Monday, September 26, 2016

The La Costa Film Festival announces selections for 4th edition of the film festival (October 13-16)

Chris Noth to be honored with LCFF’s Shining Star Award

Opening Night selection is Johnathan Brownlee’s THREE DAYS IN AUGUST, and Closing Night selection is Annie J. Howell and Lisa Robinson’s CLAIRE IN MOTION

Other highlights include the world premiere of Nathan Apffel’s THE LONGEST JOURNEY, a special 30th Anniversary 3D screening of TOP GUN, and sports films competition

Carlsbad, CA (September 26, 2016) – The La Costa Film Festival today announced the official selections for the 4th edition of the popular destination film festival hosted by the renowned Omni La Costa Resort & Spa in Carlsbad, California. Running from October 13-16, LCFF will open with a gala screening of Johnathan Brownlee’s festival hit, THREE DAYS IN AUGUST, will honor two-time Golden Globe nominee, Chris Noth with the festival’s inaugural Shining Star Award, and feature additional highlights including the world premiere of Nathan Apffel’s THE LONGEST JOURNEY, a special 30th Anniversary 3D screening of TOP GUN, LCFF’s signature “Reel Pitch” competition, sports film competition, and Closing Night gala screening of Annie J. Howell and Lisa Robinson’s CLAIRE IN MOTION, among the 20 feature films, 23 short films, and filmmaker panels presented over the course of the jam-packed four-day film festival.

La Costa Film Festival Co-Founders, Michael and Ruby Callihan, said, “The La Costa Film Festival strives to offer a chance to see an amazing array of films, meet and celebrate filmmakers from all over the world, and captivate our audiences with the thrill and beauty of the cinema experience in one of the most welcoming and beautiful resort locations in the entire country. The combination of this year’s group of films, our wonderful Shining Star honoree, Chris Noth, and the special film events we have put together will give both our film fans and our attending filmmakers an opportunity to see films, talk about the current state of the industry, and immerse themselves in that world in as luxurious a setting as they could hope for.”

Friday, October 14, two-time Golden Globe nominee and SAG Award nominated actor Chris Noth will be the first recipient of the La Costa Film Festival’s Shining Star Award on the occasion of a year in which the actor has shined in distinctive performances in television and film, most recently the critically-acclaimed independent film WHITE GIRL and shows like The Good Wife, and Tyrant. The award presentation and “Under the Stars” conversation reflecting on Noth’s celebrated career will offer a rare opportunity to hear him discuss his signature characters and performances from shows like Law and Order, Sex and the City, and The Good Wife as well as films like BAD APPLE, LOVELACE, and SEX AND THE CITY, with rarely seen and specially selected clips from his early career such as TNT’s Cesar, Law and Order, EXILED, and first film, SMITHEREENS, directed by Susan Seidelman, that he has personally chosen for a frank, and entertaining conversation moderated by entertainment awards expert and commentator Dave Karger (IMDb).

Brownlee’s THREE DAYS IN AUGUST will make its West Coast premiere when it opens the festival on Thursday, October 13 with a screening outdoors on Omni La Costa Resort & Spa’s Center Court. The film stars Barry Bostwick, Meg Foster, and Mariette Hartley, in a drama about an Irish American artist who is forced to confront her past when both sets of parents come together over a weekend for her to paint a family portrait. Brownlee, and cast members Hartley, Mollie Miligan, Steve Snedden, Edward James Hyland, Colton Tapp, Cal Bartlett, and Luis Acevedo will all be on hand for a post-screening Q&A.

Thursday evening will begin with the festival’s coveted 'Sip & Savor' Gala, taking place on the Valley Promenade at the Omni La Costa Resort & Spa, and featuring many of the area’s finest restaurants, wineries, breweries, and specialty items - all competing for the Best of the Fest Awards for best Sip & Savor.

Friday, October 14, will feature the world premiere screening of Nathan Apffel’s THE LONGEST JOURNEY at the Omni La Costa Resort & Spa’s Center Court, as well as a special 3D screening of TOP GUN at the Cinépolis Luxury Cinemas (6941 El Camino Real). THE LONGEST JOURNEY is a compelling documentary by local filmmaker Apffel, which follows the efforts of a group of courageous individuals to raise awareness on the devastating impact of Huntington’s Disease by participating in The Race Across America - a grueling non-stop 3,000-mile, 24 hours-a-day bicycle race from Coast to Coast. Members of the team, as well as Apffel, will be available for a post-screening Q&A, and an after party co-hosted by Corban Productions will follow in Omni’s Orchid Ballroom.

Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of Tony Scott’s TOP GUN (1986), starring Tom Cruise, LCFF’s 3D presentation of the film will be followed by a Q&A with Barry Sandrew, Ph.D, founder of Legend3D which was responsible for the film’s conversion to 3D, and Vice Admiral Walter J. Davis, who was the Aircraft Commander during the making of TOP GUN, and worked closely with Tony Scott during the making of the film. The film has long been a signature representative of testosterone 80s filmmaking, about a Top Gun Naval Fighter Weapons School where the best of the best train to refine their elite flying skills. When hotshot fighter pilot Maverick (Tom Cruise) is sent to the school, his reckless attitude and cocky demeanor put him at odds with the other pilots, especially the cool and collected Iceman (Val Kilmer). But Maverick isn't only competing to be the top fighter pilot, he's also fighting for the attention of his beautiful flight instructor, Charlotte Blackwood (Kelly McGillis).

The Closing Night Gala outdoor screening of Annie J. Howell and Lisa Robinson’s CLAIRE IN MOTION will take place on Saturday, October 15. The film, which premiered earlier this year at SXSW, follows Claire, played by Breaking Bad’s Betsy Brandt, who is sure of herself, her work, and family, until - like a bad dream - her husband disappears, leaving a trail of puzzling secrets that shatter her certainty. Brandt will attend and participate in a post-screening Q&A.

Other highlights among the film slate include a trio of international films, including; Tova Ascher’s AKA NADIA, an Israeli drama about two women reconciling a troubled past with the lives they have built for themselves in the present; Olivier Ringer’s French film, BIRDS OF PASSAGE, about a young girl and her wheelchair bound friend, that leave in secret on a trip to the river delta to set their pet duckling free; and Arnaud Virard’s French romantic film, PARIS, LOVE, CUT, about a director facing a relationship crossroads with his fiancée just as he falls for a beautiful actress.

The festival’s annual Sports Competition is led by two films focused on golfing; Gabe Spitzer and David Terry Fine’s HIT IT HARD, about the career ups and downs of the enigmatic PGA Champion John Daly; and Charlene Fisk and Carrie Schrader’s THE FOUNDERS, which traces the beginnings of the LPGA. Jacqueline Joseph’s WINNING digs deep into what makes a sports champion looking at athletes ranging from tennis legend Martina Navratilova, to Olympic gymnastics icon, Nadia Comaneci, and track and field star, Edwin Moses; Brent Deal’s CHASING GOLD follows the epic story of Team USA as it came from behind in epic paddle battles to win at the last ISA World Paddle Games in Mexico; Bob Van De Gronde’s CHAPTER ONE – THE KITEBOARD LEGACY BEGINS, introduces viewers the sport of kiteboarding via stunning photography; Ryan Green’s THE HOLLYWOOD SHORTIES, focuses on the notorious professional dwarf basketball team formed in the 80s; and Eric 'Ptah' Herbert’s MANCHILD: THE SCHEA COTTON STORY, looks at the playground basketball legend and the true story of why he never reached the NBA stage. The Sports Competition Jury includes former San Diego Charger kicker John Carney, sports agent John Kentera, KUSI-TV’s Paul Rudy, producer James B. Harris (THE KILLING, PATHS OF GLORY), and Carlsbad Boys & Girls Club CEO Brad Holland. The winner will be announced at the Star Awards on Saturday, October 15.

The La Costa Film Festival has built a reputation for hosting dynamic and informative filmmaker panels. Immediately following the shorts competition screening will be a panel on “How to Create Shorts Worthy of Oscar Consideration” with industry veterans Amy Keating Rogers (Dexter’s Laboratory, Samurai Jack), Zac Moncrief (Family Guy, Phineas and Ferb), and Jared Hillman (THE SOCIAL NETWORK, Psyche). The shorts competition will mark the first time the La Costa Film Festival has had a juried competition in that category.

Another panel, “The Rapidly Changing Landscape of Film Financing and Distribution” will be moderated by Geoff Clark (Something Kreative Studios), and include Michael Repsch (Breaking Glass Pictures), Eric Bromberg (Pluto.TV), Jeff Chao (Kerin Media Ventres), and Floris Bauer (Gunpowder & Sky).

