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Catching up with Anthony Pedone

By Camille Doty
Aug. 8, 2012 at 3:08 a.m.

Anthony Pedone, 41, received so many film submissions he added another day to the first Victoria Texas Independent Film Festival. The Victoria native hopes the fest will become a signature event. "It marks the beginning of a new art movement in Victoria," he said.

for more

To get updates on the Victoria Film Fest, visit vtxiff.com.

if you go

• WHAT: "Searching For Sonny" screening

• WHEN: 7 p.m. Saturday

• COST: $5

• WHERE: Johnson's Symposium, 2200 E. Red River St., Victoria

• FOR MORE INFO: Visit Searching For Sonny's Facebook page

Life has not slowed down for Anthony Pedone since the Victoria TX Independent Film Festival.

The 42-year-old Victoria native said the inaugural event opened an array of opportunities and expressed gratitude to his hometown for supporting his projects.

He's already begun accepting submissions for next year's festival, scheduled for April 4-7.

"What we did in March was magical, and this year we will do it even bigger," he said.

Pedone said he's looking for more foreign films and kids programming, and would love to show more movies.

Pedone will kick off The Fall Film Series on Saturday with the feature, "Searching for Sonny."

Director Andrew Disney, of Fort Worth, will be in Victoria on Saturday evening to do a question-and-answer segment after the movie at Victoria College's Johnson Symposium.

Selected films, like Disney's, were chosen by The Texas Independent Film Network and are all made by filmmakers from The Lone Star State. Victoria is the 19th city in the TIFN network.

"We want to start to provide a solid distribution model for the filmmakers," he said.

Ryan Long, one of the TIFN founders, said the series is a great way to showcase films year-round and is a great fit for Victoria. The Austin-based film manager said the showings benefit the filmmaker and community.

"It's a great way to see some great Texas-made films, and interact with the creators," said Long.

Pedone also expanded his reach across state lines and abroad with the Film ExChange, an organization that has connected six film festivals together around the United States and Germany.

He and other filmmakers help to promote one another's festivals.

Jason Cusato, the director of the The Art of Brooklyn Film Festival, said he and the Victoria movie maker's relationship has a synergistic effect.

"We both have great ideas and we are both open to bounce those ideas off each other," said Cusato.

Boris Castro, who is based in Hamburg, Germany, became acquainted with Pedone several years ago when he submitted a film to the Radar Hamburg International Independent Film Festival. This year, Pedone received a grant to attend the European festival.

Castro said he plans to visit Victoria to work on some projects in November because the city has potential.

"There is always a niche, a place for people that work against the mainstream to establish something unique," said Castro.

Some of Pedone's other endeavors include pitching reality shows, finishing film projects and creating new ones.

After completing his first festival, he said he will give himself more time to secure funds and plan.

He said the most valuable lesson he learned is that "dreams do come true."

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