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A special military-themed preview party will take place on Saturday, August 11 to herald the upcoming Oceanside International Film Festival. The 3-hour gala, to be held at the Oceanside Library, 330 North Coast Hwy., kicks off at 1:00 pm.

A pair of feature-length documentaries aimed at honoring military veterans (and enticing North County film fans) will be screened.

Nara Garber and Betsy Nagler's Flat Daddy tells the intriguing story of 4 families that use life-sized cardboard cutouts to represent their husbands, wives, parents, and children serving overseas.

Festival organizer Dmitriy Demidov says Flat Daddy qualifies as a filmed "outreach program, because as troops return home in growing numbers to a stagnant economy and grapple with the physical and psychological tolls of their service, their families need our support more than ever."

The Brooklyn-made documentary has yet to be released on home video. Flat Daddy will screen again during the festival where the producers hope it will receive the Audience Choice Award.

Orange County documentarian Pamela Peak's Voices of a Never Ending Dawn has already had a fair amount of exposure thanks to its national airing on PBS. According to OIFF notes, "The film tells an emotional story of men, officially designated the American North Russian Expeditionary Force and also known as 'Detroit's Own' and 'Polar Bears,' who were sent by President Wilson to North Russia where they fought the Bolshevik Red Army from September 1918 through June 1919."

The event is free to military, veterans, and their families (with military ID & advance registration) and only $5.00 for civilians (with advance registration). Walk-ins are welcome the day of the event, but seating is subject to availability.

The OIFF runs from August 16 to 19. Click for a complete list of films to be screened. For more information call 760-433-3632.

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