DigiFest Temecula 2023 levels up with this year’s Hollywood lineup


Chelsey Romano

Special to Valley News

Spring is around the corner and so is DigiFest 2023. What is DigiFest you may ask? It is a digital-media festival and competition that celebrates all digital-art mediums. This creative festival honors short films and videos, web series, animation, gaming, graphic design, music videos, digital art, photography and more. DigiFest takes place on April 21, 22 and 23 at JDS Studios in Temecula and brings together various media forms that share original stories, diverse perspectives, and rich emotional journeys through the collaboration of digital mediums.

Opening night, Friday, April 21, includes a Blue Carpet Event with hors d’oeuvres. Opening ceremonies are emceed by comedian Andrew Norelli with special guest speakers ABC’s Big Sky’s Ryan O’Nan and actress and advocate Eileen Grubba. Sammy Listoe will kick off the after party with live entertainment.

Saturday, April 22, consists of a meet-and-greet panel of award-winning directors and cinematographers Narseen Alkhateeb, Alex Bram, Pryde Pierce and Chris Nolan. That presentation will be followed by a panel of two top industry-professional voice actors: Bob Bergen, who voices Porky Pig, and Candi Milo, who famously voices Dexter from Dexter’s Laboratory. Saturday will also include a podcaster and influencer panel consisting of experts from across the country. The evening wraps up with film, video and animation festival competition screenings, all of which are vying for Digi Awards.

The three-day extravaganza concludes on Sunday, April 23, with workshops. First up is Adobe Certified Trainer David Creamer, who will share all the inside tips of the Premiere editing platform. Award-winning composer Bryon Fry will provide a Music Arrangement Workshop. Then attendees will learn how to create their own podcast/TV show with Diane Forster from the acclaimed award-winning show, “I Have Today.”

The festival wraps with its Awards Celebration at Temecula City Hall Conference Center. Headlining the ceremonies is Adrian Paul from the Highlander Series and Honorable California State Treasurer Fiona Ma giving an address on arts and economics. The celebration also features live entertainment from Lee Coulter who will perform into the after-hours. The festival and celebration culminate with the Digi Awards Ceremony.

Festival competition participants enter DigiFest both domestically and globally by submitting their creative digital content. Submissions are critiqued by an industry professional judging panel and the winners of each category are awarded with a Digi Award, an Honorable Mention or a People’s Choice Award. Moreover, this festival cultivates creativity, showcasing all mediums of the arts, bringing education and network opportunities for those seeking to enter the industry. If you are interested in any digital art medium as a creator or enjoyer, this is exactly where you want to be.

DigiFest Temecula has been a staple in the Temecula region for seven years and was founded with passion by JDS Creative Academy Co-Founder and Executive Director Diane Strand. JDS Creative Academy, the host of DigiFest Temecula is a nonprofit organization that provides a place to learn about industry advancements, how to pursue a career in the industry, and how to incorporate digital arts into the economic culture.

JDS Creative Academy reinvented what the City of Temecula recognized as the International Temecula Film and Music Festival into what is now referred to as DigiFest Temecula, which is a vehicle for the community and region to come together and experience digital media in many creative and artistic forms.

Tickets went on sale on March 1 and are expected to sell out for the in-person experience. There is also a virtual ticket option available. DigiFest Temecula takes place at JDS Studios and the Temecula Conference Center in Temecula. Tickets can be purchased for individual event access or for the entire three-day event with an “all access” ticket/pass at www.DigiFestTemecula.org. For more information on all things #JDSFamily check out https://jdscreativeacademy.org or call 951-296-6715.