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August 29, 2006 > Film festival puts locals in the director's chair

Film festival puts locals in the director's chair

by Julie Grabowski

What was just a lawn behind a coffee house will be transformed into an independent theatre for two Fridays in September, offering a collection of films to be seen nowhere else. Presented by Paddy's Coffee House, Union City Leisure Services, and the Art Association of the East Bay, the 2nd Annual Paddy's Film Festival turns the big screen over to aspiring filmmakers, allowing them to share their passion and creativity with the community.

Paddy Iyer, known for hosting many art shows at his coffee house, wanted to explore a different artistic avenue to promote and celebrate the wealth of local talent. He thought of film and all the necessary interest and support followed. The film festival is for the benefit of the community, Iyer says, to get people out of the house and away from their routines and show them what's going on in their neighborhood. "We are just a ways and a means for people to see the talent."

The talent is a mix of James Logan High students and local amateurs whose eleven stories await an audience. J Natraj Kumar came to the U.S. from India in 1999 to obtain an AA degree in film and television production from De Anza College. His father was a movie producer, and Kumar followed his lead, working as a production executive in the south Indian movie industry. "Films are a different type of dream that takes you to another world when you are not sleeping. That is the reason people like to watch movies," says Kumar, who calls his submission a mockumentary. He believes film festivals are the place to experience different types of films from different minds, where the interaction with other moviemakers creates an inspiration and desire to make more movies. Kumar's ambition is simply to sit and enjoy one of his movies with an audience.

So come out September 8 and 22 to meet your creative community and support the future of film! Chairs, blankets, or other movie viewing necessities should be brought by viewers.  Films are no longer than twenty minutes each; popcorn and other treats will be available at Paddy's Coffee House. Admission is free.

A reception acknowledging the filmmakers will be held at 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 22 at Paddy's Coffee House, prior to screening the second collection of films.

For more information call Paddy Iyer at (510) 324-8572, Chris Valuckas at (510) 675-5328, or visit

2nd Annual Paddy's Film Festival
Friday, September 8 and Friday, September 22
Films Begin at 8:30 p.m.
Paddy's Coffee House
3900 Smith Street, Union City
(510) 324-8572

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