Pleasanton native Jillian Corsie helped to program the Hollywood-based Salute Your Shorts Film Festival for the 2020 season, which takes place this Friday through Aug. 29, and this year local residents can tune in.
The festival has rapidly expanded since its founding in 2017, and now it will be online, as a result of the coronavirus.
"For the first time people living outside of L.A. will be able to tune in," said Corsie, a 2005 graduate of Amador Valley High and producer of the film "Trichster" in 2015. "We have an amazing lineup of films, including many that have played at the big fests -- Sundance, Tribeca, etc."
The 2020 edition of Salute Your Shorts will be unique in a variety of ways. Those able to come to Hollywood can attend a drive-in theater premiere on Friday night. However, 90% or more of the several dozen films slated to screen will be available to viewers everywhere from Aug. 22-29.
"A lot of people have heard of Sundance or Cannes, but most people have never actually been to a film festival," festival co-founder Becky Murdoch said. "By taking Salute Your Shorts online, we want to give people an opportunity to see what all the fuss is about."
Another draw to the festival is high-profile judges. Emmy winner Tony Hale judged the comedy shorts one year. "Pretty Little Liars" star Troian Bellisario also has judged, as has "Lego Movie" creator Dan Lin.
Though high-profile professionals participate each year, Murdoch thinks quality films are what really bring cinephiles to film festivals.
"I like to think we program films with an aftertaste," Murdoch said with a laugh. "And in all seriousness, this year, more than ever, we are choosing films to make people think."
Tickets are available at SaluteYourShortsFest.com.