- Thursday, Sep. 1, 2011
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The fourth annual Bel-Air Film Festival, which runs from October 12th to October 17th, announces its line-up for the week-long event that will be taking place at the Skirball Cultural Center, the Luxe Sunset Hotel, and the UCLA James Bridges Theatre.
The festival begins on October 12th, 2011 with the Opening Night Red Carpet Gala held at the Skirball Cultural Center. This elegant evening includes honoring writing partners Babaloo Mandel and Lowell Ganz (Happy Days, Splash, A League of Their Own), producer Bob Yari (Crash, The Illusionist), and actor Victor Alfieri (Angels and Demons, Southland, Persons Unknown) and a World Premiere screening of the feature film, "My Father's Will", written and directed by Fraydun Manocherian. There will also be a live musical performance by Chris Mann who has performed at the Sundance Film Festival, the pre-Oscars Young Hollywood Party, the American Film Institute Awards, and with David Foster and Katharine McPhee at the Horatio Alger Awards. In addition, Chris is a principle voice on the hit television show Glee and the accompanying soundtracks. Chloe Flower, a classically trained pianist will perform traditional arrangements with contemporary beats. Chloe has performed throughout the United States and abroad, having studied with the late Herbert Stessin of The Juilliard School and Aaron Shore at the Royal Academy of Music in London.
In sync with the opening night of the festival is a poker fundraiser which will benefit the Bel-Air Film and Arts non-profit organization in order to raise funds for film students attending the USC School of Cinematic Arts, Long Beach State University, and the New York Film Academy. The event will be hosted by Academy-Award nominee Don Cheadle (Crash, Traffic, Hotel Rwanda), Kathy Najimy (King of the Hill), and Mimi Rogers (Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, Dumb and Dumberer).
This year, the Bel-Air Film Festival will be screening 36 films, which includes 23 World Premieres and 6 Los Angeles Premieres. Short films and Student Shorts will also be screened. Screenings will be held at the Luxe Sunset Hotel and the UCLA James Bridges Theater. The festival includes a series of after parties which will take place each evening. Tickets are on-sale now at www.belairfilmfestival.com.
BEL-AIR FILM FESTIVAL FEATURE AND DOCUMENTARY FILMS
"My Father's Will," written and directed by Fraydun Manocherian (U.S.A) – World Premiere.
Wealthy and successful businessman, Ferro Olivetti, enjoys the privileges and perks of his social stature, but on his father's deathbed he promises to obey "his father's will" and spend one month away from his identity and money.
"Summertime," written and directed by Max Weissberg (U.S.A) – World Premiere.
Two actresses are unknowingly cast for the same part in a film.
"Challenging Impossibility," a documentary written and directed by Sanjay Rawal (U.S.A) – Los Angeles Premiere.
This film chronicles the weightlifting odyssey of the spiritual teacher Sri Chinmoy, who at the age of 53 surprisingly took up weightlifting. His lifts were featured on newscasts worldwide, inspiring people to transcend their personal limitations and to abandon their concepts of the restrictions of physical age.
"The World's Tallest Man: Still Growing," a documentary written and directed by Stuart Clarke (United Kingdom) – Los Angeles Premiere.
An emotional documentary following eight foot one tall Sultan Kosen, The World's Tallest Man, as he embarks on an inspirational journey in search of life-saving surgery and true love.
"Beat Boxing: The Fifth Element of Hip Hop," a documentary written and directed by Klaus Schneyder (U.S.A)
It was in the late 70s that a youth culture evolved in the poorer parts of New York which combined several disciplines under the name of Hip Hop. Apart from the four classic elements of Graffiti writing, DJing, Breakdancing, and Rapping, the musical side of this culture was enhanced by a fifth element called 'Beatboxing'.
"The Woodmans," a documentary written and directed by Scott Willis (U.S.A) – World Premiere.
A fascinating, unflinching portrait of the late photographer Francesca Woodman, told through the young artist's work (including experimental videos and journal entries) and remarkably candid interviews with her artist parents who have continued their own artistic practices while watching Francesca's professional reputation eclipse their own. The story of a family that suffers a tragedy, but perseveres and finds redemption through each other and their work: making art.
"Discover the Gift," a documentary written and directed by Demian Lichenstein (U.S.A)
Discover the Gift (DTG") is the remarkable feature-length documentary film, book, and movement created by award-winning filmmaker, Demian Lichtenstein, with his sister, Shajen Joy Aziz, that celebrate the Gifts in each person, that are simply awaiting discovery. The degree to which you nurture and share the miracle of your Gift is the degree to which you will experience full self-expression, joy and connectedness.
"Trophy Kids," directed by Josh Sugarman. Written by Josh Sugarman and Brandon Yankowitz (U.S.A)
A special feature film about the most coddled generation in history - Generation Y.
"The Wedding Party," directed by Amanda Jane. Written by Christine Bartlett (Australia) – Los Angeles Premiere.
