The Long Beach International Film Festival celebrated the art of storytelling through cinema on Aug. 30; presenting shorts, fiction and documentary films on the boardwalk and beach outside of the Allegria Hotel.
“The event definitely exceeded our expectation,” said Christine Lopez, director of public relations for the LBIFF. “We had a wonderful turnout and very positive feedback.”
This year’s festival showcased nine short films that were 15 minutes or less, including “Stacked,” which follows local professional surfer Balaram Stack and his involvement in the Quicksilver Pro New York last year.
“Stacked,” directed by Patrick Cummings and E.J. McLeavey-Fisher, was first shown at the first-ever Surf Movie Night in April, hosted by the Long Beach Surfer’s Association, SMASH (Surf-Movies-Art-Shaping-History) and Unsound surf shop. The film was also part of the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year.
“We had worked very closely with the people who had produced that film,” Lopez said, adding that Stack attended and stayed for the entire event. “We were ecstatic that we had the opportunity to work with them and to meet him [Balaram] and be able to show the film. It was fantastic.”
The film festival served as a free event preview for a full-fledged event scheduled for next summer.
“Next year we’re looking to really broaden the scope of the event,” Lopez said. “It’s going to be a multi-day event with multiple screenings. We’re not just going to have beach screenings, we’re going to screen in different venues and expand what we’re doing for the filmmakers themselves; giving them the opportunity not only to showcase their work and to give them publicity, but give them a chance to network with each other.”
Lopez said that the importance of the event was to promote the talent of local filmmakers and, “to bring awareness to the city of Long Beach as well as Nassau County at large as a viable place for filmmakers to be able to come with their projects.”
“Just being able to promote the work of these very talented and creative people that we had an opportunity to meet, and their films were so powerful,” she said.