Finally, LCFF will present the second year of the popular “Reel Pitch” competition, presented with Mandalay Sports Media (MSM), which pits talented young filmmakers against each other in a Shark Tank inspired environment to win the support of a major studio executive. Ten promising storytellers/filmmakers will have the opportunity to present their development ideas in a 5-minute pitch to a panel of seasoned producers and executives, including Chip Diggins (A WALK IN THE WOODS), Carl Hampe (THE BLEEDER), and Danielle Sanchez-Witzel (The Carmichael Show). One winner will be offered the opportunity to refine her/his pitch under the guidance of one of the judges, and will deliver that pitch to one of MSM’s studio partners to hopefully sell their project.

With the Omni La Costa Resort & Spa serving as LCFF’s annual host, the film festival offers a truly unique destination experience. The Cinépolis Luxury Cinemas La Costa, a Festival partner from its inception provides the ultimate in pampered viewing, and the completely remodeled Ruby G. Schulman Auditorium at the Carlsbad Dove Library adds a venue that is both state-of-the-art and very comfortable.

Film festival passes and tickets are on-sale now. Ticket prices range from $10 - $350, for single tickets to Star Passes. 20% discounts apply for students, military, and seniors as well. For tickets, passes, and more information, go to:

The 2016 La Costa Film Festival official selections:

Director: Johnathan Brownlee

Country: USA, Running Time: 96min

Starring Barry Bostwick, Meg Foster, and Mariette Hartley, the film is about an Irish American artist who is forced to confront her past when both sets of parents come together over a weekend for her to paint a family portrait.

Directors: Annie J. Howell, Lisa Robinson
Country: USA, Running Time: 83min
Three weeks after Claire’s husband has mysteriously disappeared, the police have ended their investigation and her son is beginning to grieve. The only person who hasn’t given up is Claire (Betsy Brandt). Soon she discovers his troubling secrets, including an alluring yet manipulative graduate student with whom he had formed a close bond. As she digs deeper, Claire begins to lose her grip on how well she truly knew her husband and questions her own identity in the process.

Official Narrative Selections

Director: Tova Ascher
Country: Israel, Running Time: 115min
Following a secret love affair and marriage to an activist in a Palestinian Liberation Movement, Nadia realizes the meaning of the step she has taken – severing her ties with her family and beloved mother, as she embraces a life of exile and escape. When her husband, Nimer is caught by the authorities, Nadia is left on her own. She realizes that there is no option of returning to Israel; the authorities see her as a terrorist and to her family she has escaped and disgraced them. Twenty years later, her friend Maya, a choreographer at a Jerusalem dance troupe, now married to a senior official at the Ministry of Justice, spots Nadia and is filled with distress at the prospects of her husband discovering their connection.

BIRDS OF PASSAGE (Les Oiseaux de Passage)
Director: Olivier Ringer
Country: France, Running Time: 84min
For Cathy, it is not always easy to be born on February 29th, especially when for her birthday, her father gives her an egg to hatch. But it is probably less difficult than to be suffering from myopathy as her wheelchair-bound best friend Margaux does.

Director: Kristin Ellingson
Country: USA, Running Time: 115min
Love, Sex, Marriage, Divorce... just not in that order. Within the framework of a record album, Gala & Godfrey tracks the classic moments in the lives of a charming, exasperating British expat and his American wife through 12 years of their sexy, chaotic romance and divorce.

Director: Sasha Gordon
Country: USA, Running Time: 78min
The film follows Sonia (Cristin Milioti) a quirky, neurotic jingle writer who has always dreamt of a big and exciting life. Surprised by a sudden proposal and subsequent ultimatum from her easy-going boyfriend, Chris, Sonia has three days to decide whether she’ll join the ranks of her married friends or take a leap and pursue her fantasies.

Director: Bo Brinkman
Country: USA, Running Time: 95min
A WW2 veteran destined for life in a retirement home escapes his difficult family situation and embarks on a cross country adventure to find the last remaining members of his B-17 bomber crew with the help of a beautiful accomplice.

Director: Arnaud Virard
Country: France, Running Time: 92min
Arnaud is a movie director and the typical Parisian guy: charming, distracted, unsettled. As he struggles to convince bankers and producers to invest in his sophomore movie, his fiancée asks him to commit more to their relationship. At the exact same moment he falls in love for Gabrielle, a young and ambitious actress. And at the same time his mother passes away, leading to a turning point in Arnaud’s life.

