The first annual Bel Air Film Festival™, presented by Gem Shopping Network, has unveiled its lineup of films to be screened in Bel Air and Beverly Hills from November 14 until November 19, 2008. The festival will showcase some of today’s most creative films and filmmaking talent, and in the process, unite entertainment industry tastemakers and film lovers in the community.
“It is time Bel Air had a film festival to call their own. A large portion of the entertainment industry resides here and this is a wonderful opportunity to bring a community together,” said Bel Air Film Festival™ Director Melody Storm. “All of our advisory board members have an extensive background in film, and the awarded films have been carefully reviewed and chosen.”
Sponsors of the inaugural festival include Gem Shopping Network, Lucky Jets, Genlux Magazine, Renita Casting, Wolfgang Zwiener’s Steakhouse, Food Perfected, Wander, Prince and Pauper, The Actors Network and Break Down Services.
“Film Fashion Night,” will kick off the festival on Friday, November 14th. Hosted by Genlux Magazine, the evening will be a celebration of fashion, film and art held at Lionsgate Vice Chairman and Director Mark Amin’s exclusive private estate in Bel Air. Screenings include “Louise Dahl-Wolfe: Painting with Light,” a short documentary about the famed photographer’s life and her “discovery” of actress Lauren Bacall, as well as short documentary “James Gill Full Circle,” an autobiographical look at American pop artist James Gill that chronicles his meteoric rise and sudden disappearance from the Hollywood scene and art world. Honorees for the evening include Anya Sarre, celebrity stylist and head fashion stylist for “Entertainment Tonight,” “The Insider” and “ET on MTV;” and Orian Williams, producer of the award-winning film “Control” and one of Variety’s “10 Producers to Watch.”
On Saturday, November 15, a screening of the short documentary “Carissa” sponsored by Virgin Mobile and the Los Angeles Dodgers Dream Foundation, will be shown at the Motion Picture Academy Theater in Beverly Hills. The film has won the Jury Prize in its category and six film festivals and is Executive Produced by Davis Guggenheim, Academy Award winning director of “An Inconvenient Truth” and Jamie McCourt, Owner & President of the Los Angeles Dodgers. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with Carissa Phelps and director David Sauvage. Carissa tells the story of a homeless 12-year-old in Fresno, who was forced into prostitution, but strived against all odds to eventually graduate from UCLA last year with a law degree and MBA.
Actor and comedian Jamie Kennedy will be honored on Sunday, November 16 following a screening of his film “Heckler” at the Motion Picture Academy Theater in Beverly Hills. Produced by Kennedy and directed by Michael Addis, the film explores an uncensored look between critics and those in the spotlight. After starring in a film that was critically bashed, Kennedy asks celebrities such as George Lucas, Bill Maher, Kathy Griffin, Mike Ditka and Rob Zombie about their experiences with hecklers.
Additional festivities include the US Premiere on Monday, November 17 of feature-length documentary “The Jill and Tony Curtis Story” at the American Jewish University in Bel Air. The film, written and directed by Ian Ayres, follows the screen legend and his young wife as they take on the mission of saving horses from slaughter and find something much more rewarding than fame or fortune. On Tuesday, November 18, acclaimed commercial and music video director Renita will be hosting a Commercial Panel for actors and actresses at her casting studio in Los Angeles.
A Jewish Film Night, hosted by the Sigi Ziering Institute, will close the festival on Wednesday, November 19 at the American Jewish University. Producer Marta Kauffman (“Friends”) will be honored and present a screening of “Blessed is the Match,” which she executive produced, followed by a Q&A with director and producer Roberta Grossman. Narrated by Academy Award nominee Joan Allen, this is the first feature documentary about Hannah Senesh, the World War II-era poet and diarist who became a paratrooper, resistance fighter and modern-day Joan of Arc.