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By Mark Bell | October 11, 2010

The 2010 Bel-Air Film Festival (BAFF), running October 14-19, 2010, has announced its opening night lineup, including Joey Sylvester’s “Walk a Mile in My Pradas” and documentary “The Last Elephants in Thailand.” From the official press release:

The 2010 Bel-Air Film Festival (BAFF) will host its third annual event October 14th-19th with screenings held at the UCLA James Bridges Theater. 58 films will be presented including 35 world premieres and 12 Los Angeles premieres.

The festival will recognize and honor Brian Austin Green with the festival’s Best Actor Award, Kathy Najimy and Mark Rydell with the Legendary Filmmaker Awards, and Salaam Remi for Best Music in Film.

The ceremony will screen Walk a Mile in My Pradas, a film by the festival’s headline sponsor Dream It Productions. This “Work in Progress” feature film starring Nathaniel Marston, Tom Arnold, and Tom Archdeacon, tells a timely story about relevant issues such as Prop 8 and gay rights. With Christmas in Los Angeles as its backdrop, Writer/Producer, Rick (Sudi) Karatas creates a fantastical world where a little Christmas magic causes two coworkers to switch sexual orientations. The film offers messages of tolerance and acceptance, in a light and heart warming, comedic fashion and marks director Joey Sylvester’s feature debut.

In its Los Angeles Premiere the short film Turning Japanese, starring Brian Austin Green, will be screened. Turning Japanese tells the story of a couple struggling with their finances that stumble upon an unknowing sleepwalker and exploit her nightly episodes by selling tickets. Brian Austin Green is well known from his role on the hit TV series 90210 as well as his performances in the sitcom Freddie, the films Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and Domino and recurring roles on the TV series Smallville and Desperate Housewives.

Kathy Najimy will introduce the Los Angeles premiere of the documentary The Last Elephants in Thailand and bring attention to a cause she personally supports: the fight to save the dwindling population of elephants in Thailand and expose the abuse of elephants in amusement parks and the way elephants are forced to paint. Named Ms. Magazine’s “Woman of the Year” in 2005 and known as the voice of Peggy Hill on 14 seasons of the animated series King of the Hill, she is also easily recognized for her roles in the films Sister Act I and Sister Act II, the animated film Wall-E and over 20 feature films including Hocus Pocus, Rat Race and The Wedding Planner. An active philanthropist, she has been recognized frequently for over 20 years of charitable efforts.

Mark Rydell will receive the Legendary Filmmaker Award, presented by Katharine Kramer. Rydell’s recent projects includes work with Forest Whitaker, Danny DeVito, and Kim Basinger in the upcoming film, “Even Money,” and the film, “Hollywood Ending,” starring Woody Allen. Rydell was also director of the TV bio-pic James Dean which earned actor James Franco a Golden Globe award. Rydell also acted in the movie, playing Jack Wagner. Mr. Rydell is a member of the board of directors at the Katherine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center.

Salaam Remi is being recognized by BAFF for Best Music in Film. He has produced for Nas, The Fugees, Amy Winehouse, Alicia Keys and Ricky Martin among others and is responsible for the sounds of Sex and the City and Rush Hour 3. A favorite of directors Brett Ratner and Michael Patrick King, Remi is one of the most sought after producers in Hollywood. He recently finished scoring an upcoming documentary on Mike Tyson.

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  1. Mark Bell says:

    “Anyone interested in attending a fest can go to the website and read the listings and blurbs — to me, reposting these little press releases are a waste of time — for you and readers.”

    You’re assuming one thing I don’t assume, Stew, which is that my audience will somehow instinctively know that these festivals exist, when they run and what their websites are. I don’t think I’m wasting my readers’ time by giving them information they might find useful, and I’m not pretending that I came by the information by some magical means or journalistic snooping when I didn’t.

    As Don pointed out, in his way, it’s only a waste of time if you let it be. Don’t like it, don’t read it and move on. I’m now going to take my own advice…

  2. Don R. Lewis says:

    As a writer for Film Threat, I’d like to apologize that you were forced to read the press release from the Bel-air film festival. There’s nothing worse than sitting at your computer, trying to get on with your day, and being forced to read something. I’m sorry this has upset you and I hope it doesn’t chase you away because it seems you lead a paltry, pathetic, bitter existence and frankly, I’m concerned with what will become of you should you not have the countless hours needed to force-read press releases and then spend countless minutes arguing about them.

