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The inaugural Ventura Film Festival

The inaugural Ventura Film Festival -- a dynamic, collaborative and imaginative blend of film and new media featuring more authenticity than flash, including international narrative, documentary, animation, video art and performance –- will take place at the Elks Lodge, 2126 Knoll Drive in Ventura, California on Thursday-Sunday, March 26-29, 2009. Please visit the website: for more details.
Under the guidance of 30-year movie industry veteran and Festival Founder/Director Lorenzo DeStefano, the Ventura Film Festival has been organized as a diverse and compelling voice of alternative cinema, as well as a not-for-profit educational organization dedicated to bringing “True Stories, Real People and New Cinema” to the City and County of Ventura.
With more than 50 films and new media projects already confirmed, the first-ever VFF will salute legendary filmmaker Robert M. Young. Among his award-winning films to be screened are “Dominick & Eugene,” which garnered a 1989 Golden Globe nomination for Tom Hulce as Best Actor; “Alambrista,” which won the 1978 Golden Camera Award at the Cannes Film Festival; “Caught,” which reaped 1997 Independent Spirit Award nominations for Best Director, Best New Actor and Best Female Lead; "Short Eyes," and "Triumph of the Spirit."
“Through our unique programming, non-traditional venues and neighborhood cinema outreach, we are giving voice to those in our community and on a global level whose stories and challenges have been routinely ignored in mainstream discourse, cinema and media,” said DeStefano.
“Our primary aim as Ventura’s very own film festival is the Neighborhood Cinema Program,” said DeStefano, who has been working for more than a year gathering momentum, sponsors and films. “This innovative and organic idea at the core of the Festival will offer technical guidance and mentoring to aspiring local filmmakers of all ages. It will blend local voices with global visions, encouraging those whose lives remain ignored to express themselves through the magic of cinematic storytelling.”
The Ventura Film Festival will also encourage local and international artists, singers, songwriters and performance artists to collaborate with the VFF. “We will also work with established arts, cultural and educational programs like the Ventura Music Festival, the Rubicon Theater and Focus on the Masters to serve as an umbrella festival within which all of the arts can blend and flourish,” DeStefano added.
Following the inaugural film festival, the VFF will launch the Ventura Film Society, an ongoing screening series to utilize a variety of new and exciting historical venues in association with Project Encore and selected local businesses. Like the Festival, the Society screenings will include filmmaker and public interaction and imaginatively programmed feature films, shorts, documentaries, animation and new cinema from around the world, which will bring new and engaged audiences to downtown Ventura as well as other venues in Ventura County.
More details on website:

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