WHITTIER – It won’t be any competition for the more glamorous and established film festivals such as Cannes or Sundance, but that’s not the goal of the Whittier Film Festival. Set for March 7 and 8, the new festival’s focus will be to promote local talent also to showcase the city itself. “The festival not only aims to celebrate the arts, but more importantly to foster community development and drive business in the Whittier area,” said festival founder Paul Bresenden. Bresenden, 28, grew up in Whittier and still lives in the city where he runs his business, 454 Creative Corp., a marketing and advertising firm. “It’s a great idea,” he said. “Not only is it an outlet for people to express themselves, it’s a great way to spread the word about our great theaters and restaurants.” There is a $50 submission fee for those who meet the Dec. 21 deadline and $65 for those who meet the Jan. 21 late submission deadline. The films have come from not only Whittier, but also from students attending UCLA, Cal State Long Beach and Cal State Fullerton. There are several cash prizes, including $1,000 for Best of the Fest, $500 for Best Short, $500 for Best Feature, $500 for Best Student Film, $250 for Best Directing, $250 for Best Editing and $500 for Viewers Choice. For more information, visit www.whittierfilm.org, or call (562) 902-9000. [email protected] (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3028160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: Clemson demonstrates that it’s tough to knock out the champThe two-day event will take place in Uptown Whittier in multiple venues highlighting film, art and music by locals within a 30- to 40-mile radius. “We have a lot of talented people living around here,” said Bresenden, who was a youth pastor. He said the festival is a chance to bring a diverse crowd from a variety of ages and backgrounds together in a family oriented environment. “It will give people from outside the area a chance to explore the hidden novelties of the town,” Bresenden said. Mayor Owen Newcomer is enthusiastic about the festival.