Wilmore 9 Crew Sets Ambitious goals for a First Annual Film, Music and Arts Fest

wilmore9 filmflyer

The Wilmore 9 team has been promoting film submissions all over Long Beach. Photo by Serena Maris. 

A young team of Long Beach networkers is digging into their social circles and reaching out regionally to produce what they hope will become a new annual film, music and art festival called Wilmore 9. The festival is slated to have its inagural run over two days, on August 3 and 4, in multiple venues spread across a four-by-four street block of North Pine in Downtown.

Wilmore 9 is the vision of John Case, an independent filmmaker and local figure in Long Beach best known for starting the country’s first Bikestation in 1996. Case recognized the need for an event like this to showcase the talents and diversity of Long Beach and to draw people into the city in the same way that festivals like South by Southwest do for Austin.

Assistant director Serena Maris said the event encompasses multiple art forms at once and appeals to people of all cultures.

“I know how much festivals enrich a city and show how rich a city already is in terms of culture, diversity, artists, foods,” she said. “It’ll show Long Beach off like it never has been before.”

wilmore9 thegangMaris described the projected festival vibe as indie-hipster with urban and local influences. The event will utilize five venues to showcase chosen films. Fifty bands will perform in indoor and outdoor music venues with genres ranging from acoustic to pop and punk. Confirmed to perform include Hopeless Romantics, The Aquadolls and Stacy Clark. At least half are local Long Beach artists while the rest hail from all over the West Coast.

Gallery spaces will feature photography, paintings and DIY crafters, and a diverse array of food trucks will line the streets around the venues. To highlight the skate culture in Long Beach, a pop-up skate park will be set up on Saturday to showcase demos from the Happy Hour Shades skate team.

Support from local organizations is being provided, though the event is predominantly being privately funded. Wilmore 9 also has the goal of raising $10,000 with a percentage of VIP tickets benefiting the organization Music Saves Lives.

“Overall, every outlet and resource we’ve come into is really excited and enthusiastic about seeing something like this happen in the city of Long Beach and so many are willing to donate their time and talents,” Maris said. “They have film festivals in Santa Barbara and Los Angeles but nothing that really showcases something more.“

The Wilmore 9 team hopes to expand the event year by year to eventually span nine days with activities in all nine council districts of Long Beach. This festival is being planned in just four months with film submissions still being accepted until June 21.

“We’re really try to pick through [submissions] and try to find artists that will inspire other people to be artistic and put themselves out there, to create things from scratch,” Maris said. 

Ticket prices are $25 for one day or $40 for two. VIP tickets are $70 and get you entrance, a private party, t-shirt and two free drink tickets. Wilmore 9 is encouraging a wide-range of film submissions to [email protected].

For more information about Wilmore 9 and ticketing visit Wilmore9.com. Connect through Facebook/Wilmore9fest.

Second photo: John Case, Serena Maris and team at The Greenhouse for a meeting.

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