Published September 20, 2005
Volume 13, Number 9

Star-Studded Film Festival Marks Seventh Year in Tri-Valley

The multi-talented Rita Moreno, Saturday Night Fever director John Badham, and Airplane! star Robert Hays will bring a bit of Hollywood to the Wine Country as they each receive awards at the seventh annual California Independent Film Festival, to be held from October 26–30 in various locations around Livermore.

The event kicks off Wednesday, October 20 with a reception and screening of Saturday Night Fever, Badham’s classic 1977 film that catapulted John Travolta to stardom and had everyone dancing to the Bee Gees. Badham, whose other films include Stakeout and War Games and who currently directs the television series “The Shield,” will be the first recipient of the Golden Slate award, the festival’s new honor for directors.

The fun continues on Thursday with “Iron Filmmaker,” a one-day contest in which would-be filmmakers are given several key ingredients which they must include in a three-minute short that they must finish that day. “I’ve seen these done at film festivals before and they’re really fun,” says Derek Zemrak, the festival’s founder and president. “Anyone can enter, so it’s a way that people in the community can get involved and actually make a movie.” The films from the contest, which is limited to 20 participants, will be shown the following day as the festival’s new movies begin screening at the Wente Event Center.

Thursday’s evening event is a 25th anniversary screening of Motel Hell, which will take place after a Halloween walk in downtown Livermore. Star Paul Linke, who can also be seen in the films Parenthood and K-PAX and the TV series “Judging Amy,” will be on hand for a Q and A.

Friday begins with the second annual festival golf tournament, a star-studded event to be held at Poppy Ridge Golf Course. Hosted by actor Mickey Jones (Sling Blade, Tin Cup, “Home Improvement”), the event begins with registration at 8:30 am and concludes with lunch and entertainment, including a live auction. Plenty of other stars will be on hand as well: Christopher Knight (Peter from “The Brady Bunch”), Adrianne Curry (“America’s Next Top Model,” “The Surreal Life”), Danica McKellar (“The Wonder Years,” “The West Wing,” “NYPD Blue”), Michael Jace (“The Shield,” Boogie Nights), Richard Herd (“NYPD Blue,” “Seinfeld,” All the President’s Men, China Syndrome), Ken Parks of MTV, Carlos Alazraqui (“Reno 911,” “Family Guy,” Monsters Inc.), Emmy winner Rob Paulsen (“Jimmy Neutron,” “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”), Paul Linke, Richard Van Vleet (“All My Children”) and hip-hop artist Floe Montana.

Friday’s festivities conclude with a screening of West Side Story with Oscar-winner Rita Moreno, who will receive the festival’s Lifetime Achievement award, and a dinner in her honor at Blue Jean Bistro.

Comedy takes center stage on Saturday night as the festival offers a 25th anniversary screening of Airplane! and presents its Spirit Award to star Robert Hays. The evening ends with a filmmakers’ party at the Rockhouse Bar and Grill.

The various shorts, animated features, documentaries and other films that have been accepted for screening at the festival take center stage on Saturday and Sunday, October 29 and 30. Films will be shown at five locations: The Vine Cinema; Rios Lovell Estate Winery; Wente Vineyards Estate Winery; Cedar Mountain Winery; and the Steven Kent Winery. The festival concludes Sunday night with the Slate Awards, which honors the festival’s best entrants.

Details on ticket prices, event locations, and the full schedule is available online at www.caindiefest.com. For additional information, call (925) 552-REEL. Registration information for the golf tournament is available at www.poppyridgegolf.com.


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