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8th Annual Watsonville Film Festival

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 | February 19, 2020

8th Annual Watsonville Film Festival will share 
a powerful selection of 20 films at new venue


Under the theme Stories Matter, the 8th Annual Watsonville Film Festival (WFF) will present films, music, art and conversations with filmmakers at the Watsonville Woman’s Club March 12-14.


An inspiring and unique selection of 20 films by up-and-coming local filmmakers and visiting directors be screened at the historic Woman’s Club, located at 12 Brennan St. “We’re excited to be able to host the festival at this beautiful community space in the heart of Watsonville, that we’ll transform into a movie theater,” says WFF Executive Director Consuelo Alba.


Each film presentation will be followed by discussions with special guests, including Sundance award-winning director Alex Rivera and Morelia International Film Festival award-wining director Melissa Elizondo. Selected screenings will also include post-film dances with DJs.


“We are so proud of our program,” says Alba. “We work all year to put it into place. People will see powerful films that celebrate Latino artistry, that put a human face on issues we are confronting as a society, and that give us reasons to rejoice and have hope.” 


Youth and members of the public are invited to participate in the accompanying Film Talks, discussions with film directors at the Digital NEST on March 13-14. 


The WFF is also partnering with Pajaro Valley Arts to present the art exhibit Campesinos / Workers of the Land. The Festival Closing and art exhibit reception will be held at the PVA Gallery on Sunday, March 15.


Also for the first time, the Watsonville Film Festival will present films outside its home base. A program of short films, titled WFF Beyond, will screen at the Beach Flats Community Center in Santa Cruz on Friday, March 20th.

WFF2020 Highlights: 

  • OPENING NIGHT, Thursday, March 12  
    Chulas Fronteras (Beautiful Borders) – A newly restored version of the classic border music documentary. The program features a reception and dancing to the Tex-Mex sounds of the Frontera Collection. 
  • CLOSING NIGHT, Saturday, March 14 
    The Infiltrators – Winner of two Sundance awards, this docu-thriller tells the true story of courageous group of undocumented youth – DREAMERS – who deliberately get detained by Border Patrol in order to infiltrate a shadowy, for-profit detention center. Award-winning director Alex Rivera will participate in post-screening Q&A.
  • El Sembrador (The Sower) – A teacher in Chiapas, Mexico becomes a beacon of hope in his community as his students experience a humanistic model of education based on curiosity and love for the outside world. This beautiful and inspiring documentary won the Audience Award at the Morelia International Film Festival. Mexico City-based director Melissa Elizondo will participate in post-screening Q&A.
  • We Are the Radical Monarchs – Based in Oakland, the Radical Monarchs offer a social-justice twist on the girl scouts. Its members earn badges for completing units on social justice issues as well as radical beauty and body acceptance. Annayvette Martinez, co-founder of the Radical Monarchs, will participate in post-screening Q&A. 
  • Bakosó – Experience the new Cuban dance sounds of bakosó. Featuring stunning visuals and a score created by the founders of the genre, the film explores the ways in which technology, culture and landscape have shaped this new African-Caribbean fusion.
  • Xilonen – World Premiere! Directed by youth from Digital NEST, this insightful short film highlights a young woman’s inner and outer journeys as she participates in the process of becoming a Xilonen during the White Hawk’s Ceremony of Tender Corn in Watsonville. 
  • No Place to Grow – A group of Latino farmers find themselves representing a movement to save the last green space in Santa, Cruz’s Beach Flats neighborhood, which is facing gentrification. Corporate power, city politics and local activism collide at the intersection of family farming traditions and the “urban growth machine.”

IN BRIEF
8th Annual Watsonville Film Festival will present 20 great films, including multiple Monterey Bay Premieres + Q&A’s with award-winning directors and up-and-coming talents from Mexico, Los Angeles, Bay Area, Santa Cruz and Watsonville.

Where: Watsonville’s Woman’s Club, 12 Brennan St. (Plus satellite activities at Digital NEST & PVA Gallery, Beach Flats Community Center)

When: Thursday, March 12 – Saturday March 15

Cost: Adult Tickets: $10. Special screening prices: Opening Night Film, Reception & Dance: $25. Friday Night Film + DJ: $15. 


Limited free tickets for youth under 21 at the door on a first come, first served basis. Tickets will be sold at the door beginning one hour before first screening of the day. Some screenings may sell out online, please check in advance.


WFF 2020 Closing and Preview Reception of new art exhibit Campesinos / Workers of the Land Where: Pajaro Valley Arts Gallery, 37 Sudden St.When: Sunday, March 15, 2-4pm.


Full WFF2020 program and ticket sales coming soon at: watsonvillefilmfest.org

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