The Ventura Film Festival

by David Pu’u


It is in the oldest tradition of all cultures and dates back to a time when the world was populated by tribal cultures. "It" being the art of telling a good tale. Storytelling today takes on many forms. One of the most broadly comprehensive and public of arts is the craft of filmmaking. Utilizing the disciplines of writing, cinematic technique, and virtually any creative arts one may wish to implement in order to spin a story, cinema has the power to serve, entertain, inspire, outrage, or most importantly, to galvanize the tribe or community.
A group of Venturans under the impetus of writer-director Lorenzo DeStefano has formed in recent months in order to bring a world class film festival to Ventura. The growing number of supporters and community sponsors of the Ventura Film Festival believe that the perfect cultural climate exists for starting a dynamic, collaborative, and imaginative film and new media event in our city.
According to VFF Board member David Armstrong of Ventura’s Project Encore, the theme of the Festival is "Authenticity". The Festival will feature international narrative, documentary, animation and video art & performance. It will also draw talents from Brooks Institute and from the vast pool of knowledge and experience lying dormant in our own region.
The "NEIGHBORHOOD CINEMA" program is an Arts Education component at the heart of the Ventura Film Festival. As expressed by Festival Director Lorenzo DeStefano, "This innovative and exciting outreach effort is a direct and highly interactive means of empowering those whose stories and experiences are routinely overlooked due to cultural, age, gender, racial and economic factors. It is our primary goal to weave these and other marginalized voices into the fabric of Ventura life, drawing on the vast pool of knowledge and experience lying dormant in our own community."
VFF Board Members Robert Catalusci, a video artist, and Ventura filmmaker and educator Brent Huffman, believe that an inclusive and diverse film festival can and will promote understanding by integrating local voices with global visions. The organizers are designing an event that will add a welcome dose of creative inspiration and fun to an expanding number of viewers and filmmakers as the Festival matures. The goal is to reach out and inspire Ventura’s arts and cultural interests as well as benefit the business community. Through imaginative and innovative programming, the Ventura Film Festival, (Friday March 27 thru Sunday March 29, 2009 at the Elks Lodge, 11 S. Ash St, Ventura), will foster a cross cultural dialogue that will help it become a key and lasting part of our city's arts and cultural evolution.
A LAUNCH PARTY & BENEFIT AUCTION for the Ventura Film Festival will be held on Sunday, December 7, 2008 @ 5pm at the CandleLight Kitchen & Bar, 211 E. Santa Clara St., Ventura. Please contact Festival Director Lorenzo DeStefano for further information on this event and to become supporters and community sponsors of the Ventura Film Festival.

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