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The people of Sacramento better be geared up for a week full of local, independent and foreign film and music as the 11th annual Sacramento International Film and Music Festival kicks off its first showing Friday.
The festival is organized by co-directors Nathan Schemel, who also founded the festival, and Tony Sheppard, and will show more than 140 films from July 23 through Aug. 1.
The festival is different from most Sacramento Film Festivals in that it does not have any specific focus.
“The specialty of the festival is that, essentially, we don’t have a specialty,” Sheppard said. “We are all genre, international, submission based. Our programming model is to basically have films sent to us from around the world and just pick the ones we feel are the best.”
The opening film of the festival, which will be played at 8:30 p.m. on Friday, is “Official Rejection” by Paul Osborne, a feature-length documentary about the “trials and tribulations” of entering a film festival.
“For us it was a kind of fun and ironic pick,” Sheppard said, “to not only officially accept ‘Official Rejection,’ but actually to make it the opening night feature.”
After the film, the producer and star will have a Q-and-A session.
Another film to hit the festival this year is a documentary called “Walking Dreams” about performance artist David Garibaldi and his amazing antics with canvas and action-portrait paintings. After the film’s debut on July 29, Garibaldi will have a performance showcasing his talents.
The festival is host to the 10X10 Filmmaker Challenge. Each team gets its assignment and members must write, direct, edit and submit their film within 10 days from the start date. This year, 26 teams entered, and 23 submitted their films.
“I’m happy to be able to jump into this scene,” 10X10 filmmaker Dennis Brodsky said. “You get to know a lot of people that are making films in the area.”
The festival has been a local haven for Sacramento’s booming independent film scene and has made a way for upcoming directors to have their work showcased in a large festival, as all of the 10X10 films, after inspection, are submitted into the festival’s roster.
“I did a lot of projects in school, trying to prepare myself for this,” director Cody Parcell, 25, said. “This is the first real project that I’ve directed and lead and had the final say on. This is the first one that’s all about me, creatively if you will.”
The festival is also the genesis of Sac Music Seen, known for the creation of more than 150 local music videos since it started eight years ago. This year, the festival will show six new videos.
“We decided that we just needed something that was a strong music component,” Sheppard said. “We wanted to combine it with a film component and so the obvious answer was music videos.”
The festival opens this Friday and runs until Sunday, Aug. 1. For more information visit here.