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April 8-9 film festival transcends borders

Director Rodrigo Garcia on hand for April 8 screening

The Monterey Bay Film Festival is back for its fourth year and it’s bigger and better than ever.

Now under the auspices of the newly formed Monterey Bay Film Society, the festival has grown to two days and a pair of locations.

This year’s festival will be held April 8 and 9. It opens with a showing of the Mexican film, Revolucion, at 7 p.m., April 8, at Lighthouse Cinema in Pacific Grove. Tickets are $9 for general admission, $6.50 for students.

One hundred years after the Mexican Revolution, 10 Mexican directors collaborated on the film, reflecting on the meaning of revolution in contemporary Mexico. It’s made up of 10 films, each 10 minutes long, and showcases a wide range of voices from the vibrant Mexican film scene.

One of those voices, Rodrigo Garcia, will be on hand to introduce the film and answer questions after the showing. Son of Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez, he directed the film’s final segment, called “7th and Alvarado,” referring to a Latino area of Los Angeles.

Garcia (pictured at left) has directed episodes for HBO series including The Sopranos, Six Feet Under and Big Love. His film credits include Nine Lives, Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her, and Mother and Child, which was shown at last year’s Sundance Film Festival.

On Saturday, April 9, the festival moves to California State University, Monterey Bay’s World Theater on Sixth Avenue. Saturday’s screenings are free, but reservations are requested and can be made here.

Young filmmakers will be in the spotlight as 16 short works – all under 5 minutes – will be shown starting at 1 p.m. Doors open at 12:30 p.m.

Some of the films were submitted by local teenagers, some come from overseas. Several were made by CSUMB students. Teen films include an animation from Afghanistan and local films from Rancho Cielo, the Boys and Girls Clubs, and a music video made at the Salinas Public Library.

About 3 p.m., “True Stories,” a program of innovative short films curated by Mike Plante, will be screened. Since 2002, Plante has worked as a programmer with the Sundance Film Festival and as director of programming with CineVegas.

The Monterey Bay Film Society is presented by CSUMB’s Teledramatic Arts and Technology Department. Its inaugural event was held March 5, when the documentary “I Am Secretly an Important Man” was shown at the Osio Theater in Monterey. Peter Sillen, the film’s director, was on hand to answer questions from the audience.

Driving directions and a campus map are available here. For information on the festival, call Jennifer Benge at (831) 582-3743 or visit the web.