On our show October 18, 2012at 7pm KZSC Santa Cruz 88.1 features Consuelo Alba, directory of the documentary ” Common Ground” which will be premiering at the 24th Annual Pacific Rim Film Festival, Ocotober 21 & 24th.
Here’s the teaser for Common Ground about Watsonville’s Pajaro Valley Art Gallery and its lively, multicultural celebration of the annual Dia de Muertos, or Day of the Dead.
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FREE Screenings, Filmmaker Discussions Oct. 19-24, 2012
Since 1988, Pacific Rim Film Festival has brought life to its slogan, “When Strangers Meet,” by introducing our community to hundreds of feature films and documentaries from around the world. The 2012 season, which takes place October 19-24, continues that inspiring tradition.
PRFF 2012 is presented by George Ow Family Properties with support from UCSC and funded in part by a grant from the Cultural Council of Santa Cruz County. As always, all screenings are offered FREE with the exception of a benefit event the last day of the festival.
This season, twenty films will be screened at a record five locations. The Del Mar Theatre, Rio Theatre and Watsonville Center, Cabrillo College will again be screening sites, with the addition this year of the Riverfront Stadium Twin and the Crocker Theater, Aptos campus of Cabrillo College. The final benefit event takes place Wednesday, Oct. 24, at the Rio Theatre.
The festival opens Friday, Oct. 19, at the Del Mar Theatre with a screening of Noodle, an Israeli feature film directed by Ayelet Menehaemi; in this heart-warming story, a Tel Aviv widow finds herself responsible for a precocious little Chinese boy when his mother is inexplicably deported. Second on the opening night bill is The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls, by New Zealander Leanne Pooley. This documentary about two irrepressible and irresistible activists – who also happen to be yodelers, twins and lesbians – promises to be a local favorite.
As in the past, free question-and-answer sessions with filmmakers will follow select screenings. Directors present this year include three Santa Cruz locals: Marc Smolowitz, Gustavo Vazquez and Sasha Friedlander.
Schedule for Q&A sessions with filmmakers and the final benefit event:
Jake Simabukuro: Life on Four Strings
With director Takashi Nakamura
Playing With Fire
With director Gustavo Vazquez
The Power of Two
With director Marc Smolowitz
Where Heaven Meets Hell
With director Sasha Friedlander
PRFF Benefit Event
Mariachi Gringo With Mariachi California de Javier Vargas mariachi band live
This year’s 20 PRFF films come from Burma, Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, China, Mexico, the Philippines, New Zealand, South Korea, Papua New Guinea and the U.S. mainland.
The films range from touching dramas to hilarious comedies; numerous thought-provoking documentaries are featured this year, including four by award-winning local filmmakers:
• Marc Smolowitz, director of The Power of Two, is an Academy Award nominee who lectures in
UCSC’s Film & Digital department. His film is a thoughtful look at two Japanese half-sisters who refuse to be defined by their cystic fibrosis and instead become athletes, authors and global advocates.
• Playing With Fire, directed by UCSC associate professor Gustavo Vazquez (and co-produced with former UCSC Assistant Dean of Arts Keith Muscutt) is a colorful portrait of a tiny community high in the Peruvian Andes as it prepares for a riotous annual festival that includes traditional handmade fireworks.
• Where Heaven Meets Hell, directed by Santa Cruz native Sasha Friedlander, is a visually stunning, sobering film that follows four sulfur miners in East Java as they brave toxic fumes, carrying 200-pound bags of sulfur out of an active volcano area and risking their lives to support their families.
• Common Ground, directed by Consuelo Alba, is a colorful documentary about Watsonville’s Pajaro Valley Art Gallery and its lively, multicultural celebration of the annual Dia de Muertos, or Day of the Dead.
On Wednesday, Oct. 24, a special benefit event features a screening of Mariachi Gringo, directed by Tom Gustafson and with Grammy-nominated singer Lila Downs.. This lighthearted but heartfelt feature film is about a young man who runs away from his middle-America life to follow his dream of becoming a mariachi player. The event also includes a live mariachi band performance by Mariachi California de Javier Vazquez.
Proceeds from the benefit support PRFF; benefit tickets are $15 and are available at Bookshop Santa Cruz and online at www.brownpapertickets.com, as well as before and after each film screening.
Originally inspired by the Hawaii International Film Festival, the first Pacific Rim Film Festival was held in 1988 at the Del Mar Theatre. Films are chosen to reflect the festival’s theme, “When Strangers Meet,” which expresses PRFF’s dedication to promoting cross-cultural communication and understanding.
For more information, visit the festival web site: www.pacrimfilmfestival.org
Some films have adult themes and are not suitable for children (not all films are rated)
Many screenings play to capacity audiences: seating is first-come, first-seated
Early arrival is recommended