INA JAFFE reporting:
Santa Clarita is just 25 miles north of downtown Los Angeles, but many people in the big city have never heard of it. If they have, they think of it as a dusty valley with ever-sprawling suburban subdivisions, its sole cultural attraction being the big, scary roller coasters at Magic Mountain amusement park. That’s one reason why Santa Clarita resident Chris Shoemaker helped start the film festival back in 1994. The other reason, he says, is that the community’s family orientation made it the right place to showcase films that weren’t getting much attention anywhere else.
Mr. CHRIS SHOEMAKER (IFFF): At that time, what was hot, the soup du jour of those days was “Pulp Fiction” and everybody was doing, you know, really very aggressive, graphic, violent-type work. And so we thought the idea of a family film festival would really kind of have its own edge.
This year we had entrants from as far away as Syria, Romania, Ireland, Australia. Last year was strong on Japan. This year we had a few Indian submissions.
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