By Gianne Nalangan
The Bernal Heights Outdoor Cinema is a free five-day festival showcasing the works of local filmmakers with live musical performances and awards for the best films.
Opening night on Wednesday August 31 at the Old Clam House was packed with spectators, forcing some of the audience to sit on the floor.
With the dim lighting in place, the mood exuded an artistic and trendy feel as both young and mature adults gathered to catch a glimpse of the movie screen.
Amy Anton, a Bernal Heights resident, described the atmosphere as “fun and intimate with a crowd that was very engaging and well-informed.”
As the live band performed, the laughter among the audience was audible as they anticipated the first film on the opening day of a movie-filled weekend at the Bernal Heights Outdoor Cinema.
The location of this roving outdoor cinema varies depending on the day and time of each unique screening.
During the “Film Crawl” on Friday night, films were shown outdoors and under the stars at Precita Park while others were simultaneously being shown at coffee shops, the library and a yoga studio along Cortland Avenue.
The co-organizers of the Bernal Heights Outdoor Cinema, Leslie Lombre and Anne Batmale, started the event in 2004. In the beginning they had a difficult time gathering enough films. Now, over 100 films were submitted.
“We both started eight years ago basically trying to showcase local filmmakers,” Lombre said. “In Bernal, there are a lot of film makers and artists”
This year, City College is represented by filmmaker Patricia Warren and her film, “Art Inside Out.” The film was made on campus and showcases paintings and other art work by students at the California School for the Blind.
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