Ahead of what looks to be a massive spectacle, the Santa Clarita International Film Festival is calling all local artists and musicians in the region interested in performing live music or comedy and displaying their art from the Dec. 9 launch until Dec. 12.
“We want to support – as much as possible – the artists here and in the San Fernando Valley,” said Lisa deSouza, who is spearheading SCIFF and serving as one of the festival’s judges. “The question is how do we get to them, it’s easier said than done. Part of the biggest challenge is just getting the word out there so people know we exist. Year two, year three is a different story – year one, we’re pushing the boiler over the hill. It’s definitely been an interesting journey.”
In collaboration with the City of Santa Clarita and Westfield Valencia Town Center, SCIFF’s live performances will be held outside Regal Edwards Valencia at Entertainment Plaza. Bands, musicians, comedians and artists of all other stripes can visit SCIFF’s website and contact directly via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. At present, there is no cut-off date yet for anyone interested in participating at the film festival. DeSouza said the coordinator receiving submissions will go through each act and have them sorted out as performers for SCIFF.
“Music and comedy are free, there’s no submission like there is for film,” she said. “All you need to do right now is contact us. At some point though, I would suspect possibly close to mid-November or end of November at the latest, our program’s going to be full. There will be a cutoff because there’s only a certain amount of space in terms of sets and the whole nine yards.”
The submission period is “wide open right now,” but deSouza said it’s better for artists to sign up sooner and not wait too long. A proper list of SCIFF’s programming will become available soon, she added.
In addition to opening up to local acts, Radio Free Santa Clarita and The Santa Clarita Valley Proclaimer are partnering with SCIFF to present it for its inaugural run in SCV. Proclaimer publisher Stephen Daniels, who also serves as Radio Free Santa Clarita’s executive director, said he’s excited to partner with deSouza and shared her enthusiasm to get SCIFF off the ground.
“I believe this is something which Santa Clarita needs,” he said. “Our goal at Radio Free Santa Clarita and The Proclaimer is to bring new and alternative forms of media to the SCV. Film is certainly one of those forms of media. We’re very proud to be a part of it.”
SCIFF will also work with the Santa Clarita Artists Association for a designated pop gallery for the visual arts. An exact location has yet to be determined, according to deSouza.
With all of these acts amplifying what’s intended to focus primarily on cinema and filmmaking, deSouza emphasized SCIFF is something different.
“The goal is to make this the place… where you can come and get film and music and art and comedy all in one place,” she said. “Ultimately I think that if I was pitching someone, I would be like, ‘Now’s the time to get in, now’s the time on the ground floor.’ At some point in time, this thing will become a beast. We still want to stay true to the independent spirit, we want to stay true to the artists that feel like the system has locked them out. The question is what do you have to lose? If nothing, come check us out, come to the website.”
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