Film festival runs through Sunday - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Film festival runs through Sunday

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by Krystal Paco

Guam - Near and far, filmmakers and film lovers are flocking to the Agana Stadium Theaters to witness the talent on display this week as part of Third Annual Guam International Film Festival.

"My goal with it is to inspire anyone with a dream or entrepreneurs," said director Porter Erisman. What he calls a battle of David of Goliath, "Crocodile in the Yangtze" says the 75-minute feature film documentary is a memoir to the eight years he spent working in China's first ecommerce company that battled and beat U.S. giant, eBay. "The film really captures the ups and downs of what it was like in a startup company operating in the china environment where the government was regulating it."

From the booming business in China, "Brainerd" producer Shanna Sletten says her 16-minute documentary will take viewers to the blistering cold winter of Minnesota for the world's largest ice fishing competition. "Over 10,000 sometimes upwards of 17,000 people come to one lake in Minnesota in the middle of winter to ice fish and the grand prize is a pickup truck," she said.

Closer to home, director Ian Thomas Ash follows Fukushima children living with the effects of nuclear radiation. His 70-minute documentary "A2-B-C" is titled after their diagnosed classifications of thyroid cysts. "And its about children living in areas that are really contaminated but are outside of the official evacuation zone so its 40 or 50 kilometers from the nuclear powerplant but because the way the radiation spread and the northwest plume, they're actually living in areas that are quite contaminated," he said.

All three admit - taking a story to the bigscreen isn't easy. You'll find yourself battling self-doubt, self-censorship, and even extreme temperatures...but that should never be an excuse to not follow your dreams.  

"Because you have the Internet, you have a place to distribute it. So anyone who has a camera or even a camera phone and a microphone and put together a film and find an audience right away online," Erisman said.  "Getting together and figuring out what you're good at and what you want to try out just finding a small group and grabbing whatever equipment you can get even if its not good just start is my advice. Just start," added Sletten. "It isn't about the equipment or about the technique, its really about telling a story and so if you've got a great story, a great narrative, then the other pieces will come together," Ash said.

Screening times for all three documentaries can be found on http://www.guamfilmfestival.org or visit their Facebook.

"The film festival is about watching films but it's also about coming together and about the opportunities that the festival is creating for people to come together, talk about films to get inspired to go back home and to do their own thing," Ash said.

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