433-3632 or email OIFF@ocaf.info with questions.

See www.osidefilm.org or OIFF Facebook page for more info and admission: www.facebook.com/likeOIFF

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