The only thing to come between a groom and his bride is a family of misfits and the love of his life.
"The Pill," written and directed by John-Christopher Khoury (U.S.A)
Worried that he has gotten the free-spirited Mindy pregnant after an unprotected one-night stand, Fred feigns romantic interest and sticks by her side for twelve hours to make sure she takes both doses of the morning-after pill.
"The Wishmakers of West Hollywood," written and directed by David Grotell (U.S.A) – World Premiere.
Three young gay men arrive in Los Angeles to fulfill their dreams and aspirations, during a summer which will change their lives. In a world of You Tube celebrities, unemployment, downward mobility, and socializing through Facebook, they make a wish in a fountain to find love, fame, and transcendence. Will any of them do it?
"Face to Face," written and directed by Michael Rymer (Australia) – World Premiere.
A group of Australians from diverse backgrounds gather to decide the fate of a violent young man. An Australian '12 Angry Men', only there's ten men, and four women.
"The Italian Key," written and directed by Rosa Karo (Finland)
A romantic fairy tale about a 19-year-old orphan who gets, as her sole inheritance, an antique key that unlocks both an old villa in Italy and the mysteries of her family history.
"Once I Was A Champion," a documentary written and directed by Gerard Roxburgh (U.S.A)
Adventure seeker, fighter, philosopher, writer and alcoholic died on September 8th, 2008 in the desert north of Brawley, California. He was on a quest to find buried treasure, and "treasure" does not necessarily refer to something material.
The closing night ceremony will take place at the Luxe Sunset Hotel, where the festival judges will deliberate who will be receiving the festival awards. The awards that will be given at the festival include:
Best Audience Feature Film
Best Audience Documentary Film
Best Audience Short Film
Best Jury Feature Film
Best Jury Feature Film Directing
Best Jury Feature Film Cinematography
Best Jury Documentary Film
Best Jury Documentary Film Directing
FILM PANEL AND LOUNGE
The 2011 Bel-Air Film Festival announces its fourth annual film panel and lounge, "Film Distribution in 2011 and Beyond," hosted by entertainment attorney Mitra Ahouraian. The panel discussions will be focused on recent trends and changes in film distribution models, how to monetize in light of these changes, what filmmakers can expect in the future, and how to direct projects to maximize profits by taking advantage of the new forms of film distribution. Topics will include trends in foreign vs. domestic distribution, doing business in China, 3D films--fad or here to stay, what Netflix, Redbox, and Google TV mean for film makers, and the narrowing windows from theatrical to VOD, DVD, and other formats.
Panelists include: Palak Patel: President of Joe Roth's company, Roth Films, which has a producing deal at Sony Pictures Ent. Patel was one of the producers of Alice In Wonderland, directed by Tim Burton and starring Johnny Depp and Anne Hathaway and will be producing the upcoming Oz the Great directed by Sam Raimi, and starring Mila Kunis, James Franco, and Rachel Weisz.
Howard Rosenman: An American producer and motion picture executive that specializes in producing romantic comedy films and documentary films, including Father of the Bride (1991) starring Steve Martin and Diane Keaton, Joss Whedon's Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992) and The Family Man (2000) starring Nicolas Cage.
Demian Lichtenstein: An American film and music video director that has directed over 225 features, short films, music videos, commercials and concerts including directing music videos for Sting & Eric Clapton, Grandmaster Caz, Shabba Ranks, Queen Latifah, West of Eden (Best Independent Video/MTV 1987), Cypress Hill, Gloria Estefan, Sony, Warner Bros., Columbia Pictures, MCA, Epic, Island, Atlantic, Tommy Boy, IRS Records, World Hunger Project, and the Multiple Sclerosis Society.
The evening will be followed by an after party.
Mitra Ahouraian is a Los Angeles-based entertainment attorney. She launched her legal career by developing a foundation in Business Litigation, Intellectual Property, and Corporate Law, before branching off into Entertainment. With degrees from both UCLA and Loyola Law School, and a specialty from UCLA in Entertainment Studies with an emphasis in Film, Mitra has worked in legal affairs at MTV, has worked on the merger of 2 major record labels, and has been of-counsel to several high-profile copyright infringement cases involving artists and major studios and record companies. Her entertainment practice specializes in film and entertainment financing, negotiating and structuring artist and production deals, and all Intellectual Property matters, including rights clearance, licensing, copyrights, trademarks, and patents.
CLOSING NIGHT CEREMONY
Following the closing night ceremony, which will be held at the Luxe Sunset Hotel, is an exclusive, private event that will be held at the SOHO House West Hollywood. The evening will include food and drinks.
The Bel-Air Film Festival promotes the appreciation and knowledge of film, and seeks to recognize the most creative films and individuals in the film industry each year. The Festival's goal is to inspire filmmakers and help provide them with the resources needed to further their knowledge.
Sponsors: Jet Blue, Gridlock Denim, Luxe Sunset Hotel, UCLA James Bridges Theatre
For more information please visit www.belairfilmfestival.com.