Local talent contributes to Oscar-nominated film

A local musician scored the Oscar-nominated documentary short film “Facing Fear,” which is playing at the Riverview Theater this week.

The film tells the story of a gay man who survived a hate-motivated beating by a group of neo-Nazis. Twenty-five years later, he had a chance encounter with one of his attackers, and their discussions led to an unlikely collaboration and friendship.

Lynnhurst resident David Kesler said he wanted to write music that allowed the story to tell itself.

“I’m trying to make it reinforce what’s being said, without telling you how to feel,” Kesler said. “It’s trying to support both characters having real epiphanies in life.”

Kesler primarily composes music for television and radio ad clients. Recent projects include a mix for a Proactiv ad featuring Justin Bieber, and sound design for the Telemundo show “La Buena Mala.” Kesler also makes time for creative side projects, however: He and another sleep-deprived dad cranked out four full-length albums and released them over the course of four months. Kesler is currently writing music for a documentary that was filmed in several countries and explores the topic of forgiveness.

Kesler moved here from California last summer to be closer to family. He seems to be settling in quickly — during this reporter’s initial call, he was in the midst of a volunteer shift with a group from the Congo. He previously volunteered with refugees for Lutheran Social Services in the Bay Area, and he’s working with the local chapter now.

“It makes moving across the country a little easier,” he said.

Facing Fear and other Oscar-nominated short documentaries will play at the Riverview Theater Feb. 17, 18, 19 and 20 at 1:15 p.m. For more information, visit http://www.riverviewtheater.com/show/show/1903