Rosarito Film Fest 2015

All filmed here, it’s fun to see our city in the movies
BY: REN DRAKE HILL

A troupe of film students descended upon Rosarito to participate in the 7th Annual Rosarito Film Festival, a week-long intensive workshop through the auspices of Emerson College, the LA Internship Project, Campus MovieFest, Rediscover Rosarito Project, and the Rosarito Beach Hotel. This cross-cultural film project is the brainchild of Emerson College’s Dr. Gregory Payne, who founded the RFF in 2009 after beginning the Rediscover Rosarito campaign in 2008 with Hugo Torres. Ron Raposa, public relations flack at the hotel, throws his expertise into the mix and what these gentlemen produce is fostering a cinematic passion in theses lucky students, not all young, who were selected by Markuz Delgado, project director.

Well, we all recognize the wall as being in the Rosarito Beach Hotel, but the movie star is a little harder to pin down, and we can’t even imagine what the story line isThe Rediscover Rosarito Project, spearheaded by Hugo Torres, is a grassroots campaign, organized by people who love Rosarito and it is not government-led. Members actively cross-check news articles about Mexico, specifically the Rosarito area, to ensure they are accurate. If something untoward happens here, we own up to it, but the crisis management,  led by Torres is pro-active through periodic interviews with the LA Times, San Diego Union, and other news sources.  Rediscover Rosarito is a unique case of Public Relations. If the movement relies on residents to tell the story.

At the beginning of the week each team of students pitch their film ideas to a panel of judges and shooting starts immediately. Each team is given a camera, tripod, microphone and computer provided by Campus MovieFest. In many cases the students had never used this technology before. Students have one week in which to shoot and edit their finished film. At the end of the week the six films were judged and awards presented. This year yielded films in English and Spanish.

The films, shot within the hotel, the beach, and the boulevard, were previewed for judges and about 100 spectators at the Rosarito Beach Hotel.

The Janice Payne Best Actress Award was bestowed on Claudia Bermudez for “The Offering,” a film illustrating the Rosarito legend of a bride whose fiancé has been sucked out to sea off Rosarito Beach. The bride offers flowers to the waves, pleading for her love’s return before finally throwing herself off the Rosarito pier. Her ghost is reportedly seen throughout the hotel. Claudia was also the recipient of the Ron Raposa Social Media Award for her extensive use of the medium.

What’s next for the films? They will soon join previous years’ films on YouTube’s Rosarito Film Festival channel, and will also be shown in Nepal and Katmandu. Check them out. There’s some great stuff there, and it’s fun to see places you recognize.

For more information: Facebook: RediscoverRosarito; Rosarito Film Festival. Instagram: Rediscover Rosarito, Rosarito Film; YouTube: Rosarito Film Festival.