STOCKTON, CA – The Red ribbon was cut at the 4th International Film Festival Kick off at Stockton, CA Empire Theater. The Stockton-based film society has assembled a collection of award-winning and educational films for this year’s festival that opens at Stockton’s Empire Theatre March 17 and closes at Modesto’s State Theatre March 26.
“Our selections for this year’s festival run the gamut from ‘Bhutto,’ a riveting documentary about Benazir Bhutto – Pakistan’s powerful female leader who was assassinated in 2007 – to the adult tragicomedy ‘Vincent Wants to Sea,’” says festival film selection coordinator Shane Williamson, who adds, “Our goal is to present the best in ‘world cinema’ and the program we’ve assembled accomplishes that in a very powerful way.”
In addition to the presentation of international films, SJIFF4 includes an educational film symposium, works by local filmmakers, live music and after parties in Stockton and Modesto.
Advance tickets for all shows can be purchased online at www.sjiff.org/tickets. To purchase advance tickets online for screenings at The State Theatre visit www.thestate.org. To purchase tickets for The State in person, visit the box office at 1307 J St., Modesto from noon to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. To purchase tickets by phone call 209-527-4697. For film details and movie trailers visit www.sjiff.org.
SJIFF 2011 Venues
• Stockton Empire Theatre: 1825 Pacific Avenue, Stockton, CA 95204. (March 17-19, 2011)
• Tillie Lewis Theatre at San Joaquin Delta College: 5151 Pacific Avenue, Stockton, CA 95207. (March 20, 2011)
• The State Theatre: 1307 J Street, Modesto, CA 95354. (March 25-26, 2011)
Thursday, March 17 — Empire Theatre, Stockton
• 7 p.m. OPENING NIGHT: “The First Beautiful Thing (La Prima Cosa Bella)” (122min.; Directed by Paolo Virzì; Italy) – A lighthearted comedy about a misanthropic professor who returns to his hometown to assist his dying mother. The film was Italy’s official Academy Award submission to the Best Foreign Language Film category. Starring Valerio Mastandrea. In Italian with English subtitles. (Admission: $10.)
• 9:30pm – After Party at La Palma: 2301 Pacific Avenue, Stockton. (Film and party package $20)
Friday, March 18 — Empire Theatre, Stockton
• 6 p.m. – TEEN TRUTH Film Festival: Young filmmakers ages 12-24, from across the country will showcase their films (www.teentruthlive.com). Live performances by teenage artists include a vocal solo by Manteca native Cheyenne Milligan; an acoustic set by Morgan Manifacier; Hip Hop freestyle by Delta College’s Hip Hop Congress; and a spoken word performance from With Our Words. (Admission: $6.)
• 8:30pm – CENTERPIECE FILM: “Undertow (Contracorriente)” (100min.; Directed by Javier Fuentes-León; Peru, Colombia) – Peruvian director Javier Fuentes-Leon’s illuminating and fearlessly honest portrait of a poor, married fisherman who struggles to reconcile his devotion to his male lover with his town’s rigid traditions. Peru’s national entry to the 2011 Academy Awards. Starring Tatiana Astengo, Manolo Cardona and Cristian Mercado. In Spanish with English subtitles. The short film “SIS” (11mins; Directed by Deborah Haywood; UK) will precede the Centerpiece Film. (Admission: $10.)
Saturday, March 19 – San Joaquin Office of Education backlot (SJCOEbacklot)
• 1 to 4 p.m. – TEEN TRUTH Film Symposium: The film symposium will feature local filmmakers Matt Marconi (Producing – “Truce”), Scott Duns (Acting – “Bad Faith”), and Erahm Christopher (Directing – “TEEN TRUTH: Body Image”). San Joaquin County Office of Education (SJCOE back lot) at 2911 Transworld Dr., Stockton. (Admission: Free)
Saturday, March 19 – Empire Theatre, Stockton
• 1 p.m. – “Bhutto” (111min.; Documentary; Directed by Duane Baughman, Johnny O’Hara; USA, UK) – A riveting documentary about the rise to power and assassination of Pakistan’s Benazir Bhutto, the first woman in history to lead a Muslim nation. In English. (Admission: $8.)
