Fall Film Fest Season Kicks Off With SoCal Film Festival in Huntington Beach

Start working out those eyeballs, Orange County. This fall is going to be given over to back-to-back film festivals, the first a returner to Huntington Beach and the second an inaugural run in Anaheim.

Both events will give significant screen time to the works of local filmmakers, from students to seasoned pros.

Up first is the 2010 SoCal Film Festival, which moves into Huntington Beach Central Library Sept. 28 through Oct. 2 with more than 90 films and various special events.

The 7 p.m. Sept. 28 opener is Walter Georis' documentary Shaped, which is about the Southern California board-shaper pioneers of the 1960s. Your guide is Endless Summer II's Robert "Wingnut" Weaver, who swaps stories with the likes of Corky Carroll, Steve Pezman, Bruce Brown, Dana Brown, Tom Morey, Pat O'Connell and many others. Here is the trailer:

That same evening brings the world premiere of Gary Has No Pants, a romantic comedy of mistaken identity featuring UC Irvine graduate Kristin Keating and former Orange County residents Felix Rodriguez and Jeff Brotherton.

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Other Orange County-tinged productions include: Anaheim filmmaker Kinan Kotrash's 7 O'Clock; Over a Cup of Joe from Irvine's Marla Hammons; Retracing Your Steps from Chapman University's Aaron Behl; and Lien on Me, which was made by Huntington Beach's David Beatty.

There's also: Brett Carlson's Take My Wife, which was filmed in Huntington Beach; Orange resident Justin Lusky's The Action Hero's Guide to Saving Lives; One Dance, which Cal State Fullerton faculty member Stephanie T. Keefer helmed and shot in Rancho Santa Margarita; and former Surf City resident Claudia Castello's Samba.

Other fest flicks of note include: Ford Austin's cloned serial killer horror/comedy Dahmer vs. Gacy, starring Harland Williams and Art LeFleur; the horror/mockumentary Pushin' Up Daisies, the drama A Marine Story, which is about a highly decorated female Marine whose return home is shrouded in mystery; and Exodus Fall, a drama set in 1974 Texas with Rosanna Arquette and Jesse James (the young actor not to be confused with the Long Beach/Sunset Beach greaseball who split from Sandy Bullock). Here's the trailer to that last one:

International selections come from such countries as Mexico, Canada, Estonia, Australia, France, Ireland, Columbia and the UK. Boatloads of shorts organized in drama, comedy, animated, documentary, sci fi/fantasy and "Off-the-Beaten Path" (for filmgoers "with more adult sensibilities") are bundled together. And special events include the red carpet kickoff, panel discussions, two live performances by "the groovy Orange County comedy duo Piper and Tupper" and the closing day awards ceremony.

The library theater is at 7111 Talbert Ave., Huntington Beach. General admission for short film collections is $5, and it's $7 for feature films. An all-fest pass costs $30 while it's $20 for a Friday/Saturday-only pass. For general information, call 800.714.5976 or for complete listings and showtimes, visit socalfilmfest.com.

This took more room than I anticipated, so for details about the Anaheim International Film Festival, check the next post.

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