Local filmgoers and Independent filmmakers from around the world gathered in the city of Fallbrook this past weekend to attend the fourth annual Fallbrook Film Festival. Since its inception in 2008, the Fallbrook Film Festival has brought the community of Fallbrook together with its surrounding siblings for a weekend of excellence in independent filmmaking. This year, having boasted over seventy films that mostly deal with universal themes of love, loss and finding yourself in a lost world, the festival solidified itself as a premiere place to catch rare, high-quality films.
Some of the best films from the festival include:
Listen to Your Heart: Touching and emotionally heartfelt, Listen to Your Heart follows the love story of an aspiring musician working as a waiter to make ends meet and a young deaf woman who must constantly deal with her overbearing and controlling mother (a fantastically brutal Cybill Shepherd). As love stories go, Heart follows the standard boy-meets-girl rules, however, it’s able to go beyond the normal clichés to deliver a unique look at a relationship where one’s passion and talent cannot fully be appreciated by the other, but for which doesn’t hinder the truth behind either of their hearts. Aside from a few open-ended subplots, Heart delivered in its intent with a tearful tenderness that never feels inauthentic or pandering. Winner of the Audience Choice Award.
Heal: Set in an area near Pakistan and Afghanistan, Heal tells the story of a young boy who discovers the ability to heal things with the simple touch of his hand during a time when physical healing just isn’t enough. The tragedies that take place during the film are accentuated by the love and admiration of honor and sacrifice, which help release the light into the darkest of hours. Winner of the Fallbrook Film Festival’s Frank Capra award, which honors the film that best highlights the values and message of the brilliant filmmaker, Frank Capra.
Sudden Death!: Finally… a musical where everyone dies. The tagline says it all, expressing the morbid hilarity that carries the film to great heights. The plot is simple, as several scientists try to stop the spread of Sudden Death Syndrome, which, before killing its victims, causes them to break out in song and dance. The humor comes out mostly in the lyrics of the songs and the parodies of classic musicals such as West Side Story. All of the performances are, both musically and otherwise, fit perfectly into the absurdity of all that is happening, including cameos from Mark Christopher Lawrence (Chuck) and John Larroquette. Should the filmmakers find the means to create this short piece into a full feature, it will certainly be a must-see event. Winner for Best Short Narrative Film.
Living For 32: In 2007, a student at Virginia Tech killed 32 students before he committed suicide. This mesmerizing documentary takes a look inside the mind of Colin Goddard, who survived four gunshot wounds during the attack, as he explores his feelings behind the day and his current fight to lock up the loopholes in the way guns can be purchased at gun shows and other such venues. Colin’s story, and his fight, just prove the integrity of his character, which like the documentary, can be summed up in one word: extraordinary.
These films, as well as many other award-winners and nominated films, will be shown as part of the Fallbrook Film Festival’s unique Best-of Show series, which plays all of the award-winning films in their entirety over the course of the week following the festival. To attend any of these films, visit the Fallbrook Film Festival website to find out when these films will show once again.