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Los Angeles, U.S.A — The First Annual San Pedro International Film Festival (SPIFFest) opens Friday, October 12, 2012 at the Warner Grand Theatre with a special screening of The Loneliest Planet, an award-winning independent film written and directed by Julia Loktev.
The riveting and daring love story, which stars Gael Garcia Bernal, Hani Furstenberg and Bidzina Gujabidze, is a winner of the Los Angeles AFI Fest “Grand Jury Prize,” the Las Palmas de Gran Canaria International Film Festival’s “The Golden Lady Award” and the International Istanbul Film Festival’s “Golden Tulip Award.”
Special opening night guests include producer Felicia D. Henderson (“Everybody Hates Chris,” “Fringe,” “Soul Food: The Series”), director/actor Rockmond Dunbar (“Prison Break,” “Sons of Anarchy”), actors Golden Brooks (“The Great Divide,” “Hart of Dixie”), Brea Bee (“Breaking In,” “Nikki” in Silver Linings Playbook), andVeronica Milagro (“Gundown”); songwriter/producer Janet Cole Valdez (“Gladiator,” “The Young and the Restless”), and celebrity sculptor Joan Banks, along with prominent business and community leaders. Red carpet arrivals begin at 7:00 p.m., followed by the screening at 8:00 p.m. Tickets to the event and passes to both opening and closing night parties can be purchased online.
SPIFFest was founded to celebrate the city’s diverse culture and contributions to the cinematic arts by providing audiences with unique, independent films from around the world that both inspire and entertain. Following the festival, organizers plan to launch several youth-oriented community programs with a focus on filmmaking.
“For decades, San Pedro’s long history of film production has played a vital role in making Los Angelesthe creative capital of the world,” said Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. “The San PedroInternational Film Festival is a welcome celebration of the City’s creative spirit and unique filmmakers both locally and internationally.”
Many highly acclaimed major motion pictures have been filmed in San Pedro, including King Kong,Chinatown, Point Break, Silence of the Lambs, The Usual Suspects, Pearl Harbor , Pirates of the Caribbean, Titanic and 500 Days of Summer. The city has also been a popular shooting location for TV shows such as NCIS, Mad Men and Dexter.
SPFFest screenings will continue on Saturday with more new feature films, documentaries, short films and student works. The festival will close Sunday, October 14 with a screening of the Silver Linings Playbook, winner of the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival Audience Award.
Festival sponsors include San Pedro Business Improvement District (PBID), Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council, The Friends of the Croatian Cultural Center, Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles, San Pedro Convention & Visitors Bureau, Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts, Monster Energy Drink, Kind Healthy Snacks, San Pedro Today, Script Pipeline, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, and Experience San Pedro.
The Warner Grand Theatre and Croatian Cultural Center of Greater Los Angeles are facilities of the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.
San Pedro International Film Festival’s mission is to celebrate the city’s cultural diversity and film production history. SPIFFest provides audiences with extraordinary films from new local and international filmmakers that educate, enlighten and entertain. We also support community programs that help young filmmakers develop the skills needed to achieve their aspirations.