Category Archives: Film Festival

Newport Beach Film Festival 2017 Opening Night

Take Every Wave: The Life of Laird Hamilton – Opening Night

The remarkable story of the American icon and innovator who changed the sport of big wave surfing forever. Laird Hamilton is an athlete who refused to compete professionally, yet dominated and changed his sport like no other figure in history has ever done. This is an in-depth portrait of a hard-charging, driven athlete that explores the fear, courage, ambition and talent that push a man to greatness–and the cost that comes with it.

Edwards Big Newport
300 Newport Center Drive

Newport Beach, CA 92660

Date: April 20, 2017, Time: 7:30pm to 9:30pm

Purchase Tickets Here


After the Film:

Check out the Opening Night gala featuring culinary tastings from 30 of Orange County’s premiere restaurants, hosted bar by Tito’s Vodka with special performances from “O”: the timeless aquatic production by Cirque Du Soleil and Side Deal, a brand new band from Grammy Winner Charile Colin (Train), multi-platinum artists Stan Frazier and Murphy Karges (Sugar Ray), Jeff “Skunk” Baxter (Steely Dan, The Doobie Brothers) and The PawnShop Kings (Rolling Stone Magazine’s “ New Bands To Watch)

Fashion Island Bloomingdales Courtyard
701 Newport Center Drive
Newport Beach, CA 92660

Date: April 20, 2017, Time: 10:00pm to 1:00am

Purchase Tickets Here (Gala Only)





Source: Newport Beach Film Festival 2017

Submissions Open for the 30th Tokyo International Film Festival

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Film submissions for the Competition section of the 30th Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF) can now be made on the festival website. (Submission period: April 14 – July 14, 2017)

As one of the largest film festivals in Asia, TIFF is proud that our Competition section has been showing many outstanding films created by up-and-coming directors as well as premieres of works by prestigious filmmakers from around the world.

In 2016, we were honored to receive 1,502 films from 98 countries and regions. Sixteen excellent films were screened after pre-selection and The Bloom of Yesterday (Germany) directed by Chris Kraus won the Tokyo Grand Prix.


29th TIFF Award Winners ©2016 TIFF

TIFF looks forward to even a larger number of submissions from around the world. The 30th TIFF will take place October 25-November 3, 2017 for 10 days in Tokyo, JAPAN.

For detailed information about film submissions, please visit the TIFF official website:

(Source: tiff-jp press release)

‘The Longest Road’ to Be Screened at Newport Beach Film Festival

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Southern Californians Make Documentary about Refugees in Iraq



NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., April 10, 2017 – “The Longest Road,” an award-winning documentary that tells the powerful story of a group of Americans who visit Northern Iraq to help refugees living in the shadow of ISIS, will be screened April 25-26 at the Newport Beach Film Festival.

The title of the film comes from a Kurdish proverb – “A good companion shortens the longest road” – that inspired the Southern California-based co-directors, first-time filmmaker Jennifer Salcido and documentarian Matthew Charles Hall.

“The Newport Beach Film Festival is an incredible venue to share this story,” said Hall, a former Newport Beach resident. “Making this film, we witnessed some horrendous atrocities that people in privileged Orange County can’t really imagine. It shook me when I experienced it, and if audiences can witness just a fraction of that, I know they’ll be in for an eye opener.”

An estimated 2 million refugees in Iraqi Kurdistan have been displaced by ISIS. Their homes destroyed, many of them live in unsanitary conditions in tent villages, with their loved ones having been killed or sold into slavery. Often, the survivors suffer from PTSD.

Filmed in Iraq and Syria, “The Longest Road” follows Iraq War veteran Richard Campos, Vietnam War veteran Stan Rapada and Gold Star father Kevin Graves as they head to the front lines of combat and see the havoc ISIS has wrought on the Kurds and Yezidis, an ethnic and religious minority.

The production team made three trips to Iraq to work on the film over the course of two years. While in the Middle East, they befriended a Muslim heart surgeon who shares her story in the film. Dr. Nemam Ghafouri, a former refugee herself, brought the finished film in March to London and Sweden, where it played to packed theaters.

