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Joining the indie parade

Beginning Friday and running through Sunday, the Mount — Shasta International Film Festival will hold its inaugural film festival.

It will be a blend of great international and American — features and documentaries. The selection will give viewers the opportunity — to see compelling feature length films, inspiring documentaries, three — music features and one animated film.

Each day of the festival there will be a filmmaker, producer — and director or actor to interact with the audience in a Q&A format. All — of the creative people will be present at the Opening Night Gala Party, — Friday beginning at 9 p.m. at Rare Images Gallery at 216 N. Mt. Shasta — Blvd., Mount Shasta, Calif.

The films will be screened at Coming Attractions theaters — in the Mount Shasta Shopping Center in Mount Shasta.

Jeffrey Winters, founder/director of the Film Festival — stated, "Mount Shasta is a beautiful and special area with a vibrant and — diverse community. We hope our festival brings pride, honor and creative — spirit to us all." Winters went on to say that the festival hopes to bring — people down from Ashland and Medford and up from Sacramento, the Bay Area, — Chico, Calif., Redding, Calif. and Siskiyou County in California.

"Being able to watch a a beautiful foreign film or share — in the newness of an American Independent film is great food for the mind, — emotions and creative spirit," he said.

Films to be screened:

Daughters of Everest (USA) 56 min. Documentary. "Daughters — of Everest" is a captivating documentary about the first-ever expedition — of Sherpa women to climb Mt. Everest. The film gives a close-up account — of the Everest expedition. Sherpa women are discouraged from climbing — Everest, relegated instead to support roles in the climbing industry of — Nepal. The documentary is told from a woman's perspective. It is an absorbing — portrait of the Sherpa community. Jury award at the 2004 Telluride Film — Festival. Directed by Sapana Sakya and Ramyata Limbu.

The Snow Walker (Canada) 103 min. Feature. "The Snow Walker" — is set in the summer/winter of 1953-54 and features a cocky pilot with — an inability to see beyond himself. On a routine ferry job he picks up — a sick Inuit woman. The plane develops engine trouble, stranding the pair — in the middle of a vast and desolate area of the Arctic outback. The two — protagonists manage to forge a bond of friendship and love out of their — ordeal. Directed by Charles Martin Smith.

The Butterfly (France) 85 min. Feature. "The Butterfly" — is the story of eight-year-old Elsa and her Mom who move in next to Julien, — an ornery old entomologist with a lavish butterfly collection in his apartment. — Elsa soon grows attached to her neighbor. The interaction is poignant — and realistic. The film is a fable using the mystical butterfly as its — vehicle. Directed by Phillipe Muyl.

Pulse: A Stomp Odyssey (USA) 40 min. Documentary. "Stomp" — explores rhythm, song and dance around the world. It is a vibrant, toe-tapping — experience, moving from New York City to Africa, South America and Europe. — Directed by Steve McNicholas & Luke Creswell.

Behind Enemy Lines (Israel) 64 min. Documentary. "Behind — Enemy Lines" is a riveting documentary about an Israeli police officer — and a Palestinian journalist, once friends, now bitterly divided and on — opposite sides of a conflict. The setting is Jerusalem. The two men strive — to find a way past the bitter struggle that dominates their region. Directed — by Dov Gil-Har.

Hair High (USA) 77 min. Animation. Buckle your seat belt — and prepare to enter the zany animated world of "Hair High." It is an — irreverent spoof of 1950s teen horror movies and is full of humor and — looniness. Nothing is sacred. Directed by Bill Plympton.

Finding Home (USA) 124 min. Feature. A young woman struggles — to reclaim her life and love when she is forced to return to her grandmother's — remote island inn and confront her family's troubled past. It is a powerful — story of forgiveness, redemption and reconciliation. Filmed on the spectacular — coast of Maine. The film stars Academy Award Winner Louise Fletcher, and — Academy Award nominee Genevieve Bujold. Winner of the Best Director and — Best Actress awards at the Monaco International Film Festival. Directed — by Lawrence David Foldes.

Autumn Spring (Czechoslovakia) 95 min. Feature "Autumn — Spring" is a soothing comedy starring an irresponsible old codger who — refuses to play by the rules: He stages madcap pranks, racks up expensive — restaurant bills and impersonating others. The film was written expressly — for its late star, Vlastimil Brodsky, whose wife in film was a close friend — for 55 years. The film captures what is beautiful in the human spirit. — Directed by Vladimir Michalek.

Cosmopolitan (USA) 53 min. Feature. "Cosmopolitan" is — a delicious romance that spins a modern love story that is uniquely its — own. It finds a suddenly single bachelor, an oddly attractive neighbor, — and a popular women's magazine blended into a story of intoxicating magic — and rediscovered love. It stars Genie award-winner Roshan Seth and Academy — Award nominee Carol Kane. Directed by Nisha Ganatra

The Return (Russia) 105 min. Feature. In contemporary — Russia two young brothers with a deep attachment to each other, who have — grown up fatherless, return home one afternoon to find their long missing — father returned after a twelve-year absence. The two boys strain under — their father's increasingly brutal attempts to make up for the missing — decade of parental supervision. "The Return" is a psychological thriller — which touches on the universal need for love and acceptance between fathers — and sons. Winner of the Golden Lion at Venice Film Festival, 2003. Directed — by Andrey Zvyagintsev.

