Just a few days ago I wrote a quick article about the Action On Film International Film Festival in Monrovia, California. SEE: http://www.examiner.com/article/action-on-film-international-film-festival-9 Last night I had the true joy of spending a few spectacular hours visiting this world class film festival. The Action On Film International Film Festival is basically Sundance without the pretense. I can also say authoritatively having once been to Cannes that AOF is even more exciting and interesting yet for those of us who enjoy living in Southern California it can be enjoyed for far less money and no jet lag.
I had a brief chat with Theresa Weston CEO and co-founder of the festival now in its ninth year. She radiated genuine joy at what the festival has deservedly become. She emphasized that it was truly dedicated to the art of film making and thoroughly embraces all film makers. That truth is abundantly obvious just looking around at all of the diverse and amazing entries. She went on to exclaim that the popularity of the festival has grown to an extent that it is now an annual destination for vacationers and film enthusiasts from literally all over the world. That was born out from my many encounters with folks from all across the United States, Europe and Asia.
Screening Monday, August 19th is “Behind The Gate” a film featuring Oscar winner Joe Pesci. Also coming is “Choosing Signs” from Irish filmmaker Owen Dara on August 21st and dozens of great independent films throughout the week. But last night I was treated to “Stalker” a very cleaver short, an utterly hilarious episode from the wed series “Sistah Did What?”, a powerful short with feature potential entitled “Shattered Pitch” and the excellent short also with feature potential “Blowback.”
But there are so many movies still be screened so do not miss the opportunity. Details are available at the Action On Film International Film Festival website at: http://www.aoffest.com/. This is also one of the very few film festivals I have seen, and I have seen many, but AOF is the first I have seen that also had on had both distribution and financing opportunities for filmmakers to look at and perhaps work with right on site.
Again though it is the ambiance that sells the festival. There is so much talent and so much genuine optimism from the filmmakers, the actors and actresses and everyone in attendance it is just pure joy to be there. And it doesn’t hurt a bit that the town of Monrovia is itself deeply charming and filled with a wide choice of excellent restaurants most within easy walking distance from Krikorian Theater at 410 South Myrtle Avenue, Monrovia, California where the screenings take place. I personally enjoyed the wonderful Café Massilia at 110 East Lemon Street, Monrovia, California. But whenever you go and wherever you dine you will absolutely have a great time. I can’t wait to get more deeply involved in this awesome event next year.