The newly formed Monterey Bay Film Society presented by TAT has already staged two successful events. The annual Monterey Bay Film Festival, set for April 8 and 9, promised to be just as exciting.

The society’s mission is to promote the cinematic arts with year-round programs and to provide free media workshops for at-risk and underserved youngsters throughout Monterey County. It also intends to bring the most innovative contemporary filmmakers to the Monterey Bay area, holding programs, events and screenings at a variety of venues.

CSUMB’s Enid Baxter Blader and Chris Carpenter are co-directors. Mike Plante of the Sundance Film Festival is the society's creative director.

“The idea is to support local filmmakers by bringing in artists. It will also serve as an opportunity for them to do community workshops in underserved areas, and speak to film students at the university,’’ Professor Blader noted, adding that organizers had raised $280,000 in grant money and an additional $70,000 from private donors to help fund their ambitious plans.

The film society’s inaugural event was held March 5, when the documentary “I Am Secretly an Important Man” was shown at the Osio Theater in Monterey. Peter Sillen, the film’s director, was on hand to answer questions from the audience. The second event was the March 19 screening of “Carmel-by-the-Sea” at Sunset Center in Carmel. Tickets were in big demand for both events; both were sold out.

To read more about the Monterey Bay Film Festival, click here.