Since its debut in September 2016, “The Longest Road” has been an official selection at several film festivals and played on screens in Texas, California and Nevada. The film received an Award of Merit from Impact DOCS Awards in La Jolla, California.

One of the most poignant moments in the film comes when Graves, at an outpost of Kurdish fighters about a mile from ISIS lines, breaks down in tears at the memory of his son’s death in Iraq.  When the fighters try to console him, he tells them he knows he will see his son in heaven and adds, “In my heart, I will do what I can to help you to fight your fight, so my son’s sacrifice will have more meaning.”

Campos was particularly moved by the plight of Yezidi children at Ghafouri’s clinic at a camp in Bajed, Kandala in northern Iraq. “They need a school at that camp,” he said. “They need a school at all the camps.  Education is really a key for all the children.”

All proceeds from the film will go toward building an orphanage and school at the camp. The members of the production team also issued a call for Americans to help the refugees, saying that our common humanity is more important than any religious or ethnic differences.

“To whom much is given, much is expected,” Salcido said. “We are so privileged as Americans. I’m ashamed as a human being that we would allow other human beings to go through this.”

The film will be shown at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 25 at the Lido Theater and at 5:15 p.m. Wednesday, April 26 at The Triangle. Each showing will be followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers.   For more information on the Newport Beach Film Festival or to purchase tickets for “The Longest Road,” please visit


(Source: Press release provided by a larry ross communications)

The Resilient Heart

Posted by Larry Gleeson

The feature documentary film, The Resilient Heart, will premiere at the Newport Beach Film Festival  on April 23rd, at The Triangle in Costa Mesa, CA.

If you or someone you know has ever been touched by heart disease, you must see this film!


The film was directed by Oscar®-nominee and Grammy® winning director, Susan Froemke,(Grey Gardens, LaLee’s Kin: The Legacy of Cotton)  and follows world-renowned cardiologist, and Director of Mount Sinai Heart Dr. Valentin Fuster as he travels across four continents on his global trek to fight heart disease by educating adults as well as today’s new generation on how basic lifestyle changes can have a significant impact on your health.

The Resilient Heart explores the keys to lessen the incidence of heart disease on a worldwide scale. At the film’s core is the story of Dr. Valentin Fuster, a world-renowned cardiologist, and Director of Mount Sinai Heart and Physician-in-Chief at The Mount Sinai Hospital. Through his exploration of the heart at the molecular level, Dr. Fuster discovers that the real answer to fighting chronic disease lies in a much larger place: early education.

 By highlighting scientific contributions ranging from basic science to translational research, the film addresses the improvement of clinical and surgical care efforts to promote lifestyles that prevent or slow the progression of heart disease. Ultimately, it shows how the intersection of science, medicine, research, education and compassion bring about changes that are not only important but also replicable by physicians and patients throughout the world to save lives.

 Follow Dr. Fuster as he travels to Eldoret (Kenya), Bogota, Grenada, Madrid and Harlem. Witness the profound impacts of coordinated global health initiatives, proactive public policy, and the passion of people to better the health and well-being of populations, no matter the circumstances.

The Resilient Heart aims to inspire large-scale and systemic, society shifts toward promoting better cardiovascular health. The Resilient Heart was made with generous support from The Valentine Fuster Mount Sinai Foundation for Science, Health, & Empowerment, Inc.


Susan Froemke is an Oscar nominated and Grammy winning non-fiction filmmaker with over thirty documentary films to her credit from the classic Grey Gardens (1976) to Lalee’s Kin (2001), an HBO film on poverty that was nominated for an Academy Award, to Wagner’s Dream (2012), which opened theatrically in the US and aired on PBS. Most recently, Froemke co-directed Escape Fire: The Fight To Rescue American Healthcare, with Matthew Heineman, which premiered at Sundance and was broadcast on CNN Films in 2013. A four-time Emmy winner, Froemke was the principal filmmaker at legendary Maysles Films in New York for over two decade. Her latest film, Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman is an Official Selection of the 2017 Sundance Film Festival and will air on Discovery Channel later this year.



Dr. Valentin Fuster, MD, PHD

For four decades, Dr. Fuster has been a global leader in the field of cardiology, including cardiovascular medicine, translational research, and education. He has a keen interest in decreasing the global epidemic of obesity and its impact on cardiovascular health, especially for the world’s tiniest hearts — those in our children.

Dr. Fuster has published more than 1,000 research studies on the prevention and treatment of heart disease, coronary artery disease, atherosclerosis (the hardening of the heart’s arteries due to plaque buildup — a leading cause of heart attack, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease), and thrombosis (blood clots). He is also Director of Mount Sinai Heart and Physician-in-Chief of The Mount Sinai Hospital. He also serves as Director of the Zena and Michael A. Wiener Cardiovascular Institute; Director of the Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis Center for Cardiovascular Health; General Director of Spanish National Center for Cardiovascular Research (CNIC); President of Science Health and Education (SHE) Foundation; and the Richard Gorlin, MD/Heart Research Foundation Professor at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Dr. Fuster is the former President of the American Heart Association and the World Heart Federation.

(Promotional materials provided by Kirsten Schubert, Ketchum Sports & Entertainment)



Posted by Larry Gleeson

LOS ANGELES, CA – April 4, 2017 – The Franco-American Cultural Fund announced today the program for the 21st COLCOA FRENCH FILM FESTIVAL, which will run April 24-May 2 at the Directors Guild of America in Los Angeles. The event will showcase a record 82 films, television series and, for the first time, web series. 70 of these will be in competition for the COLCOA Awards, including several World, International, North American, and U.S. Premieres. COLCOA is now considered the largest festival dedicated to French films and series worldwide.

“COLCOA will reach a new level in 2017 with two new categories – a virtual reality program and web series competition – added to the Cinema, Television, and Shorts competitions,” stated François Truffart, COLCOA Executive Producer and Artistic Director. “These two new popular formats offer more opportunities to showcase the creativity of French producers and filmmakers as well as the diversity of French production. While entertainment is still the key word for the program, with a balanced mix of comedies and dramas, several topical issues will cover the program this year, including the environment, discrimination, racism, terrorism, and the role of the artist in society. More than ever, COLCOA will offer a unique opportunity to see these universal topics from different angles.”


In addition to the Classic Series, which includes the previously announced Carte Blanche to Academy Award® winner Writer/Director Damien Chazelle and an homage to the legendary filmmaker Jean-Pierre Melville, an exclusive lineup of 34 new features and documentaries will compete for the COLCOA CINEMA AWARDS, starting on April 24 with the North American Premiere of Academy Award®-winning Writer/Director Claude Lelouch’s Everyones Life. Celebrating 50 years of cinema, this ensemblefilm offers a high profile cast of 50 French actors, including Johnny Hallyday and Academy Award® winner Jean-Dujardin.

The cinema competition will close on Tuesday, May 2, with the North American Premiere of Eric Lavaine’s new romantic comedy, You Choose, starring Alexandra Lamy.

The line-up mixes new features from established Writer/Directors, including: Marco Bellocchio (Sweet Dreams), Nicolas Boukhrief (The Confession), Stephane Brizet (A Womans Life), Bruno Dumont (Slack Bay), Lisa Azuelos (Dalida), Philippe Lioret (A Kid) Edouard Baer (Open at Night), Marie-Camille Mansion-Chaar (Heaven Will Wait), Hugo Gelin (Two is a Family), Philippe Lachaud (, and Dany Boon (R.A.I.D. Special Unit).

The festival will also present the work of newcomers such asWriter/Director Nicolas Bedos (Mr. & Mrs. Adelman), Writer/Director Grand Corps Malade and Director Mehdi Idir (Step by Step), Writer/Director Morgan Simon (Taste the Ink), Writer/Director Anne-Gaëlle Daval (Ladies), Writer/Director Emmanuel Courcol (Ceasefire), as well as Writer/Directors Ludovic and Zoran Boukherman (Willy 1).

Actors Patrick Bruel (A Bag of Marbles), Lambert Wilson (The Odyssey, Corporate), Alexandra Lamy (You Choose), Dora Tillier (Mr. & Mrs. Adelman), and Sveva Alviti (Dalida) will also be in attendance at the festival.

The popular COLCOA High School screening program will run for five days during the festival. More than 3,000 Southern California students and teachers are invited to attend free screenings and conversations, as well as participate in a student film critic contest. Celebrating its 10 year, this program is produced in partnership with ELMA (European Languages and Movies in America), with the support of AATF-SC (American Association of Teachers of French – Southern California).

Other exciting programs offered throughout the festival include: After 10 Series (April 25~29); COLCOA Classics (April 25~29); COLCOA.Doc(April 25~30); World Cinema Produced by France, including two French-Italian co-productions (April 26); Focus on a Filmmaker, dedicated to Writer/Director Stephane Brizé(April 27); Film Noir Series (April 28); French NeWave 2.0, exploring the work of a new generation of filmmakers (April 29); and the Happy Hour Talks, a series of panels presented in association with Variety (April 25~29) that is free to the general public. The final panel will be dedicated to the famous French film composer, Jean-Claude Petit, who will meet the audience on April 29.


In its third year, the TV competition expands with a very exclusive program of 11 World, North American, and U.S. Premieres, in association with TV France International and TITRAFILM. After the success of Call My Agent (Season 1) at COLCOA 2016 (winner of the Best TV Series Award and TV Series Audience Special Prize), the popular series about a talent agency in Paris will be back at the festival with the World Premiere of Season 2, presented in association with France TV Distribution, before its French broadcast.

This year’s lineup offers several other high profile TV Series, including: the fantasy thriller Transfer (Season 1); thriller The Frozen Dead (Glacé) (Season 1); political thriller Baron Noir (Season 1); drama Manon 20 Years (mini series); comedy Beautiful Loser (Season 1); and thriller Midnight Sun (Season 1).

To round out COLCOA TELEVISION, the category will also include four recently awarded TV Dramas: Box 27, PlessisGirls, Nadia, and Marion Forever 13.


As a symbol of the globalization of production and the venue of a new generation of producers and filmmakers, the web series has become a format in its own right for the industry, involving both independent and studio creators. COLCOA is proud to introduce, in association with TITRAFILM, its first competition of six programs to close the festival on May 2, including documentaries, fantasies, dramas, and comedies. Similar to the Short Film Competition, audience members will have access to free screenings of the competing web series and will vote for the COLCOA BEST WEB SERIES AWARDS. (See attached program.)


For the first time at COLCOA, audience members will have the opportunity to attend the VR Corner at the festival during the weekend (April 29 from 11am-5 pm and April 30 from 12-6 pm), presented in association with SAMSUNG and the French Embassy in the U.S. Five films will be available to watch, offering a very eclectic program for all ages. (See attached program.)

The complete recipient list of the 2017 Awards for the four competitions (Cinema, Television, Shorts, and Web series) will be announced on May 3, 2017 by the Franco-American Cultural Fund. For the tenth year, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA) will partner with COLCOA Cinema for the Critics Awards.

This year, for the first time, a student jury will vote for the COLCOA AMERICAN STUDENTS AWARD, including Cinema and TV programs.

The COLCOA AWARDS are presented in association with KPCC-89.3, TITRAFILM, TV5 Monde USA, and AIR TAHITI NUI.

COLCOA FRENCH FILM FESTIVAL is funded by the Franco-American Cultural Fund, a partnership of the Directors Guild of America, the Motion Picture Association, France’s Society of Authors, Composers and Publishers of Music, and the Writers Guild of America, West with the vital support of L’ARP (France’s Association of Authors, Directors, and Producers), the CNC, the Los Angeles Film and TV Office of the French Embassy, TV France International, and Unifrance.

COLCOA FRENCH FILM FESTIVAL is sponsored by Air Tahiti Nui,, TV5MONDE, Variety (Official Sponsors); Airstar,KPCC 89.3,Barnstormer, Los Angeles Times (Premier Sponsors); Barnes International Realty,Club Culinaire of Southern California, ELMA,Gaumont, Indiewire, LA Weekly, Sunset Marquis,TITRAFILM (MajorSponsors); Alliance Française de Los Angeles,Champagne de LArgentaine, Cinando,, Laemmle Theatres, Les Macarons Duverger, Marché du Film, Miraval Provence Wines, Office de Tourisme Epernay, Vineyard Brands (Platinum Sponsors); and, Cinelife, La Chouquette, Gitane Rhapsody, La Grenouille, J. Lohr, La Vieille Ferme, Lycée International Los Angeles, Famille Perrin, Rosenthal The Malibu Estate, Stem & Wine, Tix (Supporting Sponsors).

