Victoria native plans film festival

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

Anthony Pedone wants to start a new art movement in the Crossroads.

The 41-year-old Victoria native has received some support from film enthusiasts from Europe, New Zealand, New York, California and other cities across the world to help make the dream a reality.

"This is my home," he said. "I want to support indie film here, and I want to inspire cultural exchange."

Pedone and 35 traveling film fans plan to share their passion through the first Victoria TX Independent Film Festival.

About 40 films will be shown at the Leo J. Welder Center and the Johnson Symposium at the Victoria College from March 22-25.

A blend of documentaries, shorts and fiction stories can suit many interests.

Whether a movie makes you laugh, cry or get angry, chances are you'll be able to tell the directors and actors how you feel in person.

The film festival kicks off with "This Way of Life" on March 22. The film received the People's Choice Award for Best Documentary in the Iowa Indie Film Festival in 2011 and has been featured in Sydney, London, Seattle, Palm Springs, Vancouver and New Zealand International Film Festivals.

Peter Karena, the film's protagonist, and his son, Llewelyn Karena, will fly to the Crossroads from New Zealand to be part of the festival. They will do a question-and-answer session after the movie.

Filmmakers Tom and Barbara Sumner Burstyn followed the loving, yet isolated family for four years.

During that time, the Karenas endured death, homelessness and family conflict while trying to maintain their family values.

Peter Karena's motto has been, "What do I do for a living? I live for a living."

He lives in the mountains and has to travel to pick up Internet service. Pedone spent two weeks trying to make initial contact with documentary stars.

Pedone said it's an incredible opportunity for this community to take part in a new event. They don't have to do much else.

"I just need for people to come and enjoy the event we have all worked so hard to create," he said.



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