18th Annual Hollywood Film Festival Unveils Celebrate Hollywood Line-Up


HOLLYWOOD – September 30, 2014 – Continuing the promise for a fresh and exciting re-launch of the Hollywood Film Festival, Executive Director Jon Fitzgerald announces the Celebrate Hollywood lineup. Rounding out the Festival, which runs October 16-19th and which connects audiences to causes behind social-impact films, Celebrate Hollywood recognizes films shot in Hollywood, or which reference show business.

“Celebrate Hollywood provides opportunity to pay homage to the motion picture capital and its impact on entertainment,” says Fitzgerald. “As the Festival grows and becomes more relevant in the community, and as incentives continue to be given for filmmaking in Hollywood, we expect this will become one of the more competitive sections of the Fest.”

In addition, HFF will recognize a filmmaker in the CineCause Spotlight category who successfully demonstrates the power of film to create change. Gina Belafonte will present the honor at the Festival Honors Ceremony, at the iconic Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. Legendary actor Harry Belafonte, who divided his time between Hollywood superstar and global activist, was given the first CineCause ChangeMaker Icon honor earlier this year. His daughter, Gina, will speak on his behalf at the celebration.

Seven films will be represented in the Celebrate Hollywood in the category: Becoming Bulletproof, directed by Michael Barnett, makes its US Premiere and follows the filmmaking process as a diverse group of actors living with disabilities set out to make their first Western; Alex of Venice is directed by Chris Messina and stars Messina along with Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Don Johnson in a story about a workaholic attorney (Winstead) who is forced to reinvent her life after her husband suddenly leaves; Sister, directed by David Lascher, stars Reid Scott (Veep), Illeana Douglas and Barbara Hershey and centers on Susan (Hershey) who is tragically widowed and finds it impossible to care for her delinquent adolescent daughter, forcing one time Hollywood big shot Billy (Scott), her son, to care for his difficult younger sister; The Dramatics (A Comedy), directed by Scott Rodgers, is about a sweet but stressed out actress, who unexpectedly lands a starring role in the sexually explicit mini-series adaptation of a best-selling, erotic chick lit novel and her loving, but tortured stoner boyfriend, who is forced to deal with it. Loosely based on the lives of Kat Foster and Scott Rodgers, who co-penned the script and co-star in the film; The Toy Soldiers, directed by Erik Peter Carlson, is a journey through one evening in a decade of sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll, when the innocence of youth and family unravels; Time Lapse is directed by Bradley King and B.P. Cooper and follows three friends when they discover a mysterious machine that takes pictures 24 hours into the future and as they conspire to use it for personal gain, until disturbing and dangerous images begin to develop and You Must Be Joking, by director Jake Wilson, centers on a listless woman inspired by her childhood best friend, a ballet dancer, to pick up her long-shelved passion for standup comedy.

Fitzgerald, co-founder of Slamdance and former Director of the AFI, SBIFF and Abu Dhabi festivals, plans to grow HFF to a top tier festival without the help of typical glitz and glamour and is committed to showing the “other side” of Hollywood by celebrating the creative artists, activists and industry leaders who support causes around the world. The Hollywood Film Festival and Fitzgerald’s philanthropic CineCause, which connects audiences to causes behind social-issue films, will present a unique combination of socially conscious filmmakers, emerging artists and master storytellers in the world’s film capital.

Winning filmmakers will be offered distribution opportunities from Tugg, Yekra and ShortsHD, along with cash and service prizes, from Panasonic, Playa Viva, and others.

Don Johnson in "Alex in Venice":

Barbara Hershey in "Sister":