The Anaheim International Film Festival (AIFF), not to be confused with the ongoing movie-promoting theme park at Harbor and Katella, debuts in October, "marking the addition of a world-class cultural event to Orange County and the international film festival circuit," according to organizers. The inaugural festival will include about 200 films screened from October 13-17 at the Anaheim GardenWalk shopping and entertainment complex near Disneyland.
"Anaheim is the ideal place to host an international film festival, with its community focus, cultural diversity and prime location," says Sinan Kanatsiz, co-founder and chairman of AIFF, in a press statement.
His event aims to showcase the latest independent feature and student films, documentaries, live action shorts and animation from across America and the world. Besides film screenings, the five-day festival will include master classes and workshops taught by industry professionals, and star-studded gala events.
To attain its goal of attracting thousands of festivalgoers, the AIFF has snagged an important partner.
No, not Goofy. Mayor Curt Pringle!
"As part of Anaheim's dedication to innovation, I am proud to support the first ever Anaheim International Film Festival in our great city," Pringle says in the same statement. "This is a unique opportunity to bring the community together for both learning and entertainment. We are especially excited about the AIFF Youth Education Program, which will promote arts and media literacy among Anaheim youth."
Don't worry, the higher power lording over Pringle has also climbed aboard.
"We are very proud to be a founding sponsor of Anaheim's inaugural International Film Festival," says George Kalogridis, Disneyland Resort president. "Our company has a rich history of creative storytelling and quality entertainment that makes this a natural fit for us.
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"Locally, we support arts education efforts to cultivate the next generation of artists, including filmmakers. We look forward to being a part of this landmark festival."
Kanatsiz says having the support of the city and businesses--including Anaheim's largest--fills him with confidence about the inaugural event's success.
Film entries are now being accepted. The festival is open to U.S. and foreign films in five categories: narrative features, live action and animated shorts, documentaries and student films. For full entry guidelines and to download an entry form, visit anaheimfilm.org.
Sponsorships are also available for local and national businesses that would like to be associated with this "historic celebration of movie magic."