Ready for a positive, family-faith oriented change in Hollywood? The Pan Pacific Film Festival is working hard to make that change a reality. Held annually in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, this year’s 6th annual film festival event will be held in the Aratani Community Center (JACCC) in Los Angeles, CA through July 24 – 26, 2014.
The Pan Pacific Film Festival (PPFF) has a five-fold mission, which the team refers to as the Five E’s: Encourage Christian filmmakers with prayer, resources, and networking, Educate them through workshops and other programs, Empower them through awards ceremonies, Expose their films to the world, and Evangelize by sending out the films they receive to missionaries in other countries.
PPFF offers a variety of workshops, including pitch sessions, panels for writers, actors, and marketing, a comic art and gaming workshop, and even sessions discussing the role of men and of women in media (the latter includes our own Erica Galindo as a red carpet Video Host & keynote speaker). In addition, festival attendees can experience live music, fashion shows, red carpet events, prayer sessions, and of course, many film screenings.
Several films will have their premiere releases during the festival, including American movies Jackson’s Run and Footprints and Asian films - God’s Eye View and Apostle. Other movies highlighted by the PPFF include A Long Way Off, Persecuted, and The Perfect Wave. Many of the films featured have been nominated for the Stellae Awards Ceremony, the big event that kicks off the festival.
This year’s event is co-hosted by actress Jenn Gotzon & Dr. Drake Travis. Gotzon who currently has over ten projects in the works is blazing a trail of powerful performances in inspirational films.
One of the hardest-working actresses in the genre, Jenn is known best for her work in Hulk and Frost/Nixon, and has appeared in over 15 inspirational and redemptive feature films including the 2014 Oscar Nominated (rescinded) inspirational French and Indian War true-story Alone Yet Not Alone, and the highly celebrated mystery-drama Doonby co-starring with John Schneider – releasing on DVD July 22nd.
Dr. Travis is currently the Director of Global Ambassadors for The Resurrection Project and is the author of two published works including Christ Our Healer Today and Healing Power: Voice Activated. He is currently working on a new talk show called The High Road, which is scheduled to be produced by end of this year.
Award categories include: Best Short Narrative, Best Feature Narrative, Best Mission, Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Screenplay, Best Soundtrack, Best Editing, Best Cinematography, Best Under 7, Best “4 to 14,” Best “The Faithful,” Best Theatrical, Founder’s Pick, Best Director, Best Short Documentary, and Best Feature Documentary.
Sonoma Christian Home Contributor Jonathan King caught up with David Wood about the latest news on this year’s festival. Wood is the Executive Producer and Owner of Dread Warrior Productions, a media and funding company. He is also the Co-Founder of The Global Apostolic Council, a spiritual think tank group, as well as a key member of the IPPFF Board of Directors.
SCH: How did the Pan Pacific Film Festival get started?
DW: It was started seven years ago by my partners, Korean husband and wife ministry leaders Ken and Sallie An.
Ken An, Co-Founder of PPFF shares, “We started out just wanting a place to screen family-friendly movies. Now PPFF has grown to be a creative home for family and faith artists; a center for professionals to work on their craft, and an international provider of high quality, family and faith friendly content.”
SCH: PPFF incorporates more elements than just movies. Can you give us more information about these other activities?
DW: We really modeled it around a family-faith environment, so besides having a hundred films and documentaries running through two days, we’ve got fashion shows, music concerts, and panels with the leading industry people who are in the entertainment fields of writing, directing, producing, and marketing.
In addition, we have red carpet events going on at night, with a couple of films that are actually doing their LA premiere releases. Plus we have food trucks and fun for the kids. It’s morphed beyond just movies and documentaries into a super fun and dynamic array of events and activities.
SCH: One of the main goals of PPFF is to evangelize by sending DVDs submitted to the festival to other nations, translated into that country’s native language. Can you go into more detail about this part of your mission?
DW: We’ve tried to use this festival and new media content as an outreach, so a lot of the films are very strong spiritually, a lot of them have strong family-faith messages, and a lot of them have a strong ministry component. These films can be used in different countries and different languages to help spread the good news and to talk about God and Jesus. So it’s very exciting to have all these films and documentaries from all over the world with this family-faith theme.
SCH: This year, general admission is free. How can you afford to do this, and what makes the special tickets worth the upgrade in price?
DW: A part of this festival is open to the general public, so a lot of the fashion, films, and music are free to anybody who wants to come and experience the festival. It’s only if you want to go into the workshops or if you want to go to the red carpet or the awards ceremony that we charge tickets for it. We use this as an outreach into the city of Los Angeles and around the world, because we’re trying to expose as many people as possible to family-faith content.
SCH: What has been the biggest blessing you have received from PPFF?
DW: For me, the best part of this whole thing is trying to get better content into the Hollywood system. We’re seeing a huge number of projects coming through now, and the genre of family-faith is becoming a hot topic. This is a great opportunity for filmmakers we would normally never know about to be given an opportunity for distribution and exposure.
I think that’s been the biggest blessing for me. We’re constantly looking for good films and documentaries, so it’s kind of like a magnet: the festival brings together all these amazing filmmakers from all over the world and gives them the opportunity to have exposure at a level that is probably difficult for them to get in their countries or wherever they’re from.
SCH: What will be different about PPFF this year?
DW: We’ve got quite a few different components this year, a number of very well-known speakers, like Ted Baehr from the Movie Guide Awards. We’ve got a number of family-faith, Christian, and Catholic television networks that are coming and filming shows and covering the event. I think it’s really the number of films and documentaries that were submitted this year.
The festival seems to be growing at a speed that’s just amazing to us. Over a short span, we’ve become the largest one just because of the number of submissions. And because we’re based in Los Angeles, it allows us to bring media people together, which is sometimes difficult to do in some of the smaller cities and markets in other countries. It’s a blessing to be doing this all in Los Angeles, because a lot of us live here.
SCH: If you could focus on just one element of PPFF, what would it be and why?
DW: I think the big thing is what’s going on in Hollywood. A number of years ago, the big movies were these vampire films and zombie films. Now what’s happening in Hollywood is everyone’s talking about family and family-faith. There’s a big push from networks and from a number of big production companies; they’re all starting to get into projects that have this genre of family-faith. Also, seeing that some of the big agencies like William-Morris and ICM are starting to represent these types of actors and filmmakers.
I think it’s amazing what God’s doing. I know that our festival and the work we do here is a big part of leading this change. It’s exciting that people want this family moral value stuff and now they’re going to be getting a lot more of it. That’s the big thing this year: seeing how Hollywood is starting to realize that this really is a special genre!
The 2014 Pan Pan Pacific Film will be held in Los Angeles, CA, July 24-26th. For more information on the festival, featured films, and showtimes please visit ippff.com To get free general admission tickets, as well as all access and VIP tickets, visit ippff.com/tickets
Check out SCH interview with 2014 PPFF keynote speaker, JUCETV Producer Mark McCallie
Sonoma Christian Home Online Magazine is proud to be an platinum sponsor for the 2014 Pan Pacific Film Festival. To give you more insight into the passion and heart of these gifted filmmakers and keynote speakers, Sonoma Christian Home will be doing a series of weekly celebrity interviews. Stay tuned! Sonoma Christian Home is one of the fastest growing online magazines for Christian women, delivering daily inspiration on food, faith & family, relationships, design & wholesome entertainment.