“Mi Tierra” by Joey Gonzales Wins 5th Annual IC Film Festival

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Film Festival 2

HOLTVILLE — Last Friday and Saturday, film artists and others gathered to display and talk about their works in the 5th annual Imperial County Film Festival at the Barbara Worth County Club in Holtville.

These artists showcased their art over two days at the Barbara Worth Country Club. In attendance were directors and actors who walked around and mingled with guests throughout the weekend.

In the main hall an art gallery displayed works of sculpture, paintings, and photography by Sergio Bastidas, Bob Zahn, Sergio Gayton, and Leslie Lara.

One artist was documentary director, Ari Levinson, who was in attendance for his film, “This Is Not a Club.” The director followed a group of high school students through the highly competitive world of speech contests. His film opened the festival and shed light into numerous aspects of kids maturing and competing.

Going over techniques in shooting this movie, Ari Levinson provided information on what it takes to be a successful filmmaker, and to shoot the film. He spoke on the drama they were able to capture through the four-hundred hours of shooting. “This Is Not A Club” is expected to be on Netflix Streaming later on this year.

This year, 18 different directors with 18 different short films were displayed and judged in nine different categories. The best overall work of the festival being “Mi Tierra” by Joey Gonzales. The best actor went to Eduardo DeColosio of the same film. Best Direction went to Eduardo Maytorena with the feature film, “Soledad”. Best short film went to “If Only”, by David Malley. Best Depiction of Valley Life went to “La Cuenta Por Favor.” Up & Coming Filmmaker went to Jezai Torres, and the audience favorite went to “The Red River Valley.”

This Film Festival was put on by the Imperial County Film Commissioner Charla Teeters-Stewart. In 2014, the film commission helped bring in over 62 projects, which represented roughly $3.3 million spent on valley services alone.

The Imperial Valley has held venue to numerous major motion picture sets in the past, most notably Jarhead, Into the Wild, and the Scorpion King. The opportunities for production companies to shoot here come by way of the Imperial County Film Commission; who markets county locations to production companies for shooting purposes.