Local and international filmmaking talent will be on display at the fourth annual Channel Islands Indie Film Festival that opens Tuesday.
This year's event will showcase three features, two documentaries and two dozen short films at theaters in Oxnard and Ventura through Sunday.
The festival has grown substantially since it began as a way for local filmmakers to show off their work and meet other filmmakers, said Luis Guereca, the festival's coordinator. In its first year, the festival received about 20 submissions. This year, screeners had to review 150 films.
"We've been able to expand it, especially through the Internet," Guereca said.
But the festival still aims primarily to showcase Ventura County's best.
"There's always the emphasis of looking for strong, local talent," Guereca said. "These are maybe the future Hollywood players."
"Spin," a short, stop-action film, about air-cooling fans that come to life, was created by Dustin McLean and Andre Nguyen, both 21, of Ventura.
The short took about 30 hours to shoot, McLean said. At 24 frames a second, that resulted in a four-minute film. The pair used no editing equipment and shot the whole film frame by frame on their own Sony camera, he said.
"This is just two guys messing around with a video camera," McLean said. "I'm really happy with how it came out. . . . I just want people to see it."
Bret Haley and Rob Hauer of Ventura created "The Last Hello," an 18-minute short about a man who escapes from prison to tell his two sons his long-kept secret.
The duo spent a year writing the script and preparing for production. Shooting took seven days.
"This was the biggest project I've worked on so far," Haley said. "We worked hard on it."'
A black and white short film called "Outer Space," to be shown Friday night at the Experimental Films Showcase, is "really hard to explain," Guereca said. "Visually it's just incredible. It's almost like a nightmare."
Organizers recently received financial help when the California Arts Council pledged the festival $5,000 annually for the next three years, Guereca said.
To prepare for next year, organizers say, they will watch how audiences react to the different types of films.
"We're still trying to get a feel for what films are popular in this area of the county," Guereca said.
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Tickets are $5 for seniors, students with ID and children under 10; and $7 for general admission. An all-access pass for the festival costs $45 for seniors, students and children; $50 for general admission.
Tickets can be purchased in advance at the Inlakech Cultural Arts Center, 937 W. 5th St., Oxnard, or at the door up to 45 minutes before each show.
For tickets and information, call (805) 487-9075 or log onto http://www.channelislandsfilmfestival.com.
The screening schedule is as follows:
Tuesday: "Living the Life," the story of two young Latinas in East Los Angeles, 7 p.m., Century 10 Theaters, 555 E. Main St., Ventura
Thursday: "Thundering 8th," the story of a man's experience as an American fighter pilot in World War II, 7 p.m., Century 10 Theaters, Ventura
Friday: "Education in Resistance" and "Silence of the Zapatistas," two documentaries about struggles in Mexico, 7 p.m., Cafe on A Street, 438 South A St., Oxnard.
10 p.m.: Experimental Films Showcase of "mind-altering short films," including "Rewind," "Her," "Transistor," "Left Sideways," "Perhaps," "Outer Space," "Webdreamer" and "Biker Dave," screened at Cafe on A Street, Oxnard.
Saturday: Short Films Program No. 1, including "Generation Lost," "Spin," "Warm Like Pearls," "Memoria Mortalis" and "The Last Hello,", starting at 2:30 p.m., Channel Islands Cinemas, 101 W. Gonzalez Road, Oxnard.
5 p.m.: Short Films Program No. 2, including "Why I am a Destiny," "Bicycle," "Solo," "3-D," "Banana Shake" and "Death in Los Angeles," screened at Channel Islands Cinemas, Oxnard.
8 p.m.: Awards presentation for best feature, best short, best documentary, and audience favorite, Cafe on A Street, Oxnard.
Sunday: Short Films Program No. 3, including "The Box," "Jacob's Gift," "'Also Known As," "'Misc. Heathens" and "Trade Day," 2:30 p.m., Inlakech Cultural Arts Center, 937 W. 5th St., Oxnard.
5 p.m.: "The Wedding Cow," a German comedy with English subtitles about a group of incompatible companions and a cow, Inlakech Cultural Arts Center, Oxnard.