“It probably was our most successful opening day ever,” Sterling Anno said of Sunday’s first day of this year’s weeklong Oceanside International Film Festival. Anno said about 200 people attended the red-carpet event.
He’s hoping for just as great a closing day this coming Sunday when, in conjunction with the 40th anniversary of the first “Star Wars” film, Alan Roderick-Jones, a set designer who worked on that movie, will be given a lifetime-achievement award.
Anno, co-chair of the event, hasn’t been with the festival since its beginning to make comparisons, but he is surrounded by people, like co-chair Anita Romaine, who have.
He’s taken over this year from Dmitriy Demidov, who had helped steer the festival since its reawakening in 2012. Job obligations have forced Demidov to give up his local volunteer activities.
The festival actually began in 2009, but then was on hiatus until 2012.
Underwritten by the Oceanside Cultural Arts Foundation, itself more than 25 years old, the film festival has run every year since 2012.
It has grown from 25 films in 2009 to 70 this year.
And it has lived up to the word “international” in its title. Films have come from as nearby as Carlsbad and as far away as Sweden, Germany and Turkey.
They are independent films, judged twice: by a jury and by the audience.
Often, the awards are not the same. In general, the audience, which tends to be local, is more apt to vote for American-made films, but Anno said one year a whole contingent came from Israel without even knowing if its film had won.
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