SANTA MONICA—The 11th Annual Santa Monica International Film Festival will occur on Saturday, July 9 and Sunday, July 10 with short films to be shown from around the world, according to a press release from the city of Santa Monica. “[The] Festival is FREE, a great couple hours of cinema that will provide a unique and powerful glimpse into the minds of young people all across the globe,” Justin Yoffe, Cultural Affairs Supervisor, told Canyon News in an email.
There will be 36 films that are on average four minutes in length shown over the two-day festival chosen from over 400 submissions, an increase from last year’s over 300 submissions Yoffe told Canyon News. The submissions come from around the world including the United States, Hong Kong, Pakistan, Iran, Thailand, Mexico, India, Russia, Ireland, England, and Canada.
Each screening will be less than two hours. This first screening will take place on July 9 from 7-9 p.m. The screening is rated PG-13 for occasional violence and mature themes and will be located at the Ann and Jerry Moss Theater. The theater is located at the New Roads High School at 3131 Olympic Boulevard.
The second screening will take place on July 10 from 2-4 p.m. The screening is rated G and is family friendly with animated works and documentaries. It will be located at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Library at 601 Santa Monica Boulevard.
Local filmmakers will also be represented at the festival from Santa Monica High School, New Roads High School, and Harvard Westlake. Silas Mitchel and Wesley Clark from New Roads High School will be showing their comedy “The Vision.” Dora Schoenberg, Elly Hong, Felix Audelo Riuz and Carolina Martinez directed the local film “The Story of Three Rings: A Memoir of Dana Schwartz” that was produced by the Los Angeles Museum of the holocaust. Both of these local films will be showing on Sunday.
Over a dozen awards will be handed out with an “Audience Choice” award handed out at the end of each screening after a live audience ballot is taken at the end of the screening. Other awards include “Best of the Fest,” “Best Animation,” “Best Documentary,” “Best Music/Video Experimental,” and “Best Live Action.”
The overall winner of the festival will win a full ride scholarship to the Relativity School’s three week summer intensive. Relativity School is the first and only school that was created with a major Hollywood studio that offers accredited BFA degrees in Film and Digital Content, Acting, Commercial Dance and Art.
The winner of last year’s film festival was a local. “‘The Rhythm of Healing’ by Harvard Westlake Student Imani Cook-Gist won the Festival with her powerful documentary about the Rwandan Genocide and how every day people heal the wounds through music and dance,” Yoffe told Canyon News.
The free festival will also have complimentary drinks and snacks along with a red carpet and step-and-repeat banners outside each of the venues. The festival was produced by the city of Santa Monica, including the Cultural Affairs Division, the Friends of the Santa Monica Public Library, SMPL Youth Services, the Virginia Avenue Park Teen Center, and City TV.