Friday, April 18, 2014

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Local film festival spotlights cause-driven films

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A local film festival calls for people to "focus on good."

Now in its second year, the Lights. Camera. Help. Nonprofit Film Festival features films, shorts and PSAs about community organizations.

A cash donation will be given to the nonprofit featured in the winning films. There will be a winner in each of the categories (film, short and PSA). Proceeds from sales tickets and donations given during the festival help fund the prizes.

Films are judged for their technical excellence and the film's ability to clearly deliver the nonprofit's mission.

"The whole point of this is to help nonprofits create film that furthers their mission and cause," Rich Vasquez, co-founder of the festival, said. "Is this [film] moving me to do something?"

News 8’s film critic Victor Diaz is one of the judges.

"Great film carries incredible power to motivate," Diaz said. "It's always encouraging when technical and artistic talent combine to hammer home a call to action."

The festival received 245 entries this year from all over the world. Of those, 33 films will be shown from July 29 through July 31. Click here for the official selection.

"We were really surprised by the message of hope in a lot of the movies last year, and we saw the trend continue this year," Vasquez said. "It's not going to a depressing evening of documentaries. It's going to be a really entertaining and moving."

Organizers say they are expecting a full house. A 3-day pass is $32.64 ($30 including fees), with two-day and single-day passes also available. Click here for more ticket and schedule information.

Throughout the month of August, you can also catch up on the best of the festival with Time Warner Cable On Demand.

One feature, two shorts and two PSAs from the 2010 and 2009 award winners will be available on the Central Texas On Demand channel.

If you are in the Austin/ San Marcos area, that’s channel 1400. If you live in the Waco/ Temple/ Killeen area, you’ll find it on Channel 200. Just look for Lights. Camera. Help. starting in August. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP