The Feel Good Film Festival (FGFF) announces it is set to premiere Friday, August 22 at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood. The three-day event (which will run through Sunday, August 24) will screen films aimed at both adult and family audiences that feature positive themes, happy endings, make audiences laugh, and capture the beauty of our world.
The festival will feature 53 films, including 15 features, 31 shorts, and 7 student films. Along with the films offered throughout the festival, additional activities will include an Opening Night Gala with Rainn Wilson serving as host and Tom Kenny (“Sponge Bob Square Pants”) joining as a special guest, an original screenplay competition, an original song competition, a panel discussion featuring family entertainment executives and artists, and a Closing Night Awards Gala highlighted by a Tribute to film and comedy legend, Jonathan Winters.
In addition to the Closing Night Tribute honoring Jonathan Winters, the Gala ceremonies will include the presentation of awards for Best Feel Good Feature Length Film, Best Feel Good Short Film, Best Feel Good Student Film, Best Feel Good Cinematography, Best Feel Good Screenplay, Best Feel Good Original Song, and Audience Awards for Favorite Feel Good Feature Film and Favorite Feel Good Short Film.
The awards will include prizes of $7500 ($2500 in unrestricted cash from FGFF, as well as $2500 in goods and services from Panther Dollies and Cranes, and $2500 in film stock from Fuji Film) for the winner of the Best Feel Good Feature Length Film, $2000 ($1000 in unrestricted cash from FGFF, and $1000 in goods and services from Panther Dollies and Cranes) for the winner of the Best Feel Good Short Film, $2500 in goods and services from Panther Dollies and Cranes from the winner of Best Feel Good Cinematography, unrestricted cash prizes from FGFF for the winners of the Best Feel Good Screenplay ($1000) and Best Feel Good Original Song ($500), and two four week complimentary tuition packages at the New York Film Academy for the top two winners of the Feel Good Student Film category.
“The Rainbow Tribe” will screen as the Opening Night Gala feature film presentation on Friday, August 22. Directed by Christopher Watson and produced/written by Dan Frisch, the film stars David James Elliot as a middle- aged adult in crisis, who reunites with his best friend when he returns to the summer camp of his youth. His troubles seem to magnify when he is joined by a rag-tag group of 10 year-old campers. Through their struggles they collectively overcome their personal problems and exchange them for one of the best summers of their lives. The screening will mark the film’s Los Angeles Premiere. Also screening as part of the Opening Night Gala will be the short films “La Lune” (recently named winner of Best Animated Short at the 2008 Comic Con Film Festival), directed by Kelly Kyung-Hee Shon, and “The New Bozena”, directed by Rainn Wilson.
Frisch expressed his happiness that “The Rainbow Tribe” will be making it’s L.A. debut via the FGFF, saying “At the forefront of an independent film producer’s mind is how best to land a theatrical deal. The Feel Good Film Festival answered that question for me. The honor of being selected to exhibit our film on the opening night of this inaugural event demonstrates the kind of commitment they have for getting the best independent films available. ‘The Rainbow Tribe’ is hot off the press and one of those rare gems– a true reflection of what The Feel Good Film Festival is all about.”
“Certifiably Jonathan” will screen as the Closing Night Gala presentation on Sunday, August 24. Directed by Jim Pasternak and produced by Richard Marshall, the film is described as a “dadamentary” which follows Jonathan Winters’ pursuit of having his paintings shown at the New York Museum of Modern Art. With the help of the filmmakers and a friendly art critic, Winters begins work on the new pieces needed to secure the showing. However, when one of his prized works is stolen, the legendary funnyman loses his sense of humor and therefore his ability to paint. What follows is a comic quest to get his creative mojo back in time to make the museum’s deadline. The film features appearances by Robin Williams, Jimmy Kimmel, Sarah Silverman, Nora and Kevin Dunn, Howie Mandel, and Gary Owens, among others. The screening will also be the film’s Los Angeles premiere.
“Certifiably Jonathan” producer Marshall said it was particularly appropriate to honor Winters prior to the screening of their film, adding “Jim (Pasternak) and I set out to make a film that reflected Jonathan’s aesthetic, got inside his head and honored him in a way we felt no one else had. We wanted the world to see him as the genius, artist, provocateur, and writer he is, still at 80 years old and going strong.”
Regarding the announcement of the festival’s debut schedule, Festival Director Kristen Ridgway says, “We created the Feel Good Film Festival as “happy” counter-programming for the number of independent and studio films that seem to have the philosophy that the more dark and depressing the film, the better. It’s not our intent to screen films that are 100% G-rated or religious, but we do believe our audience members will leave our theatres feeling better than when they entered 100% of the time. And to have an opportunity to honor a comedy legend like Jonathan Winters, who makes you feel good simply by mentioning his name will be an absolute thrill.”
FGFF will also screen the winning entry of an online competition co-sponsored by the festival on Indieflix.com. That film will be chosen from a lineup including Marlene Rhein’s “The Big Shot-Caller,” Norman Klein’s “Courthouse Girls of Farmland,” Michael Keller’s “Defying Gravity,” and Paul Germain’s “Speedy Delivery.”
Five feature films will be making their world premieres at FGFF. Those films include “Blind Ambition,” “Float,” “Girls of Summer,” “Holyman Undercover,” and “Sisterhood.” The feature film “Green Flash” will be making its U.S. premiere.
The Feel Good Film Festival lineup will represent seven countries, including the U.S, U.K., Spain, Australia, Netherlands, Finland and Canada.