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SLO film fest opens March 6

Modified: Monday, Mar 4th, 2013

SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY — The San Luis Obispo International Film Festival opens on Wednesday, March 6 and will feature a variety of North County residents in a variety of roles.

Atascadero resident Randy Allen filmed and edited two films in the Central Coast Filmmakers Showcase category. “Syuxtun” will play at Galaxy Theatres on Sunday, March 10 at 1 p.m. Allen was second camera and editor to the 29-minute film that was shot exclusively in Atascadero. The film was directed by Lynn Manzella and Michael Silva was the director of photography. Adam Ruiz of Atascadero wrote the script and played one of the leading roles. The film was done by students from the Workforce Investment Act Youth Employment Program in Atascadero and paid for by a federal grant through Cuesta College.

The students worked together for nine months before filming the docudrama. The students — all 19 and 20 years of age — decided that they wanted to make a horror movie. He said that Cuesta almost did not approve it, but in the end said it would OK if there was no blood or gore. Though Allen said there’s a bit of blood, but most of the horror is in the build up and perceived blood and gore.

“They wound up with a pretty cool little movie,” Allen said.

Because the movie was only 20 minutes long on its own and, Allen said, because the students’ journey making the film was interesting, he wove a featurette into the movie.

“I thought the story about them was as interesting,” Allen said.

“Syuxtun” will be shown at Galaxy Theatres on Sunday, March 10 at 1 p.m.

The second film Allen shot and edited was “The Redemption of the Monster of Piedras Blancas,” which was a remake of a remake. The original film was shot in Cayucos in 1959 and was remade by a 14-year-old Kim Eastman in the early 1970s. While Eastman now lives in Australia, her mother still lives in Cayucos and she spends six week there every year. For her visit last year, she decided to remake the film she did at 14. She put out an ad on Craigslist and Kerrigan Mahan’s wife saw the ad and told him that he had to do it. Mahan directed along with Scott Stevenson. Allen was brought in to film and edit the 25-minute film.

The film is described as a “modern fairy tale” that is set in a sleepy beach town. In it a young surfer girl and her dog venture out for a day of surfing and find more than just waves.

Allen has lived in Atascadero for four years, but has been in the county since 2000. He said he got his first Apple computer when he was 13 and got started in video editing. He has a variety of projects going on, including shooting the progress of the City Administration Building renovation for Bernards.

“Redemption of the Monster of Piedras Blancas” will be shown on Sunday, March 10 at 4 p.m. at Downtown Cinemas in San Luis Obispo.

Showing at the same time as “Syuxtun” will be a two-minute film by 2008 Atascadero High School graduate Joey Blackburn. The Paso Robles resident’s film, “Voting Room,” is about a teenager that has just reached the age where he can vote.

“He can’t decide whether to vote Democrat or Republican,” Blackburn said.

While the young man stands in the voting booth, the Republican comes to come and spouts all the reasons to vote Republican; that candidate fades and the Democratic appears and does the same, but tells him all the reasons to vote Democrat.

To find out what happens, see Blackburn’s film on Sunday, March 10 at 1 p.m. at Galaxy Theatres.

Blackburn said he originally the film was a project for a high school class.

“I decided to come up with a story that had to do with government, essentially,” Blackburn said.

Blackburn graduated from California State University Monterey Bay last spring and moved back to Paso Robles, where he had lived since he was 5.

“I wanted to do film making since I was a senior in high school,” Blackburn said. “When I was a senior in high school I watched a short film that was made in the late silent era and I played a song with it [that corresponded with it].”

This is Blackburn’s first film in the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival, but not his first film to be shown at a film festival.

He has been touring his senior thesis project around the country. It won for best editing at a film festival in Florida and at comedy film festival in Colorado. While his film has been shown around the county, Blackburn himself has not attended a film festival outside of California.

Blackburn has aspirations to move to the Los Angeles area to pursue filmmaking.

For more information about the film festival or to purchase tickets, go to Tickets for regular screenings are $10 for general admission and $8 for students and SLOIFF Film Society. It is recommended that movie goers arrive to the theater at least 20 to 30 minutes before each screening.

Film festival events at Galaxy Theatres in Atascadero

Thursday, March 7

6 p.m.: “Grease” sing-along, followed by “Hollywood & Vines” at 7 p.m.

Friday, March 8

4 p.m.: “Stuck”

7 p.m.: “One Good Reason”

Saturday, March 9

1 p.m.: “Dislecksia The Movie”

4 p.m.: “Behind the Mirrors” (Detras del Espejo)

4 p.m.: “Death by China 2.0”

Sunday, March 10

1 p.m.: Juvenille Confinement,” “Last Chance,” “Syuxtun” and “Voting Room”

4 p.m.: “Kinshasa Symphony”

Events at Park Cinemas in Paso Robles

Thursday, March 7

7 p.m.: “Playing with Magic”

Friday, March 8

4 p.m.: “Book Club,” followed by the short film, “Fabrica de Munecas”

7 p.m.: “Somm”

Saturday, March 9

1 p.m.: “Cheerful Weather for a Wedding”

4 p.m.: “We The Owners” and “Matriarche”

Sunday, March 10

1 p.m.: “Towing” and “Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines”

4 p.m.: “The Invisible War” and “Tilt, Fray”

For the complete article see the 03-01-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 03-01-2013 paper.

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