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A great escape to the Studio City Film Festival—stars, comfort and indies

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Need an escape? Just a place to sneak away, but yet feel like you're doing something productive, and even get entertained in the process? Maybe even make a new friend!

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Through June 8, you can beat the heat and get into the Studio City Film Festival from about lunchtime until about midnight every day to see movies you won't see anywhere else.

"As we grow we continue to get an amazing combination of local and international submissions including feature-length films, shorts, documentaries and music videos," said the film festival's co-founder Steve Sturla. "We are thrilled to showcase many quality submissions from local Studio City and Sherman Oaks residents and we definitely want this festival to have a local flavor. It's our intention for this film festival to be around for a long time and be something area residents can be proud of.”

Whether it be crime, space, vampires, eco-message films, a GLBT music video or more, there's something for all sorts of tastes among the 90 movies and shorts that are shown through Sunday night. The event kicked off Wednesday with a live performance by Darren Dowler of Paul Revere and the Raiders and star of "Rock and Roll The Movie" which screens Friday night.

Proceeds of the festival goes to the San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission which is attempting to recover from a devastating fire that destroyed the headquarters and left many homeless families without help earlier this year.

The event is being held at the Complete Actors Place Theatre at 13752 Ventura Blvd. in Sherman Oaks just down the street from CBS Radford Studios lot and a few miles away from Universal Studios, Disney and Warner Bros. Studio lots. There's a 16-by-10-foot screen, excellent sound system, outdoor patio, bar and mingling area, comfortable seats and air conditioning.

On awards night, Sunday June 8, the festival will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the release of the landmark film “Once Were Warriors,” by honoring the film’s star, Rena Owen, who will be in attendance.

Tickets can be purchased online by visiting the festival website at www.studiocityfilmfestival.com. See you there!

Here is a smattering of what is coming up:

A Flower and the Blue (7m, Kuwait) dir. by Kholoud Alnajjar
A girl thinks she has found love which will get her out of her cultural prison, only to find herself trapped in a more conservative future.

Stay In The Car (24m, U S A)dir. by David Keith
A couple becomes stranded and trapped inside their car at night in the middle of the desert while something lurks outside.

The Secret Life of Rocky Perone (dir. by S.Sturla) The true story of Richard Pohle, who, at the age of 36 changes his identity and becomes 21 year old "Rocky Perone." 


Playing with the Devil dir. by Nick Stentzel
While home alone, three sisters conduct a Japanese ritual of Hitori Kakurenbo or 'One Man Tag' with their beloved doll. Terror ensues as the girls realize that one should never play a game with the Devil.

Rise Again (108m, U S A) dir. by Craig Ross Jr
In the days following the Civil War, two brothers, Confederate veterans, who were turned into vampires in a POW camp, have to use the only trade they know besides soldiering - farming - to raise money they need to become human again.

Nothing Like the Sun (19m, U S A) dir. by Jonas Banks
A vampire couple, together for over 200 years, come to a crossroads in their marriage when the husband decides he wants to become human again.

Here is the complete list of winners from last year's festival:

Best Feature:
Rubicon's Broken (dir. Ophir Gottlieb)

Best Comedic Short:
What's Eating Pee Pee Wong? (dir. Phree Swearingen)

Best Documentary:
Death by China (dir. Peter Navarro)

Best Dramatic Short::
William the Magnificent (dir. by Shawn Shekarchian)

Best Actor in a Dramatic Feature:
John Ruby (Touch)

Best Actor in a Comedic Feature:
Gary Busey, (Matt's Chance)

Best Actor in a Dramatic Short:
Grover Coulson (Painted Woman)

Best Actor in a Comedic Short:
Johnny Christos (What's Eating Pee Pee Wong?)

Best Actress in a Dramatic Feature:
Rebecca Bujko (Rubicon's Broken)

Best Actress in a Comedic Feature:
Jessica Piervicenti (Wet Behind the Ears)

Best Actress in a Dramatic Short:

Best Actress in a Comedic Short:
Marion Kerr (Far)

Best Director for a Feature:
Ophir Gottlieb (Rubicon's Broken)

Best Director for a Short:
Paul van Zyl (Elegy for a Revolutionary)

Best Animated Short:
Happily Ever After (dir. by Ben Genislaw, Yonni Aroussi)

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