Director: Russell Brown
Country: USA, Running Time: 95min
Sanity and relationships are put to the test when mysterious circumstances force a family to survive the annual American Thanksgiving holiday without their cell phones. Cast includes Joely Fisher, Natasha Gregson Wagner, Daphne Zuniga, and Connie Stevens.

TOP GUN 3D (1986)
Director: Tony Scott
Country: USA, Running Time: 110min
As students at the United States Navy's elite fighter weapons school compete to be best in the class, one daring young pilot learns a few things from a civilian instructor that are not taught in the classroom. Cast includes Tom Cruise, Val Kilmer, Kelly McGillis, Anthony Edwards, Meg Ryan.

Official Documentary Selections

Director: Mor Kaplansky

Country: Germany, Israel, Running Time: 75min

The director embarks on a journey to reveal the story behind the legendary Café Nagler, owned by her family during the 1920s in Berlin, and finds that historical truths can be overrated.

Director: Brent Deal
Country: USA, Running Time: 49min
Film follows Team USA as it came from behind in epic paddle battles to take Gold at the last ISA World Paddle Games in Mexico. It was a week of pure sportsmanship and comradery as a team who barely had enough resources to pay for their flight went on to end the Aussie domination of the games.

Director: Bob Van De Gronde
Country: Netherlands, Running Time: 84min
Film introduces viewers to the sport of kiteboarding. It unites the legends, current champions, and future talents of the sport, shot in breathtaking locations around the world using state-of-the-art camera techniques.

Directors: Charlene Fisk, Carrie Schrader
Country: USA, Running Time: 89min
Film chronicles the formation of the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) in 1950 as 13 amateur women golfers battled society, finances and sometimes even each other to stake their claim to become professional sportswomen and create the league.

Directors: Gabe Spitzer, David Terry Fine
Country: USA, Running Time: 51min
A look at the career of Professional golfer John Daly, who won the 1991 PGA Championship and instantly became a focus of public interest as a charismatic, blue collar, and often overweight player a odds with the traditions and optics of the sport of golf. With a talent for driving the ball exceptionally well, Daly became notorious for the out-of-place figure he cut on the course, as well as the extreme highs and lows of his career.

Director: Ryan Green
Country: USA, Running Time: 85min
A professional dwarf basketball team defies cultural stereotypes to become one of the most unforgettable attractions in 1980's Los Angeles.

Director: Nathan Apffel
Country: USA, Running Time: 74min
A family's goal is to ride 3,000 consecutive miles, 24 hours a day from Coast to Coast in the Race Across America to raise awareness for Huntington's Disease. Will this 9-5 family succeed in one of the most grueling races in the world?

Director: Eric 'Ptah' Herbert
Country: USA, Running Time: 78min
Film is a documentary about a Los Angeles basketball legend by the name of Schea Cotton. There have been many stories told about Schea, and all of the ones about what he did on the court are true. This time though Schea and the people closest to him tell the story about what REALLY happened. A star studded documentary featuring Scoop Jackson, Paul Pierce, Baron Davis, Ron Artest, Tyson Chandler, Jason Hart, Stephen Jackson and Elton Brand to name a few. There is no such thing as a "lock" for the NBA because if that were the case Schea Cotton would be there, no doubt.

Directors: Mike Cooley, Mark Earl Burman
Country: USA, Running Time: 78min
Documentary delves into the notoriously crime-riddled neighborhood of South Central Los Angeles. The film is a yearlong look into the unique, often tumultuous relationship between the residents of South Central and the LAPD and the homicide detectives who are hoping to forge a more cooperative and compassionate bond between the neighborhood and law enforcement.

Director: Jacqueline Joseph

Country: USA, Running Time: 75min

What makes an athlete a multiple Olympic Gold Medalist, a Wimbledon champion or winner of The Masters? What gives these athletes an “edge"? Through candid interviews with tennis legend, Martina Navratilova, golf great, Jack Nicklaus, Olympic gymnastics icon, Nadia Comaneci, track and field star, Edwin Moses, and Dutch Paralympian, Esther Vergeer, as well as archival footage of their most exciting moments at the Olympics, Wimbledon, the Masters, U.S. Open, British Open, Roland Garros and the Paralympics, the film explores why some athletes achieve greatness.

Official Short Film Selections

Director: Adam Russell
Country: USA, Running Time: 7:45min
(Buena Vista High School)

Director: Ziga Virc
Country: Slovenia, Running Time: 14min
What is the biggest danger Europe faces: the crisis on its borders, or its own paranoia and fear?