    I know we don’t know each other, but here’s a tip I use when I see something online that upsets me. You take your mouse and you either click the “close” window on your internet browser OR hit the “back” button and go AWAY from what has upset you. It works for me, you should try it.

  3. Stew says:

    Why would I be upset? Strange. I never asked to submit a report to FT.

    Anyone interested in attending a fest can go to the website and read the listings and blurbs — to me, reposting these little press releases are a waste of time — for you and readers.

    Do it your way, fine. But that is rather defensive. Further, I think a scattered and diversified discussion is fine, but I also think one forum that has good traffic is something that would benefit the community. That does not exist now.

    Finally, so much for your discussion. Can’t take the heat that you may not be up to tops — fine, but leaving your whining with those who get a kick out of reading press releases. Be glad to leave your thriving forum.

  4. Mark Bell says:

    I think printing an unfettered press release is more honest than what many sites out there do, which is pretend like they learned the news from some secret source or something. Or, in your parlance, “edit their dispatches and post.” I’m sorry, but I don’t trust half of what I read online, and if someone just posted the lineup for a festival, without any sort of reference to where that information came from, or a direct link, I’d be less likely to believe it. I save the readers a step; having the press release where the information came from right there for you to read gives you the same info I have, and lets you use it the way you’d like.

    Set up network of people to send us reports from a diversity of festivals? Where do you think these press releases and emails come from? There is a network, and they do communicate, and I share it, honestly, here. Plus, I do have writers that travel and report from festivals throughout the world. I personally will be covering the FirstGlance Philly Film Fest and the bigger Philly Film Fest over the next two weeks. It sounds like you’re upset that we never asked you for your reports.

    Set up a forum? We had a forum here at Film Threat for years, and it became like any other messageboard: visited by a very small group of regulars, and spammed by everyone else. I personally prefer the comment system so, like in this case, conversations can be addressed on point, and with the content that started the conversation right there in easy reach. Plus, that allows the feature, the interview, the review or the festival report to be the main part of the conversation directly.

    Independent film has numerous forums, and the conversation is going on all over the place. Not just here, but on Twitter, Facebook and all over the web. It happens at the festivals, at the markets and even your local (though disappearing) art house theater. We do our part, and we’re an active participant, which is more than most mainstream “check out the news on what celebrity is in what Hollywood blockbuster/here’s the box office numbers” movie sites do. You think we can do better? That’s fine, I’m always looking to improve and the site, and its coverage, always strives to improve as well. But we’re going to do it our way.

    You want things to be different or a specific way, go do it yourself. Establish a forum, report on films and festivals your way. Don’t come here and bitch in a comment system. Step up, and make the difference yourself.

  5. Stew says:

    I don’t think there is any reason you should be printing any press release. Period! The integrity and reputation police is baloney, it’s a matter of self-respect, it’s a matter of setting up a network of people to send you reports from a diversity of festivals. You edit their dispatches and post. Simple journalistic work. And while you’re at it, why not set up a forum inviting those interested in discussing independent film. There is not a single sizable forum for discussing indie film.

  6. Mark Bell says:

    If we printed every press release, that’s all that would be on the site. Sorry that I like to give some attention to the smaller festivals out there, and sorry I don’t believe in copy-editing the quoted press releases that are not originally written specifically by the writers on the site. I’ll be sure to run everything by the “Integrity and Reputation Police” from here on out…

  7. Stew says:

    Let the word go forth, to friend or foe — hey, I’m trying to sound Kennedyize here — Film Threat will print any press release, regardless of how threating to its integrity, bear any burden, regard of the cost to its reputation, so bring them little buggers on.

  8. Mark Bell says:

    Godfather, talk to the ones who wrote the press release…

  9. The_GodfatherSJP says:

    Ummmm, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles was a TV series, not a movie. It ran on FOX for 33 episodes, from January 2008 to April 2009.

  10. dhk says:

    All sounds fantastic, I’m so proud Brian Austin Green is getting an award (many more to come).

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