• 3:30 p.m. – “Eleanor’s Secret” (80 min.; Directed by Dominique Monfery; France) – In this animated tale, a 7-year-old boy must protect all of the heroes found in children’s literature! In English (dubbed). Appropriate for the whole family. (Admission: $8.)
• 5:30 p.m. – “Vision – From the Life of Hildegard Von Bingen (Aus dem Leben der Hildegard von Bingen)” (110min.; Directed by Margarethe von Trotta; Germany) – A drama about the composer and religious visionary German nun Hildegard Von Bingen. Starring Barbara Sukowa. In German and Latin with English subtitles. Short Film: “A Musing” (10 min.; Directed by David Spies; USA) will precede the feature film. (Admission: $10.00)
• 8:30 p.m. – “The Human Resources Manager” (103 min.; Directed by Eran Riklis; Israel) – A tragic-comedy about a human resources manager whose mission takes him to the boondocks of Eastern Europe to meet the bereaved relatives of a murdered employee. Israel’s national entry to the 2011 Academy Awards. Starring Mark Ivanir. In Hebrew, English and Romanian with English subtitles. (Admission: $10.)
Sunday, March 20 – Tillie Lewis Theatre, Stockton
FREE admission all day
• 2 p.m. - “Kids With Cameras” (52 min.; Documentary; Directed by Alex Rotaru; USA) – Follows the progress, challenges and triumphs of a group of autistic children ages 11 to 19 as they attend a film camp hosted by non-profit organization Actors for Autism taught by award-winning educator Brad Koepenick. In English.
• 4 p.m. - “Broadcasting Sunshine” (30 min.; Directed by Rick Cortez, Melissa Deverell, MJ Garcia, Carla Jay, Kitty Kennedy, Solomon Stadnter, Fia Fiasco; submitted by a Stockton filmmaker) A Work-in-Progress Screening by students from San Joaquin Delta College. Preceded by short film: “Whitebread & Goatman” (7 min.; Directed by Modesto filmmaker Steve Hosford). In English.
• 6 p.m. – Live music performed from the original score “Livin’ by the Gun.”
• 6:30 p.m. – “Livin’ by the Gun” (90 min.; Directed by local filmmaker James Miller) Set in the California Gold Country during the late 180’s, “Livin’ by the Gun” is a cautionary folktale of betrayal, redemption and death. The main character, Uncle, becomes a heartless hired killer when his dream of a normal life is shattered. Twenty years after tragedy destroyed his dream, Uncle returns to the remnants of his family homestead where he is confronted by his headstrong niece. In English. A Q&A session will follow the screening.
Donations are encouraged for all free screenings at Tillie Lewis Theatre.
Friday, March 25 – The State Theatre, Modesto
• 7 p.m. - “Road, Movie” (95min.; Directed by Dev Benegal; India, USA) – A film based out of India about a young man’s journey across the mythic Indian landscape, where he and fellow travelers embark on a life-changing odyssey with a traveling cinema. Starring Abhay Deol. In Hindi with English subtitles. (Admission: $10.)
Saturday, March 26 - The State Theatre, Modesto
• 2 p.m. - “The Illusionist (L’illusionniste)” (Rated PG; 80min.; Directed by Sylvain Chomet; UK, France) – A French cinema manager, forced to accept increasingly obscure assignments, meets a young fan who changes his life forever. Animated. In English, French, Gaelic and English with English subtitles. (Admission: $8.)
• 4:30 p.m. – “The Frontier Boys” (85min.; Directed by John Grooters; USA) – The Frontier Boys is the story of four high school boys whose undefeated basketball season and friendship are threatened after a drive-by shooting leaves one of them in a coma and one of them with a secret. In English. (Admission: $8.)
• 7 p.m. – CLOSING NIGHT FILM: “Vincent Wants to Sea (Vincent will meer)” (96min.; Directed by Ralf Huettner; Germany) – Vincent suffers from Tourette’s Syndrome and, after his mother’s death, is institutionalized by his father. He ultimately escapes with two fellow patients — an anorexic named Marie and the obsessive-compulsive Alexander – and together they travel to the seas off Italy to grant his mother’s dying wish. Written and starring Florian David Fitz. In German with English subtitles. (Admission: $10.00)
• 9 p.m. – After Party at Concetta: 1205 J Street, Modesto. (Admission: $10.)
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