Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Do a Google search on "digital film festival." Topping the list of returns is the Paso Robles Digital Film Festival, the second installment of the forward-thinking and, by contrast, rural event that debuted last year with fanfare and appearances from Clint and son Kyle Eastwood, Kevin Bacon, Ramblin' Jack Elliot, Eagles songwriter Jack Tempchin, Johnny Rivers and others. They advertise the event as running Nov. 20-24; their website contains a partial schedule.
This year's line-up is equally stacked. Live music from the Jack Tempchin Band; awards going to Youth Symphony founder Dr. Wachtang "Botso" Korishli; a tribute to the late Les Paul by Kenny Lewis of Steve Miller Band; the world premiers of four films including The Challenge of Champions; visits by comedian Charlie Hill, marathon runner Tim Boreland, Walt Disney composer in residence George Wilkins, film and media figures Max Gail, Gary Conway and Chris Andrews; magic by Rich Ferguson and more.
Monday focuses on "The State of Fate of Children," a special day of documentaries—including Autism: The Musical, Spitting Game, Virtual JFK and the locally produced Boyhood Shadows: I Swore I'd Never Tell—that expose and chronicle abuse, autism, homelessness, kidnappings and other issues revolving around children, with special recognition given to filmmakers, journalists and producers who cover those topics.
Ken Kragen, a former Paso Robles resident who co-created the We Are the World and Hands Across America charity mega-events, will receive the festival's Humanitarian Award, with a keynote speech by Mark Lunsford, whose daughter's rape and murder sparked his efforts to create Jessica's Law. The children's forum includes Oscar- and Golden Globe-winning actress and children's rights advocate Kathleen Quinlan, CEO and founder of Tower of Youth William Bronston M.D., and many more child advocates.
In keeping with the exploration of the new media, this year's events will be webcast on social media sites like FaceBook, MySpace, Twitter, YouTube and others, though their own website at www.pasoroblesfilmfestival.com, as of Nov. 18, was still partly under construction. An e-mail message to email@example.com or a phone call to 323-850-8919 might be in order to find more information and secure tickets.