July 19, 2007

City film fest gets boost from Sac State professor

When a Man Falls in the Forest, starring Timothy Hutton, is just one of the offering in the annual Sacramento Film and Music Festival.
When a Man Falls in the Forest, starring Timothy Hutton, is just one of the offering in the annual Sacramento Film and Music Festival.

Sacramento State professor Anthony Sheppard usually can be found teaching students about recreation, leisure and the marketing of tourism and related industries. But when summer comes, he gives in to his passion for the cinema and helps coordinate the Sacramento Film and Music Festival.

For five days, Aug. 8-12, silver screen devotees will descend on Sacramento’s Crest Theater to view 12 feature movies, more than 50 short films and 30 music videos, along with special industry events and other attractions.

The other two co-directors are Laurie Pederson, local film producer and president of the Capitol Film Arts Alliance, and Nathan Schemel, the festival’s founder and an MBA student at Sacramento State who also works in television and film production for the Sacramento Kings.

All of the offerings are independently produced of the major studios, Sheppard says, although some are by well-known Hollywood names, such as Good Time Max, written and directed by James Franco, who plays Peter Parker’s friend/nemesis Harry Osborn in the three Spider-Man movies.

Another entry that will be screened is When a Man Falls in the Forest, starring Sharon Stone and Timothy Hutton. That movie was nominated for a Golden Bear award at the Berlin Film Festival and was made by a local company, Redwood Palms Pictures.

Special events during the festival’s run include a lineup of local, original music videos, producer forums, and the “10X10 Filmmaker Challenge,” in which directors had 10 days to make a 10-minute movie.

“All of this on the big, historic screen of the Crest Theater,” Sheppard says. “It’s the best movie venue in town.”

Tickets are $10 for individual attractions. An all-event pass is $50 for the general public and $40 for students. Tickets may be purchased at the Crest Theater or at www.tickets.com.

It’s not so unusual in this case that a recreation and leisure teacher would get so involved with a film festival. Sheppard has known Schemel and Pederson for several years. All of them are members of Sacramento’s film community and Sheppard has been involved with a half-dozen movie projects as producer, director or writer, often with one or both of his festival colleagues as collaborators.

Sheppard’s last project was the 2005 feature film, Curse of the Golden Skull. He doesn’t have any films planned for the immediate future but won’t rule out another one somewhere down the road. “I certainly have more movies in me that need an outlet, if only for cathartic reasons,” Sheppard says.

For more information on the Sacramento Film and Music Festival, visit its website at www.sacfilm.com or call Schemel at (916) 600-7029 or Sheppard at (916) 705-3165. For media assistance, call Sacramento State’s Public Affairs office at (916) 278-6156.