THE BATHTUB (DieBadewanne)
Director: Tim Ellrich
Country: Germany, Running Time: 13min
Three brothers in a bathtub try to dive back into their idealized past through an old family picture.

Director: Haylie Bantle
Country: USA, Running Time: 4:10min
(Carlsbad High School)

Directors: Johan T. Anderson, Nathan Cohen
Country: USA, Running Time: 6:26min
Short dance film that explores love and intimacy between couples throughout New York City's beautiful cityscape. It follows one man as he looks to the relationships of others for answers to his own romantic struggles.

Director: Tom Teller
Country: USA, Running Time: 8:30min
(Chapman University)

Director: Whitney Clinkscales
Country: USA, Running Time: 14:14min
(Florida State University)

Director: Muhammad Umar Saeed
Country: Pakistan, Running Time: 8:39min
Collecting garbage for earning and paying their fees for school. Three brothers who are changing their future by studying and at the same time selling garbage in Lahore, Pakistan. The Learning Alliance is a portrait of children with dreams and their struggle towards achieving it.

Director: Gabriel Gaurano, Navin Bose, Kai Czarnowski, Akeel Najimudeen
Country: USA, Running Time: 8:18min
(Canyon Crest Academy)

Directors: Mark Susan, Kaard Bombe
Country: USA, Running Time: 5:03min
Film profiles company and the people that make one-of-a-kind glasses frames out of vinyl records.

Director: Kev Cahill
Country: Ireland, Running Time: 9min
A pious Doctor is forced to deal with a family matter whilst hiding under the bed of a stranger.

Director: Mikey Hill
Country: Australia, Running Time: 15min
In a world filled with beautiful and harmonious music, elderly Vernon always seems to strike the wrong note.

Directors: Annie O’Neal, Jessica Lewis
Country: USA, Running Time: 28min
A colorful and affecting short doc about a free spirit who wants to walk the Camino de Santiago in Spain, while facing Stage 4 cancer in his hometown of Seattle. Told he shouldn't do the walk, he builds his own Camino in the forest behind his house and ends up walking the same distance (about 500 miles).

Director: Amy Nicholson

Country: USA, Running Time: 15min
Pickle is an ode to man's capacity to care for all creatures throughout their sometimes greatly protracted existence until their occasionally sudden and unfortunate demise.

Director: Yoomi Kim
Country: USA, Running Time: 3min
Film shows contrast between positive negative moments. Inspired by Joe Hisaishi’s style.

THE RIGHT PERSON FOR THE JOB (La tête de l’emploi)
Director: Wilfred Méance
Country: France, Running Time: 8min
Jean is waiting a interview for a job with Remi.

Director: Scott Simonsen
Country: USA, Running Time: 21min
Dark comedy about depression in which one roommate kidnaps another to 'cure' him with a sunrise over the ocean.

Director: Nick DeCell
Country: USA, Running Time: 15:13min
(Florida State University)

Director: Matthew Modine
Country: USA, Running Time: 9min
It's always hard to find something for a dad (Ed Asner) who has everything. He says he just wants to be loved. So, his children (Kevin Nealon and Elizabeth Perkins) provide it in a way they never before imagined—Super Sex!

Director: Jason Piccioni
Country: USA, Running Time: 9min
Stuck in purgatory, a cynical angel is assigned to save the soul of a low level criminal. But when the devil turns up, he is forced to confront his own skepticism.

Director: Maurice Joyce
Country: UK, Running Time: 7:55min
Violet' is the haunting, cautionary tale of a young girl who despises her reflection.

Director: Jennifer Morrison
Country: USA, Running Time: 14min
Two workers for the Center For Disease Control meet for drinks, only to discover that love is the most hazardous thing of all.

Director: Sean Penberthy
Country: USA, Running Time: 21:27min
Marooned on an abandon earth, a group of astronauts finds that their greatest threat isn't the environment, but each other.

The fourth annual La Cost Film Festival Festival is operated through La Costa Dreams, Inc., a 501(c)3 nonprofit public benefit corporation based in Carlsbad, California. It is dedicated to providing world class cinema, red carpet excitement, nightly galas, and an unmatched Hollywood experience in a coastal destination paradise. The Festival is especially appreciative of its partnerships with: their host the Omni La Costa Resort & Spa; Cinepolis Luxury Cinemas; the City of Carlsbad; and the San Diego County Supervisors for their strong support

Hashtag: #LCFF16

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