All screenings are in French with English subtitles or in English. Tickets are available for advance purchase online at until April 20 and during the festival at the COLCOA Box Office at the Directors Guild of America, 7920 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90046. Please visit for box office hours. Ticket prices are $14 for adults (ages 22+); $11 tickets for seniors (62+), disabled, and members of American Cinematheque, ASC, ICG, Film Independent, SAG, and Women in Film; $5 for students and ages 21 and under. Tickets are complimentary for DGA and WGAW guild members. Several screenings and events are free on a first-come, first-served basis, with no reservation needed. Visit for details.

(Source: Press release provided by Tiffany Bair Wagner/Big Time PR)

Aspen Film Announces Award Winners for 26th Annual Aspen Shortsfest

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Aspen, Colo. (April 9, 2017) — Aspen Film, a year-round film arts and education organization, announced its winners for the 26th Aspen Shortsfest, at an Awards Dinner held at The KitchenMore than $15,000 in prizes, were presented including the audience award and nine juried categories, four of which qualify the winners for Oscar® consideration.  The festival screened 64 films from 31 countries from April 4-9, 2017, which were eligible in the competition.

“It’s been an honor and a pleasure to welcome Aspen Film’s new Shortsfest program director Kathleen McInnis,” said Aspen Film Executive Director John Thew. “Kathleen has helped to cement Shortsfest as the premiere short film festival in North America; a place for industry to scout new talent, filmmakers to make important connections, and audiences to celebrate this important art form.”

“The 26th Aspen Shortsfest has been an extraordinary and rewarding convergence of filmmakers, industry and audience,” said Shortsfest Director of Programming Kathleen McInnis. “Filmmakers premiered their films for Aspen’s discerning audience and connected with global industry representatives, who were here to mentor and scout new talent.  It is our honor to be a part of these filmmakers’ journeys–and it’s clear that Aspen is the perfect place to celebrate creative inspiration.”


The Jury recognized films with the following Oscar®-qualifying awards:

Best Animation ($2,500)

In a Nutshell, Fabio Friedli (Switzerland)

The jury stated: “This stream of consciousness collage is masterfully observational, rhythmic and unique in its use of sound and visuals. The filmmaker uses his rapid-fire medium to remind us that life is always at once both universal and individual.”

Special Mention

Les Animaux Domestiques, Jean Lecointre (France)

The jury stated: “This fanciful, funny and feral fable is honored for its strong visual storytelling, humor and originality.”

Best Comedy ($2,500)

Fatima Maria Torres and the Invasion of Space Shuttle Pinas 25, Carlo Francisco Manatad (Philippines)

The jury stated: “This down-to-earth science fiction love story mixed the charms of many genres to create something wholly original. We see the handwriting of a unique emerging cinematic voice in this surprising film about people who are not surprised by anything.”

Special Mention

After the Volcano, Léo Favier (France)

The jury stated: “This innovative comedy uses retro home videos and comic narration to reimagine the ordinary world we thought we knew into one of magic surrealism.”

Best Drama ($2,500)

Aaba (Grandfather), Amar Kaushik (India)

The jury stated: “A strikingly touching film, this self-assured, authentic work reflects a strong aesthetic from a filmmaker whose egoless approach to his story, and performances by his non-actors, allowed for an unparalleled intimacy for the audience.”

Special Mention

Nothing Ever Really Ends, Jakob Rørvik (Norway)

The jury stated: “A snapshot of a relationship in motion over time, this romantic comedy unexpectedly touched each of us with the power of its contrasts: dry yet emotional, high concept yet authentic, hopeless yet optimistic. “

Best Short Short ($1,000)

Call of Cuteness, Director Brenda Lien (Germany)

The jury stated: “A skillfully rotoscoped deconstruction of the cat meme, this abstract and often horrific film vivisects our obsession with popular culture.”

The Jury also awarded films in the following categories:

Best Documentary ($2,500)

Three Red Sweaters, Martha Gregory (USA)

The jury stated: “This journey into family archives uses a very personal story to examine how memory is captured as a moment in time.  Through the use of photographs and conversations, this inquisitive director gives new life to what was once thought lost forever.”

Special Mention

E.B.C. 5300 M, Léonard Kohli (Swizterland)

The jury stated: “With this special award, we honor the filmmakers’ ability to create unique impressions of another world where the human need for commercialization collides with the master of nature.”

Best Student Short ($1,000)

Schoolyard Blues, Maria Eriksson (Sweden)

The Jury stated: “ A beautifully crafted and personal story about brotherhood, responsibility and sacrifice, this film sparkled with the compelling performances of two young actors under the confident direction of a filmmaker with great talent and promise.”

Special Mention

Wañuy, Alejandro Roca Rey (Peru)

The Jury stated: “With clear focus and direction, this tense and minimalist story never yields momentum. Unlike the audience, the director clearly sees the road ahead and deftly drives the narrative to its satisfying cinematic destination.”

The Shortsfest jury members were John Canciani (Artistic Director, Internationale Kurzfilmtage Winterthur), Jay Cohen (Partner and Head of Film Finance and Distribution, The Gersh Agency), Amy Nicholson (Chief Film Critic, MTV News), Ania Trzebiatowska (Head of Acquistions, Visit Films) and Florian Weghorn (Program Manager, Berlinale Talents).


The top five audience award winners in order of most votes were:

1.       Eyes of Exodus, Alexandria Liveris (Greece/USA)

2.       In a Nutshell, Fabio Friedli (Switzerland)

3.       Get Up, Kinshasa!, Sébastien Maitre (France)

4.       Nothing Ever Really Ends, Jakob Rørvik (Norway)

5.       Make a Wish, Jonathan Etzel (Sweden)

Liveris received a $500 prize for Eyes of Exodus receiving the most votes.


The Ellen Award ($2,500)

The End of Time, Milcho Manchevksi (Cuba/USA)

Named for Aspen Film’s Founder and former Executive Director, Ellen Kohner Hunt and originated from an endowment raised by the community to annually award a film that embodies the spirit of Aspen Film’s programming from 1976 to 1995. The 2017 Ellen Award Jury was comprised of Steve Alldrege, Linda Girvin, Gail Holstein, Ellen Kohner Hunt, and Lynda Palevsky.

The Youth Jury Award ($500)

Schoolyard Blues, Maria Eriksson (Sweden)

The Youth Jury is comprised of students from Aspen High School and Aspen Middle School and is given to the one film they determine as the best in the program.


The 26th Aspen Shortsfest is generously supported by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, AspenOUT, City of Aspen, Colorado Office of Film, Television & Media, Les Dames d’Aspen, Thrift Shop of Aspen, and the Towns of Basalt and Carbondale. Aspen Shortsfest is presented by The Aspen Times and sponsored by Alpine Bank, Aspen Public Radio, Aspen Sojourner Magazine, Aspen Club & Spa, KSPN, and KDNK.


Established in 1979, Aspen Film is one of Colorado’s most active film arts organizations, presenting dynamic programs and featured guest artists throughout the year. Internationally recognized, Aspen Film organizes a major film event in every season, along with an extensive education program: Aspen Filmfest, Academy Screenings, Aspen Shortsfest, New Views: Documentaries and Dialogue, and FilmEducates. With a mission to enlighten, enrich, educate and entertain through film, Aspen Film stimulates thought, encourages dialogue and broadens understanding of our world and selves through the diverse spectrum of ideas presented by filmmakers worldwide. To learn more, visit and socially on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

(Source: Press release provided by Nikki Croney/BWR)





Posted by Larry Gleeson

SEATTLE, WA — April 7, 2017 — The Opening Night Gala of the 2017 Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) on Thursday, May 18 will feature the Seattle premiere of Amazon Studios’ The Big Sick. This festival favorite comes from a powerhouse team of beloved comedians including Kumail Nanjiani (best known for his acerbic and witty character in Silicon Valley), industry mogul Judd Apatow (Bridesmaids and Knocked Up), and is directed by alt-comedy legend Michael Showalter (Hello, My Name Is Doris and The Baxter). SIFF’s Opening Night Red Carpet and screening will take place at the 2,900 seat Marion Oliver McCaw Hall at Seattle Center with a celebratory party to follow at Fisher Pavilion. The 2017 Festival runs May 18 through June 11 at venues in Seattle and surrounding cities.

