The 2010 Bel-Air Film Festival (BAFF) held its third annual event October 14th-19th. The festival screened 58 films; venues included the UCLA James Bridges Theater and Clarity Theaters, Beverly Hills. Opening night included a special screening of Walk a Mile in My Pradas starring Tom Arnold. Actress Christina Collard hosted the evening and honored Brian Austin Green (Beverly Hills 90210) with the “Best Actor Award,” Kathy Najimy (Sister Act, King of the Hill ) with the “Best Actress Award” and Salaam Remi (Alicia Keys, Amy Winehouse, Sex and the City) with the “Best Music in Film Award,” .Comedian Phyllis Diller was recognized with a “Lifetime Achievement Award,” and Mark Rydell was honored with the ‘Legendary Filmmaker Award’ by Kat Kramer. After parties were held at the Soho House, W Hotel and Hotel Palomar.
“Our 2010 film festival has been our greatest year yet. I am thirlled to be able to recognize this year’s selection of films and their filmmakers.” -Melody Storm, President, Bel-Air Film Festival
BAFF held a film panel moderated by entertainment attorney Mitra Ahouraian, focusing on, “How to be Seen and Heard in Hollywood.” Speakers included Palak Patel, President of Roth Films (Alice and Wonderland), Peter Trinh (ICM), Michael Becker from Imprint Entertainment (Twilight Series), attorney and entertainment professor Bianca Bezdek (Harry Potter, Tomb Raider), Salaam Remi (Music Producer) and screenwriter/producer Mills Goodloe.
An awards ceremony was held on October 19 where Lauren Mayhew was honored with the festival’s “Visionary Film and Music Award.” The following film festival winners were announced:
Best Jury Feature Film
Annabelle and Bear Los Angeles Premiere starring Curt Massof and Olivia Walby. The film is the dramatic, tender story of a man who finds himself thrust into fatherhood. The audience follows him on the unexpected journey that leads him to discover the life-altering love, found in the heart of his little girl. Produced and directed by Amy S. Weber.
Best Jury Documentary Film
American Jihadist Los Angeles Premiere directed by Mark Claywell. The film reviews the mindset of an American Jihadist. The documentary takes a look at the Jihadist militant Islam through the eyes of an American who fought for it. Isa Abdullah Ali, aka Clevin Raphael Holt, grew up in the ghettos of America’s capitol and was surrounded by physical and psychological violence from the very beginning. American Jihadist looks at what role violence and a lack of hope for the future play in the development of radicalism. The film reaches beyond easy labels to grasp the nuances behind one man’s decision to fight for his religion.
Best Audience Feature Film
Dreams Play Apart Los Angeles Premiere written and directed by Emma Holly Jones. Dreams play apart is a story about how a person’s dreams can guide your life; a story of twisting, turning relationships. The audience follows a couple that have been together since childhood and their journey into different relationships through life.
Best Audience Documentary Film
Stu Plus Who World Premiere, produced and Directed by Stuart Acher and Eric Goldfarb. The film documents Stuart’s journey to find a date to take to Jamaica. This also includes him breaking into the Emmys and stars special appearances by Paula Abdul and Katherine Heigl.
Best Audience Animation Film
Red Lips Inspires Ladybug Tips World Premiere produced Jane Graves and directed by Rusty Mills Pinky and the Brain. Starring the voice of Jane Graves as Ladybug Jane and Ian James Corlette, the film offers the viewer an adventure that begins when Ladybug Jane’s best friend Andy the aphid finds a pair of magical glasses. These magical glasses open their eyes to a whole new reality and perspective as they discover the human world for the very first time.
Best Audience Short Film
Turning Japanese written and directed by Paul Bickel, the film stars Brian Austin Green, Zibby Allen, and Genevieve Mariko Wilson. The synopsis is about a couple that is struggles with their finances stumble upon an unknowing sleepwalker and exploit her nightly episodes by selling tickets.
Best Audience Student Short Film
Colorblind Los Angeles Premiere, written and directed by Joseph Otanez. The film reviews the story of a college student named Keith and the dull rut he inhabits until he meets Robyn; a girl who makes Keith’s life a lot more colorful.
Best Audience Student Feature Film
The Red Woman World Premiere, produced and Directed by Andrew Nisinson. The film follows a struggling artist after he abandons his dreams of his aspiring career. He finds a steady job and dives into a committed relationship with a sweet but shy ballet dancer. Robert is content until a woman who had left returns, causing him to question the life he has chosen.