Everybody loves a great story. Whether shared verbally, in writing, with images, or on screen – they draw us in with their diversity, splendor, and excitement. We savor getting to know each character, and allow ourselves to believe the dramatic embellishments that entertain, educate, or simply make us laugh.

Screen-Shot-2016-03-24-at-11.10.22-AM-696x1024So for story lovers looking to make the most of their Labor Day weekend, Benicia’s Third Annual Film Festival has just the ticket. For three straight days, film aficionados and enthusiasts alike will flock to this vibrant, artistic community to review and enjoy 38 short films from all over the world. Chosen for their storytelling, camera work, editing and audio, the Benicia Film Festival committee has carefully selected each one for you, out of a total of 800 films submitted.

This year, viewers will be touched by everything from the nostalgia of youth, to the complexityof family, to the dilemma of online dating. With each film ranging in length from five to 30 minutes, you’ll be able to enjoy many of the entries.

U.S. filmmaker Sarah Carnick will be on hand with her film crew for opening night, Friday, September 2. The first screening will be held at the Veterans’ Hall on First Street, where five films will be on a 37-minute continuous loop from 6-8 p.m.

On Saturday, September 3 and Sunday, September 4 the festival will move to the Majestic Theater on First Street, where festival attendees can pick and choose the films they’d like to see (check out the full schedule at beniciafilmfestival.com). There will be a short break between films to give people time to get seated. An afternoon break will give patrons a chance to sample one of the many delicious eateries located right on First Street.

Ah, the art!

Downtown Benicia is peppered with some of the most intriguing art galleries and studios in the Bay Area. Those looking to take a break from the festival are only steps away from perusing paintings, drawings, sculptures, hand-blown glass, photography, crafts, jewelry, and much more. Stroll downtown, popping in and out of the many shops and cafés open during the festival, and discover why beautiful Benicia is home to so many local artists.

You can buy tickets for one, two, or all three days of the Benicia Film Festival. They range from $10 (for students, single day) to $65 for a full weekend pass. There are also discounts for teachers, firefighters, veterans, active military personnel, and police officers. For details about the festival including films, schedule, and ticket prices, please visit beniciafilmfestival.com.

For more information about Benicia artists, restaurants, and unique shopping, please visit visitbenicia.org/businesses/