Paso Digital Film Festival Nov. 20-24, Featuring a Series of Films and Forums on 'The State and Fate of Children'

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The Paso Digital Film Festival last year was on the cutting edge, this year it is the sword...first two day's theme is 'Music in Film' two days is on the state and fate of children and covers sad and dark truths of child abuse, autism, runaways, adolescent suicide, sexual molestation of children and other dark cracks that suck up our kids.

The Festival will screen some powerful documentaries that show the suffrage of abused and neglected children and youth, cover the subjects of autism, runaway, homeless and missing children, and honor some great filmmakers, journalists, and producers who

Returning to the public eye in San Luis Obispo county’s Northern small-town ‘jewel’, Paso Robles, California, promoter Benford Standley is bringing back his unique independent film-festival for a second-year run, Last year’s festival featured the famous and the almost-famous, including films and awards from actor-director Clint Eastwood, Oscar-winning film-editor Joel Cox, and a wide slate of fantastic independent films and film-makers. Four days of films and music in 2008 featured panel-discussions on digital film-making, numerous screenings, and music from greats like Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Johnny Rivers, Eagles songwriter Jack Tempchin , Kevin Bacon, Kyle Eastwood, and many others. 

For the festival’s second year, plans are for hours of ‘live’ Internet ‘streaming video’ broadcasts, Multi-Platform Social Network outlets will include YouTube, FaceBook, MySpace, Twitter, and more, with a broad-spectrum of coverage in these new media. thePDFF has also formed an alliance with B-Side Entertainment, and their audience of 4-million users, with a highly interactive film-programming and festival schedule service.

Also like last year, the festival will offer numerous screenings of new feature films, short-films, documentaries, and other entry-categories, from all over the world, with 4 of these being World Premiers. In typical P.T. Barnum-fashion, Standley is gathering a parade of music acts few similar festivals can boast of; Friday and Saturday will set the stage with a theme of ‘Music in Film’, with the Music in Media Award going to the legendary producer Joel Diamond, and the likes of Dave Somerville, co-founding member of the world famous Diamonds as MC for a Doo-Wop Saturday with Gary Busey, Chris Montez, Sonny Curtis and special guests. Friday music is with the Jack Tempchin Band and special guests, and actor/activist/musician Max Gail, comedian Charlie Hill, Steve Miller guitarist Kenny Lewis, John Andrew Parks and more special guests. Award winning magician Rich Ferguson will be appearing, like magic himself, throughout the festival. A special tribute to the ‘father of the electric-guitar’, Les Paul, is planned (Paul was to have been part of the festival, but recently passed away). 

From the world of film and media the likes of actor Robert Carradine, Kathleen Quinlan, Gary Conway, Academy of Television Arts and Science board member Conrad Bachman, show business legend Oscar Arslanian, award winning filmmakers Chris Felver, media entrepreneurs Chris Andrews,, Kathy Kelly, Dan Jones, LA sports talk-show host/film maker Steve Mason, and others, will join in.

But another very important part of the Digital Film Fest this year, as the theme for Sunday and Monday, is a focus on ‘The State and Fate of Children'. The Festival will screen some powerful documentaries that show the suffrage of abused and neglected children and youth, cover the subjects of autism, runaway, homeless and missing children, and honor some great filmmakers, journalists, and producers who cover these urgent concerns on film, television and the Internet.  Festival Producer Standley is deeply dedicated to shedding light in the darkness for millions of homeless, runaway, and missing children, the abused, the autistic, and those who fall between the cracks, sadly, in historic numbers, here in the United States. 

"In the spirit of ‘We Are The World’, ‘Farm Aid’, and other great events where artists and creative people gather to help raise money and awareness for important causes, we shall ride that train,” he said. “Film and media can help educate and bring about the awareness and understanding needed to help.”  Among the guests who will ‘face the dragon’ of child-abuse in panel discussions and as speakers, will be:

Ken Kragen, a former Paso Robles resident, co-creator and executive producer of ‘We Are the World’ and ‘Hands Across America’ for the homeless, will be honored with the festival’s Humanitarian Award, for his work in entertainment, and efforts to help so many in need with his beneficial projects. Mark Lunsford will be a keynote speaker. He became a national spokesman and a true American hero to so many for his endless work for child safety after his 9 year-old daughter Jessica was raped and murdered by a convicted sex-offender. The result of his work was Jessica's Law, which has been enacted by California and 39 states. Another keynote speaker is Erin Runnion, the mother of kidnapped and murdered Samantha Runnion. 

Dr. Lois Lee, Director of ‘Children of the Night’ in Los Angles, her associate, Oscar and Globe awards-nominated actress and children’s rights advocate Kathleen Quinlan, William Bronston M.D., CEO and founder of Tower of Youth, and principal architect of the Digital Arts Studio Partnership Program, Maureen Blaha, Executive Director of the National Runaway Switchboard, and others, will make presentations, bringing together more than a dozen of the nation’s and the region’s awareness-leaders, working with children and youth in need. Assembled at the festival will be a historic and powerful group working with concern for a better life for our children and youth, at a time when millions are suffering in these ways, here in these Untied States.

Interviews, pics, more details, research and background, and up-coming announcements, are all available for qualified media outlets and editors. Please visit the PRDFF website at or call Benford Standley @ 323-850-8919 email to: prfilmfest(at)


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