After opening to much acclaim at Sundance Film Festival, The Big Sick promises to electrify audiences as it kicks off the largest film festival in North America. The smart and complicated romantic comedy features Kumail Nanjiani as the star and co-writer, Zoe Kazan, Holly Hunter, Ray Romano, as well as comedian friends Aidy Bryant, Bo Burnham, and Kurt Braunohler. Co-written by Nanjiani and his wife Emily V. Gordon and based on the beginnings of their relationship, Pakistan-born comedian Kumail and grad student Emily fall in love, but struggle as their cultures clash. When Emily contracts a mysterious illness, Kumail must navigate the crisis with her parents and the emotional tug-of-war between his family and his heart. Amazon Studios will release The Big Sick in limited theaters on June 23rd with an expansion set for July 14th.

SIFF Artistic Director Beth Barrett says, “We are beyond thrilled to open the doors of the 43rd Seattle International Film Festival with a film that pairs cross-cultural tension with a rawly honest love story. Amazon Studios has surfaced as one of the leading film distributors and content creators to push for strong theatrical releases, and we are honored to continue as partners with them for a second year bringing relevant and endearing films to Seattle audiences.”

Tickets for the Opening Night Gala of SIFF 2017 are now available online at, by phone at 206-324-9996, and in person at SIFF Cinema locations (Film Center, Uptown, Egyptian). Opening Night access ranges from the festive, see-it-all Film + Party Ticket to the exclusive VIP Red Carpet Experience.

The complete Festival lineup will be announced on Wednesday, May 3. Box office sales for single tickets open online, by phone, and in person for the general public on Thursday, May 4, with special advance access to SIFF members on Wednesday, May 3.

The 43rd annual Seattle International Film Festival Opening Night is presented in part by: Alaska Airlines, Wells Fargo Bank, Wells Fargo Private Bank, Amazon Studios, Brotherton – the Official Automotive Sponsor of SIFF,  Tito’s Handmade Vodka, and Lagunitas Brewing Company.


Founded in 1976, SIFF creates experiences that bring people together to discover extraordinary films from around the world with the Seattle International Film Festival, SIFF Cinema, and SIFF Education. Recognized as one of the top film festivals in North America, the Seattle International Film Festival is the largest, most highly attended film festival in the United States, reaching more than 155,000 annually. The 25-day festival is renowned for its wide-ranging and eclectic programming, presenting over 400 features, short films, and documentaries from over 80 countries each year. SIFF Cinema exhibits premiere theatrical engagements, repertory, classic, and revival film showings 365 days a year on five screens at the SIFF Cinema Uptown, SIFF Cinema Egyptian, and SIFF Film Center, reaching more than 175,000 attendees annually. SIFF Education offers educational programs for all audiences serving more than 13,000 students and youth in the community with free programs each year.

(Source: Press release provided by Nikki Croney/BWR)

Newport Beach Film Festival 2017

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Orange County’s largest entertainment event will bring 350 films and nightly gala events to over 50,000 film fans.

The Newport Beach Film Festival (themed “Go Deeper”) marches into its 18th year with a diverse collection of studio and independent films from around the globe that are sure to make it one of the strongest events to date. The festival experience allows attendees to “go deeper” with the films, with access to filmmakers, actors and others involved in the internal filmmaking process.

Scheduled for April 20-27, this year’s festival features more than 350 films from 50 different countries shown at The Lido Theater, Island Cinema, Edwards Big Newport and The Triangle Cinema. Attendees also can expect nightly special events, red carpet galas, compelling conversations with filmmakers, international spotlight events and seminars, as well as opportunities to mingle with celebrities, filmmakers from around the globe and film industry professionals in a beautiful seaside setting.


IMG_5231 (1)
Newport Beach Film Festival (NBFF) Sponsors, Mark and Ann Danner, outside Edwards Newport Big 6 Cinema, at the 2016 NBFF Opening Night Film & Gala. (Photo credit: Larry Gleeson/HollywoodGlee)

Lights, Camera, Action!

