LIVERMORE, CA – (November 4, 2015) – The new Livermore Valley Film Festival will open May 13, 2016 in downtown Livermore providing a diverse range of film-related events built around the theme of “Where Science Meets Art.” A project of the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center, the majority of the LVFF events will take place within walking distance of the Bankhead Theater on First Street. Designed to inspire and engage filmmakers, storytellers, and film fans of all ages, the festival will offer the opportunity to explore how science and technology are both portrayed in films and used in the filmmaking process. The three-day event will showcase independent and feature films, as well as discussion panels and workshops.

At the core of the LVFF is the official juried competition. Film submissions are being accepted online in multiple categories: Feature, Documentary Feature, Science/Technology/Innovation Short, Social/Health/Disability Issues Short, Animation Short, and Student Short. A separate 24-Hour Ironman Film Competition will be run concurrently in which participants will be challenged to produce a short film that aligns with the theme and contains specific elements. Winners in all categories will be presented with monetary awards and honored at a ceremony held on the closing day of the festival, May 15, 2016. A San Francisco Bay Area Best Award in the Student film category will also be announced.

In addition to events held at the Bankhead Theater, the Vine Cinema and Alehouse on First Street and the i-Gate Innovation Hub on South Livermore Avenue will also serve as venues for the Film Festival.

Scott Kenison, LVPAC’s executive director is enthusiastic about adding the new film festival this season. “Although LVPAC offers a variety of live entertainment and arts experiences at the Bankhead and Bothwell throughout the year, film as an art form has rarely been included. We are very fortunate to have Lynn Monica serving as LVFF Director as she brings extensive experience working with digital film assets through her corporate positions in high tech companies, as well as a personal passion for film and film festivals.”

According to Lynn Monica, Livermore is in a unique position to illuminate how the sciences and arts interconnect. With the Bankhead Theater now serving as a focal point for the arts downtown, Livermore has built a vibrant arts community with a connection to the sciences through the longstanding influence and involvement of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories, and other local science and technology-based companies. The city also has some notable connection to science-based films. Scenes for the major motion picture Star Trek: Into Darkness (2013) were filmed on site at the Labs and the recent box office hit, The Martian, was based on a novel by Andy Weir, who worked briefly at the Labs. Livermore native Josh Cooley was a screenwriter and the voice of Jangles the clown in Pixar’s latest animated film, Inside Out, which uses its engaging characters and storyline to describe the complex science behind the inner workings of the emotions and the brain. In addition to highlighting technology in films, the festival will explore advances in filmmaking techniques, such as sophisticated 3D digital animation, that enhance filmmakers’ ability to engage audiences with their storytelling.

“The LVFF will expand the range of arts and entertainment in Livermore and throughout the entire Tri-Valley, where no other festival of this scope is currently offered. We will be bringing new independent films to local audiences and hope to attract interest from filmmakers in all regions, possibly even internationally, since online entries have no geographic restrictions,” Monica said.

The 24-Hour Ironman competition, which is being organized for the LVFF by Jeanie Haigh, director of the Livermore Valley Film Commission, will add an element of excitement and energy to the festival weekend. Teams will be given a sealed envelope to be opened at the start of the competition that contains a list of several items such as a local landmark, a specific visual element, or a word/quote, that must be incorporated into their short film. Although the team size is open, there will only be room for a limited number of teams to participate in the Ironman competition.

More information, including a link to the official LVFF Call for Entries, film categories and submission instructions, is available at www.livermorefilm.org  The LVFF committee continues to seek program sponsors, support services, and volunteers for all aspects of the Film Festival and the event weekend, contact Lynn Monica at [email protected]

The Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center provides wide-ranging programs that give access to the arts for the Tri-Valley community and beyond. LVPAC Presents offers a diverse variety of exceptional music, dance and theatrical performances at the Bankhead Theater each year. The Bankhead Theater and the Bothwell Arts Center are home to nine resident performing arts companies and over 40 studio artists and cultural arts instructors. Between them, they have offered more than 500 public activities each year, from classes and workshops, to concerts, festivals and performances, as well as ArtWalk and extensive educational arts outreach. A list of upcoming performances at the Bankhead Theater, as well as activities scheduled at the Bothwell Arts Center, is available online at www.lvpac.org or via the LVPAC mobile app.