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Out-of-state jurors come to support Victoria's first film festival

By by camille m. doty/cdoty@vicad.com
March 14, 2012 at 12:01 p.m.
Updated March 13, 2012 at 10:14 p.m.

Christine Elise McCarthy will be the shorts program director and a juror for the Victoria TX Independent Film Festival. The Los Angeles-based actress thrives in film festival environments. "We're like bees in a beehive," she said.

Christine Elise McCarthy compares film watching to training for a marathon. She has the stamina to sit through movies all weekend long without flinching.

At times, she has some backlash for making that decision.

"When you watch 15 movies in two days, you have crazy dreams," she said.

The 47-year-old Boston native jumped at the chance to be a part of the first-ever Victoria TX Independent Film Festival as a juror and shorts program director.

Texas Artists' Cultural Alliance will present the four-day event designed to inspire and champion independent artists, according to the festival's website.

Victoria native Anthony Pedone, who is spearheading the inaugural event, invited McCarthy, who thrives in a film festival environment.

"It's a fun way to do homework," she said. "It's a mix of business and pleasure."

McCarthy said she enjoys being around others with the similar interest.

"We're like bees in a beehive," she said.

McCarthy moved to Los Angeles in 1984. Some of her acting credits include "Beverly Hills 90210," "ER," and "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit."

She has spearheaded and served on the selection committee of Michigan's Waterfront Film Festival all 14 years.

The self-proclaimed film lover made her directorial debut in "Bathing & the Single Girl," which has been accepted into 80 film festivals.

As a juror, McCarthy and other aficionados will decide who wins the film competition.

Mark Bell heard about the show from McCarthy. As a judge in some of Bell's previous shows, everyone agreed immediately. Other times the conversations would get more spirited, he said.

"I've never been on a contentious jury that couldn't come to a friendly decision in the end," he said.

Bell is the owner and publisher of Film Threat, an online magazine that focuses on independent film. He's had 15 years experience in the business.

Bell, of Philadelphia, has visited both established and startup festivals to experience different film communities.

McCarthy said it's a rare opportunity for spectators to meet the movie producers and directors, which they will be able to do at the Victoria festival.

"You can dip your feet into the water without any risks," she said.



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