Gunasti (right) said they have already received submissions from Europe and China.
“This will help put Menifee on the map and give the city another signature event,” he said.
Even though the founders of the event expect it to draw filmmakers and enthusiasts from around the world, this is about more than being a showcase for a worldwide audience. Barak and Gunasti plan to involve the youth of Menifee as interns in promoting the project and developing their own documentaries. Introduced Monday was a youth board of five young Hollywood producers, directors and actors who will work with young people who register online to participate.
There also are negotiations to offer students college course credit at Mt. San Jacinto College, which has an active theater program, said President Roger Schultz.
“We’re excited about this visionary event for our area,” Schultz said. “We’re always looking for ways to hook our students up with people in the film industry. Here they will be interacting with Hollywood stars. We hope this will lead to some opportunities for our students.”
Laura Badillo, executive director of Santa Rosa Academy, introduced three students who already are serving as interns in the program.
“The skills they gain through these types of experiences add to their education,” she said.
Alyson Stoner, a young actress attending the press conference, said she is excited about working with local youth in the program, which will include master classes and workshops.
“To be able to use my platform to inspire someone is special, and then to hear it’s with the youth is very exciting,” she said.
The festival will include a red carpet, awards ceremony, mayor’s cocktail reception and other special events. More information will be announced soon.