Festival creates new categories

SDSU Alumnus to show short film

Courtesy of Limelight PR.
Visitors gather at the Pacific Gaslamp Stadium movie theater downtown for last year’s San Diego Film Festival. Of the 1,000 films entered, 100 will be shown.

The end of summer in Hollywood inevitably brings with it the steady release of Oscar-contending movies. In San Diego, it means a competition of a different sort.

The San Diego Film Festival, which showcases 100 documentaries, shorts and feature films out of 1,000 entries, makes its curtain call tomorrow for a five-day run in the Gaslamp Quarter.

Just as the Oscars have adapted to changing times with updated categories, the SDFF has as well. In addition to the creation of the short live-action and the animated films (TORN-Shorts and TWIST-Shorts) categories, the competition now includes a music video category, Film Rocks!, which features entries from local filmmakers and musicians.

“Music is an integral part of film,” said Wally Schlotter, chairman of the SDFF, “and a lot of budding filmmakers can afford to do a music video because it’s only two to three minutes long.”

Schlotter said many of the entries for the Film Rocks! category were done by students from San Diego State.

“Mostly it’s students in the (television, film and new media) department who have friends in a band,” he said.

Film Rocks! debuts at 3 p.m. on Sept. 30 at House of Blues in a program similar to the other short films.

One of those other short films is by SDSU alumnus David Marchesani, who, oddly enough, is not a graduate of the television, film and new media department. Though Marchesani has recently acquired an affinity for it, filmmaking is not his first love.

“My entire career I’ve worked in investment management,” he said. “I think it’s what I’ve always wanted to do.”

When Marchesani was a graduate student, his thesis project led him to an unusual turn in his career path.

“I was getting my master’s in entrepreneurship and I needed to do a thesis project,” he said. “My thesis was that I could use my entrepreneurship education to make an independent movie. The director of an independent movie is very similar to an entrepreneur or a CEO or the founder of a start-up company.”

Marchesani said he wants to continue investment management while pursuing filmmaking on the side. With one feature film under his belt, he is now set to debut his first animated film, a short called “Two Guys and a Battle-Ax.” It’s his first film at the SDFF, and he said he’s eager to show it to an audience.

“It’s a very definitive response that you get,” Marchesani said. “At the end of the day, you have to throw that thing up on a screen and show it to a room full of strangers. They’re either going to like it or they’re not.”

“Two Guys and a Battle-Ax” debuts at 8 p.m. on Friday and plays again at noon on Saturday as part of the TORN-Shorts presentation.

-For more information about the San Diego Film Festival, visit www.sdff.org.

Wednesday, Sept. 27
7 p.m., Feature Film, “A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints”
9 p.m., Sundance Channel / Cox Communications Premiere Party at Stingaree

Thursday, Sept. 28
2:30 p.m., SPARK-Shorts
5:15 p.m., SPITE-Shorts
6 p.m., Chairmen’s Reception at Design Within Reach
6:30 p.m., Sneak Preview – American Screenwriter’s Association Conference

Friday, Sept. 29
3 p.m., SPITE-Shorts
5:30 p.m., SPARK-Shorts
8 p.m., TORN-Shorts
Limelight PR Industry Night Party at
the W hotel

Saturday, Sept. 30
8 a.m., Pitching Day – American Screenwriter’s Association Conference
Noon, TORN-Shorts
2:30 p.m., TWIST-Shorts
3 p.m., Film Rocks Music Videos
4:45 p.m., CRUSH-Shorts
8 p.m., Actor’s Ball and Awards Ceremony at the House of Blues

Sunday, Oct. 1
Noon, IVIE-Shorts
12:15 p.m., Duke City Shootout
2:15 p.m., CRUSH-Shorts
7 p.m., Feature film, “The Queen”
GLACEAU Smartwater Closing Night Film and Wrap Party at Confidential

Originally published in The Daily Aztec.