Look for world, North American and U.S. premieres — along with films boasting O.C. connections — including “The Long Way Back”; “Don’t Tell”; and “Score: A Film Music Documentary”; and “Paris Can Wait.” Several events also will take place during the festival, including the Opening Night Gala April 20 at 7:30 p.m. at Big Newport Theater, featuring a red carpet screening of the film “TAKE EVERY WAVE: The Life of Laird Hamilton,” the remarkable story of the American icon and innovator who changed the sport of big wave surfing forever. A special treat? Laird and his wife, model and professional Volleyball player Gabrielle Reece, will be in attendance. That’s followed by the Opening Night Gala at Fashion Island from 10 p.m.-1 p.m. with tastings from more than 30 of O.C.’s top restaurants ($175/$225).

Tickets and Passes Are Available Now!


With an estimated 50,000 people expected to attend this year’s festival during its eight-day run, local hoteliers including the Island Hotel, Hyatt Regency Newport Beach and Marriott Newport Beach also have been working in partnership with the festival to create some special accommodations.

Newport Beach Film Festival Mission

The Newport Beach Film Festival seeks to bring to Orange County the best of classic and contemporary filmmaking from around the world. Committed to enlightening the public with a first-class international film program as well as providing a forum for cultural understanding and enriching educational opportunities, the Festival focuses on showcasing a diverse collection of both studio and independent films. The Festival supports the creation and advancement of innovative and artistic cinematic works from both emerging and seasoned filmmakers and proudly embraces the passion, vision, and independent spirit of these talented artists. With the integration of the local community and educational institutions, the Festival stimulates an interest in the study and appreciation of film.


NBFF Mission


For more information on the Newport Beach Film Festival visit

(Sources:, “Newport Beach Blog: An Unmatched Experience.” written by Wendy Bowman)

2017 TCM Classic Film Fesival: Day Two Recap

Posted by Larry Gleeson

On day two of the festival, we celebrated Carl Reiner & Rob Reiner with a Hand & Footprint Ceremony, spent time with Mel Brooks and Peter Bogdanovich. Once again, TCM Host Tiffany Vasquez leads as she shares more highlights from the 8th Annual TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood, Californa:


(Source: TCM press room)

TCM Opens 8th Annual TCM Classic Film Festival

Posted by Larry Gleeson

TCM kicked off opening night of the 8th annual TCM Classic Film Festival celebrating the 50th anniversary of  In The Heat of the Night. TCM executives joined Hollywood legend Sidney Poitier, as well as producer Walter Mirisch, director Norman Jewison, actress Lee Grant and award-winning composer Quincy Jones who were on hand to discuss the film which is considered to be a landmark of its time.

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Pictured Left to Right Image 1:
First Row: Walter Mirisch, Sidney Poitier, Quincy Jones
Second Row: Ben Mankiewicz, Host, Turner Classic Movies; Charlie Tabesh, Senior Vice President, Programming and Production, Turner Classic Movies; Norman Jewison, Lee Grant
Third Row: Charlie Tabesh, Senior Vice President, Programming and Production, Turner Classic Movies; Genevieve McGillicuddy, Director TCM Classic Film Festival; Coleman Breland, President Turner Classic Movies and Turner Content Distribution

Pictured Left to Right Image 2:
First Row: Walter Mirisch, Sidney Poitier, Quincy Jones
Second Row: Norman Jewison, Lee Grant

Pictured Left to Right Image 3:
Coleman Breland, President Turner Classic Movies and Turner Content Distribution, Pola Changnon, Senior Vice President, Creative, Brand and Marketing, Turner Classic Movies; Genevieve McGillicuddy, Director TCM Classic Film Festival; Walter Mirisch; Ben Mankiewicz, Host, Turner Classic Movies; Lee Grant; Charlie Tabesh, Senior Vice President, Programming and Production; Turner Classic Movies, Charlie Tabesh, Senior Vice President Programming and Production; Turner Classic Movies


Stay tuned for more including the Rob and Carl Reiner Hand and Footprint Ceremony.

(Press materials provided by TCM press office)