Blazing Sun Independent Film Shorts Festival

(Contributed photo)

Film shorts from a number of countries have been submitted to Texas A&M University-Kingsville’s newly launched film festival, Blazing Sun Independent Film Shorts Festival, including from New Zealand, Canada, Qatar, Ireland, United Arab Emirates and Russian Federation.

The festival’s mission is to discover and celebrate independent films, and, in so doing, promote excellence and innovation in film storytelling.

“Our festival is a celebration of the poetic moment and, as such, is not a competition that pits films against each other. Rather, our festival is about excellence, discovering the poetic moment or moments in a film short,” said Armando P. Ibanez, founding festival director and assistant professor in the art, communications and theatre department.

“The moment in a film may be a look, a kiss, a quirky smile, an emerging plant in the aftermath of a fire, or something in the frame seemingly small but is gigantic in meaning to the story. In short, it is poetic.

“We are excited and looking forward to showcasing films, selected by our festival judges,” he added.

Joe O. Barrera, one of the festival judges, said that he was most impressed with the film entries he has seen. “I’m actually stunned at the caliber of entries,” said Barrera, named by the Hollywood Reporter as a film music composer to watch. 

Other festival judges include Michelle Macau, actor, director and college instructor; Andrew Rosen, special effects and animation artist, whose latest work was with “Cats;” Vira Montes, actor, who was featured in one of Edward James Olmos films; Manuel Flores, communications professor, Susan Roberson, English professor, Patrick Faherty, associate theatre professor; all TAMUK faculty; and Laurie Diane Guajardo, president of the Film Society.

Festival judges will award three honors Award of Merit, Award of Excellence and the Pearl Award, the festival’s highest honor. The festival will open Wednesday, March 4 with screenings of film shorts, honored with the Award of Excellence at the Rio 7 Theater-Kingsville, one of the sponsors of the event. Pearl Award winners will be announced at Awards Night, Thursday, March 5.

There are two festival categories: Independent Film Shorts (professionals) and Student Film Shorts, which has two subcategories—University and Texas High School. 

The total running time (TRT) for Independent Film Short and University Film Short entries must be three to 20 minutes, while TRT for Texas High School subcategories must be three to 10 minutes.

The deadline for entries into the festival passed earlier this week.

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