The Long Beach Indie Film Festival, a showcase of international diversity through film, television and digital media, is taking place August 27-31 at the Cinemark at the Pike and the Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center. Over 90 international and domestic films will be screened, bringing together both established and aspiring filmmakers, scholars, creative professionals and movie lovers from Long Beach and beyond. A Digital Edutainment Conference, College and Career Fair and more will be available to those who register (which you can still do).
Ryan Weatrowski, a former Long Beach resident, had his short film In Black chosen to be shown at the festival. If you can’t make it to see the film on the big screen, you can watch In Black on Ryan’s Vimeo. The five minute experimental short is about “the cycle of black and white and how they find their counterpoint in each other,” said Ryan. “The colors are represented by a man and a woman and we see first hand, both of their emotional perspectives until the end of the cycle.”
Ryan filmed the short at the end of his first term at Art Center College of Design. “I didn't have a team of people, it was just me, an idea and two amazing friends (Kelly Sturges & Dillon Moore) who were willing to be my black and white," Ryan said. "We filmed at a studio loft in downtown LA, it was the perfect space, with the most beautiful lighting, I was very lucky. It was my goal to go there with very little and capture the most honest images and performances I could for the sake of expression only.”
This fall will be Ryan’s third term at Art Center, but how he got there is an inspiring story in and of itself. “I moved around a lot as a kid, from California to Virginia to Tennessee, so there was always a good chunk of time I didn't have friends to hangout with, so I would watch movies," Ryan explained. "It wasn't until we moved back to California that I started doing what I could to be a part of it. I went from wanting to be an actor to reading Harry Potter, then wanting to be a writer, then a model, then an actor again. I was a mess, I just wanted in, in any way I could because I knew the end goal was sitting in a theater watching a film written and directed by Ryan Weatrowski.”
Although he was bombarded with doubts, with the words of naysayers who would tell him how narrow that path to success was, or how hard or how lucky he’d have to be to succeed, he eventually found his way.
“Out of high school I panicked and decided I'd be a writer, a solid-enough career and if things fell through I could just teach," Ryan said. "A few months later I moved to Long Beach, enrolled at LBCC to earn a few more credits to transfer to CSULB to major in Creative Writing. In my last semester at LBCC I was assigned to write an essay about what our dream school was and what we'd have to do to get there. I wrote about Film School, any Film School, any path to becoming a film director was cool with me. I never turned it in, it bothered me so much I wasn't on that path that I dropped out of all my classes, took three months to film three short films, gathered up all my works and submitted to Cal Arts and Art Center College of Design. I was accepted to both, moved to LA, and started my first term at Art Center to becoming a film director in the spring.”
To see Ryan’s, and other students' films, which will be shown on August 28 at 4:15PM, purchase tickets here. Visit Long Beach Indie to purchase general tickets for the festival, which starts tomorrow at noon and ends August 31 at 11:59PM.