Zus & Zo (Netherlands) 100 min. Feature. "Zus & Zo," about — three wacky sisters trying to save their family inheritance from their — supposedly gay brother, was the Dutch art house hit. It is a winning comedy — and joyfully embraces every possible permutation of love; cupid it turns — out is indeed blind and doesn't care much about gender either. It was — the 2002 Academy Award nominee -- Best Foreign Film. Directed by Paula — Van Der Oest.

About Baghdad (USA) 102 min. Documentary. An extremely — timely and though-provoking film, "About Baghdad" revolves around the — return of Sinan Antoon, an Iraqi poet, to his native Baghdad after twelve — years of exile in the United States. From Antoon's point of view we see — him searching for familiar places and faces he left behind. Included are — Iraqis from all walks of life. Many reflect on how they survived Saddam's — tyranny, UN sanctions and three wars. Directed by Adam Shapiro

No Excuses (USA) 71 min. Documentary. "No Excuses" portrays — six featured athletes as they see themselves: handicapped but proudly — independent competitors with a fierce desire to live their lives to the — fullest. The filmmakers traveled with 2002 U.S. disabled ski team across — Europe, Canada and the U.S. during their three-month world cup season. — Directed by Matt Martin.

Read My Lips (France) 115 min. Feature. "Read My Lips" — is a combination thriller and character study about a dying woman who — is partially deaf. She runs the company she works for but is never acknowledged. — She is asked to train a replacement for her job and thus begins to change — as she becomes romantically involved with the new employee, who is an — ex-con, and who is preparing a robbery. As study of the universal dilemma — of good meeting bad. Directed by Jaques Audiard.

Dreamkeeper (USA) 130 min. Feature. This Hallmark Entertainment — film was nominated for two Emmys in 2003. It is a magnificent film that — introduces a smorgasbord of different Native American legends. The film — is striking for its beautiful cinematography and wonderful acting. "Dreamkeeper" — is filled with beauty, depth and powerful feelings. It was acted, scripted — and collaborated with Native Americans and has tremendous dignity and — respect. Directed by Steve Barron.

Little Kings (USA) 99 min. Feature. "Little Kings" is — a zesty family comedy with a menu of love, adultery, sibling rivalry, — the occult, incest, union troubles and more. It is a delightful contrast — between Italian-American brothers and the women in their lives. The film — scrutinizes what it means to be an Italian-American male and celebrates — the community's vibrancy. Won best feature at the ninth annual Palm Beach — International Film Festival. Directed by Marylou Tibaldo-Bongiorno.

Robot Stories (USA) 85 min. Feature. Winner of over 30 — awards, "Robot Stories" is a film in which human characters struggle to — connect in a world of robot babies and office android workers. The stories — include: "My Robot Baby," where a couple must take care of a robot baby — before adopting a human child. "The Robot Fixer" which allows a mother — trying to connect with her dying son by completing his robot collection. — Sophisticated science fiction that audiences crave and deserve. Directed — by Greg Pak

American Yearbook (USA) 97 min. Feature. This is a powerful — narrative that focuses on the deeply rooted problem of bullying in schools — across the country. The film follows the true-to-life story of a high — school dreamer, Will, who desires to be a photographer and targeted by — a vicious pack of bullies at school. His desire for revenge takes him — into a dark world with dire consequences. Directed by Brian Ging

Whose Is This Song? (Bulgaria) 70 min. Documentary. This — film documents director Adela Peeva's search for a song that everybody — in the Balkans claims is theirs. Filmed in Turkey, Greece, Macedonia, — Albania, Bosnia, Serbia and Bulgaria. "Whose Is This Song?" shows how — powerful music is to the human heart. Nominated for the European Film — Academy Documentary in 2003. Directed by Adela Peeva

Bluegrass Journey (USA) 85 min. Documentary. Musically — depicts many of the traditional roots and some of the more far-reaching — branches of bluegrass music. It uses verite' footage, thoughtful interviews — and vividly captures extended performances. Directed by Ruth Oxenberg — & Rob Shumer.

Tickets for the Mount Shasta International Film Festival — can be purchased in advance at Village Books and Mount Shasta Chamber — of Commerce. To order by credit card call the Mount Shasta Chamber of — Commerce at 1-800-926-4865. Tickets can also be purchased at the door — of Coming Attractions Theatre in Mount Shasta, $10 per ticket. Purchase — three or more tickets and get a $5 discount: three tickets, $25; four — tickets, $35, etc.