Locals Win Film Festival Acclaim


Two Laguna Beach residents won top awards at The U.S. International Film and Video Festival in Los Angeles.

“Journey to the South Pacific,” narrated by Cate Blanchett and produced by MacGillivray Freeman Films of Laguna Beach, won in the documentary feature category, and was also nominated for a best of festival documentary.

For 50 years, filmmaker and giant-screen film producer-director Greg MacGillivray and his team have been making surfing documentaries, collaborating on Hollywood movies and producing IMAX films.

The student award went to John Taschner, a third generation Laguna Beach native and student at Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, for “Life’s A Dive.” The film includes historic and archival footage, old home movies and underwater photography shot in Hawaii and the Pacific by Taschner, who narrates a story about the top secret World War II diving missions of his grandfather. He also reflects on the ideological threads that bind the filmmaker and his grandfather together across time and oceans.



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