Yesterday I attended a fantastic short film festival nearby called the Santa Monica International Film Festival. It was very small but had extremely high quality short films. It was also free, unless you wanted to pay the $30 to help support their efforts to promote film. They screened a very fine selection of shorts, all capably presented by the affable and engaging host Robert Rusler, a successful actor. They also had a legal seminar about the importance of good legal counsel in developing films of any nature, put on by Wolk & Levine, a law firm that also was one of the sponsors. And they had free beer and pizza at the Awards Party at the end, too!
“The Santa Monica International Film Festival (SMFF) is produced by the non-profit Malibu Film Foundation. The Festival is organized by volunteer professional filmmakers that actively make films, television and other entertainment based content.” From their website smff.org. Their goal is to give a place for emerging filmmakers to show their work, network and provide resources and grants to further filmmaking.
The Malibu Film Foundation has one film they produced called Who’s Driving Doug which you can see on Netflix. They are currently looking for another film to produce.
I would encourage anyone working in film to attend this wonderful little festival. The folks there all love film as I do, and are some of the nicest and most encouraging people I’ve met in some time. Any aspiring actor, screenwriter, producer and/or director would do well to seek them out.
As for the shorts screened yesterday, they were all top shelf. The festival is certainly well curated. Some that stood out in my mind are (in no particular order): "City of Dreams," "The Lake," "Move Me," "Cora," "One Smart Fellow" (starring Timothy Busfield, from the TV show Thirty Something) and "Goldilocks." I also enjoyed "The Love Effect" which won the Audience Choice Award.
For more information about the film festival, visit their website smff.org. I also posted more photos from the festival on my Flickr page. See you there next year!