Last night, the Sixth Annual Bel-Air Film Festival's Red Carpet event was held at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles. The opening film was a sweet romantic comedy entitled Producer Sam, starring Sumiko Braun, Jessica Duffy, and Michael Devorzon, and directed by Aaron Champion. Devorzon stars as Sam, a successful movie producer who is reaching later middle age and is still single. One day, he decides that he wants a family--but has no idea how to build a relationship. The film follows his journey as he learns more about himself and love.
"The film is really a coming of age story," said Devorzon. "He (Sam) ends up falling in love for the first time. He's set in his ways, and he has to be taught how to be in a relationship. It's hard for him to realize that it's not always going to be about himself."
A number of other feature films are showing at the festival this weekend, including The Boarder, which explores a family and their process of coping with a child who has reactive attachment disorder. In the film, eleven year old Carl (Andy Scott Harris) is adopted into a loving family. But when Carl begins to act out towards her in a dangerous manner, his mother seeks a way to help him heal. Originally based off of the book, Broken Spirits Lost Souls, which is an actual case study of reactive attachment disorder. The Boarder was directed by Jolene Adams.
The festival will also screen a wide variety of short films. "Franky and the Ant" is a short crime thriller revolving around Franky (Emmanuel Todorov) who doesn't just seek vengeance for being betrayed by his partner--he wants a lot more than that. When the two go out on a "job," it takes a slow turn for the worst. The short was written and directed by Billy Hayes.
"Phoenix Song" is an interesting short that follows Laura (Kristin Rogers) as she reconnects once more with Dillon, a soul she has reincarnated with many times over the course of history. The film explores the various baggage their previous reincarnations have one another, and it's up to Laura to fix their karma once and for all. Britnie Banks, who stars as Laura's previous reincarnation Minette, a 17th century lady, and Savannah Zelocchi who plays Anne-Louise, an 18th century reincarnation of Laura, both showed up in their finest 17th and 18th century attire to celebrate their film. Both actresses admitted that there were some challenges to playing reincarnations of a modern day character, but found that knowing their characters were based off of real people to be helpful.
"Reading about Henrietta Staurt's,(that's my character's real name) life and bringing that to my character was a bit of a challenge," said Banks. "She actually walked the Earth. But knowing about Henrietta made it fun. When you're an actor and you have a character, you build their story based on what the script is. I had a whole history, so I didn't have to build anything myself. It was really helpful."
"Phoenix Song" was written and directed by Katie Marzullo and produced by Kristin West
The Bel-Air Film Festival will run from October 7th-13, and will be held throughout theaters in Beverly Hills, UCLA, Westwood, and greater Los Angeles. For more information, please visit http://belairfilmfestival.com/about-bel-air-film-fest/