Just before the one-year anniversary of starting the Central Coast Film Society (CCFS), the group has been granted 501c3 nonprofit status by the Internal Revenue Service.

“This is a new chapter for us. It’s a really exciting time,” said Daniel Lahr, CCFS executive director. “I feel like we can finally get to work in getting funds and grants so we can really help out the community.

“We also want to cultivate local artists and help grow their talents and inspire new generations of filmmakers. That’s what we are going to really be able to do now with additional funding.”

The goal of the CCFS is to provide local filmmakers and films a venue to call home, foster future media artists, and create opportunities to get involved in the industry by hosting lectures, screenings and eventually a film festival in the fall of 2020 in the Santa Ynez Valley.

The CCFS’s first event with its official nonprofit status is the screening of the Disney film Pocahontas (1995), 9:30 a.m. Sunday, April 7, at Parks Plaza Theater, Buellton. The event will include a talk with former Disney illustrator and Santa Ynez Valley native Art Alvarez. Door open at 9 a.m.

“I am unbelievably excited for this event. I remember going to the same theater when the film came out 24 years ago, and now I get to bring my kids to see it. Not only that, but everyone will get a chance to speak with an artist who worked on film and see his work on display,” Lahr said.

Alvarez was hired by Disney to provide illustrations of the film’s characters for promotional materials and ads near the film’s release. He said in a recent talk at the Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum that illustrating is extremely difficult because it has to match the original animations to the exact hue.

Aside from the screenings, this summer, CCFS will host a short film competition involving amateur and student filmmakers by giving everyone a set of rules and they have to come up with a script, produce and put together a film with a common prop or theme.

The short film competition details will be posted on the CCFS website in late spring for those who wish to participate.

Tickets for the Pocahontas screening are $5 for two people, $8 for a family of four, and free for CCFS members (limit two per member). The screening is sponsored by Visit Santa Ynez Valley and Pea Soup Andersen’s Inn.

For more about CCFS, visit www.centralcoastfilmsociety.org.

— Daniel Lahr for Central Coast Film Society.