For the fourth year in a row, Lake Worth Playhouse's Stonzek Theater in late September will be home to the L-Dub Film Festival. This year there will be a strong international presence as well as guest appearances by two veterans of cinema visiting town to share of their knowledge with local aspiring filmmakers.
One of the quirky little city's signature events (others include an annual street painting festival and a major gay pride parade), the festival is a training ground. It's become a networking occasion, with competitions for shorts and features in six different categories, and workshops on the making and marketing of movies.
Festival director James Venable told New Times the event is "going international" this year. L-Dub is drawing on established relationships with filmmakers from previous years to reach out for entries from overseas. "Best foreign film" has been added as a category, and submissions have already arrived from Mexico, the Netherlands, and Australia.
Venable, in his first year at the helm, is a former NYU film student, he runs West Palm Beach's Black Door Films video production company and teaches in the local school system. His film Music Folk - The Songs of Phil Ochs, shot at the Stonzek, was the Audience Choice Award for Best Documentary at last year's L-DUB Film Festival. He promises this year's workshops -- free to the public and covering camera work, screenwriting, and the business of film marketing -- will be "off the chain."
Strictly speaking, September 3 is the deadline for submissions to the festival. But this is Lake Worth (or "L-Dub") so according to Charlie Birnbaum, a festival honcho who oversees the Stonzek's year-round art house cinema, "There's a little leeway with the cut-off date."
Birnbaum's big news was the addition of appearances at the festival by two "special guests."
In a late-breaking development, local cinematic star Billy Corben has agreed to give a talk at the festival's closing day workshops. The Miami-based indie doc auteur, best known for Cocaine Cowboys and The U, is taking a break from work on his current project, Dawg Fight, about backyard MMA fighting in the 'hoods of Miami, to regale the festival attendees.
Fire Ant -- an invasive species, tinged bright red, with an annoying, sometimes-fatal sting -- covers Palm Beach County. Got feedback or a tip? Contact Fire.Ant@BrowardPalmBeach.com.
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