A trio of film and theater devotees is preparing for the first-ever Isla Vista Film Festival, to be held April 30 at I.V. Theater. UCSB film major Lesem Puerto, theater and dance fellow Alesha Claveria, and founder of horror-themed Shockfest Film Festival Guil Claveria this year formed a campus club dedicated to bringing visual arts and live performance into I.V.
“I think it’s momentous in a sense because no one’s done it,” said Guil of the evening-long event, with its ambitious program featuring a live performance by UCSB’s Musical Theater Society and — among other pictures — a documentary about the making of a horror film and another about social justice in Uganda. Since January, Puerto — a student in Alesha’s I.V. Improvability production class — and the couple have been posting flyers and screening submissions of everything from horror shorts to music videos to an existentialist film.
Student-made shorts take the screen alongside work by more seasoned filmmakers. L.A.-based film and TV director Patricia Chica will present U.S. premieres of a documentary, The Gold Inside, and a short, Crimson Dance. Chica is one of the professional filmmakers who’ll offer a Q&A session, which Guil calls “the most beneficial thing any of the film students can come to.”
“We wanted to emphasize student work,” said Puerto, who intends to pursue a film career in Hollywood. “It can be tough when you’re starting out to sort of see a way forward in the industry, and that’s what I really love about our feature [film] … the people behind that have done all kinds of different indie,” said Alesha. “They’ve turned filmmaking, a hobby, into an actual profession,” added Guil.
The fest’s main draw, Guil anticipates, will be feature film House of Manson. Tracing the Manson Family murders in the summer of 1969, indie filmmaker Brandon Slagle’s horror movie has not yet been distributed in the U.S. House of Manson’s leading lady, B-circuit “scream queen” Devanny Pinn, known to pose in costume with blood at industry conventions, will travel to I.V. for the festival. It’s going to be “a little bit twisted, a little bit fun,” said the trio of the horror-bent affair.
The Isla Vista Film Festival takes place Saturday, April 30, at 7-10 p.m. at I.V. Theater (960 Embarcadero del Norte, Isla Vista). Tickets are $3 at UCSB’s A.S. Ticket Office and at the door.