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The Downbeach Film Festival presents the Atlantic City Cinefest

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Lights Camera, Action! The 2009 Downbeach Film Festival presented the Atlantic City Cinefest at Resorts Atlantic City this weekend. For the first time, the festival has moved from its Ventnor/Margate location to Atlantic City which has a little more glitz and glamour, according to the Executive Director of the festival, William Sokolic. “The time is right to resurrect the festival,” he says, “I think it’s important because it’s (the Downbeach Film Festival) another destination to Atlantic City. It adds something to Atlantic City.” And the timing couldn’t be better! Over the summer two motion pictures filmed at various locations in Atlantic City. Columbia Pictures’ The Bounty, starring Jennifer Aniston and Gerard Butler filmed at Trump Taj Mahal and at various locations along the Boardwalk. Also, the Lions Gate film, The Warrior, starring Nick Nolte and Tom Hardy filmed along the Boardwalk and at Resorts Casino. Ice Grill, USA

This year, the festival shows feature, short and documentary films, from many New Jersey filmmakers. The festival kicked-off with the East Coast Premiere of Ice Grill, USA. A film which explores how the pursuit of the American Dream affects people. Set in Atlantic City, the main character must choose between the black market pharmaceutical drug trade and the casino hospitality industry. Filmmaker, Greg Santarsiero said his movie tells the story of what it’s like coming from somewhere, where opportunities are very limited. “Atlantic City is filled with a lot of good people and a lot of people who lost their way,” Santarsiero explained, “It’s an ode to the working class.” Santarsiero added even though his film shows the struggle involved in obtaining status in a morally indifferent community, Ice Grill, USA also demonstrates that if you put your mind to something, you can create opportunities for yourself.

The screening was held on the 13th floor of Resorts Casino in their quaint theatre, which Sokolic says is the perfect setting for the festival, “This is a great venue that’s unused.”

Ice Grill, USAThis year, the festival honored long-time actor, Martin Kove, who appeared in all three Karate Kid films, Wyatt Earp and numerous television shows. Kove also stars in Bare Knuckles, a film shown at the festival.

Sokolic says if you couldn’t make this years festival, then save the dates for next year’s now: October 15-17, 2010.

Images provided by: The Downbeach Film Festival