Malibu Film Festival goes to Santa Monica

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The Malibu Film Festival is honoring Pierce Brosnan.

The Malibu Film Festival will take place April 14-18 at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica. Organizers expect more than 1,000 entries for awards in feature, documentary and short films.

By Kevin Connelly/Special to The Malibu Times

There is some good news and bad news for movie lovers, patrons of the arts and the fashion savvy living in Malibu. The good news: the sixth annual Malibu Film Festival has been moved from fall to spring of this year in an attempt to promote tourism. The bad news: Malibu residents for the first time must travel outside the city limits to attend the festival that bears their city’s name.

This year’s Malibu Film Festival-running from April 14-18-will hold all of its screenings at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica as opposed to the New Malibu Theatre in its hometown. Last fall, the festival screened its opening feature at the Malibu Pier and showed another film at Bluffs Park.

Not this time.

“I hope we will be able to hold the event in Malibu in the future,” said Tiffany Peckosh, first-year festival director. “We are still in communication with the Wallace Theater Corp. for the screenings to take place at the New Malibu Theater [this year].”

Peckosh is an independent filmmaker who has signed on to produce the festival in hopes of building it into a world-class event. She said she had worked on the festival circuit before and has been the buyer of films for three distribution companies.

The Malibu Film Festival organizers say it is a five-day event modeled after the Cannes and Sundance festivals. It focuses on showcasing new, independent films and filmmakers from around the world.

The festival will commence with an opening night party and fashion show at the Viceroy hotel in Santa Monica on April 14 at 8 p.m. The event will include a fashion show, music by KCRW DJ Cathy Tamkin, hors d’oeuvres, beer, wine and other services.

The actual screenings do not start until the next day at the Aero Theatre and will continue until April 17. As the competition is judged by both the audience and a jury, Malibu residents are invited to attend the screenings and vote for their favorite movies.

A premiere party will follow the opening night of the film festival on April 15 at the Victorian at Heritage Square banquet hall in Santa Monica. Hors d’oeuvres will be provided by Duck Duck Mousse and other local restaurants. There will also be coffee, tea, dessert, beer and wine served at the event.

Peckosh estimated that there are more than 1,000 entries for awards in feature, documentary and short film categories. She said she did not know exactly how many awards would be given out at the festival, but said the festival awarded less than 20 films last year.

This information will be clarified by Friday, and will be available at www.malibufilmfestival.org.

Being honored at the festival with an award for achievement is Malibu resident Pierce Brosnan. “We are honoring him for his work in the movies,” Peckosh said. “He has a great list of credits. He’s Pierce Brosnan, he’s James Bond.” Peckosh said they have invited Brosnan to the festivities but have yet to receive word from the actor.

During the festival there will also be a Pitch Day on April 16 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Aero Theatre. This will be a chance for those who are interested to meet one-on-one with the industry decision makers who turn ideas into television shows and movies.

Festival and industry-related experience is also offered to budding filmmakers in the festival’s internship program. High school and college students are encouraged to apply for school credit, but there are no restrictions for applying.

The Malibu Film Festival will come back to Malibu for a night with its closing ceremony on April 18 from 7-10 p.m. at Wolfgang Puck’s Granita. It will be an awards dinner party in honor of the award winning films and filmmakers of the festival.

For a schedule of daily screenings, call 452.6688 or log onto the festival’s Web site at www.malibufilmfestival.com. For ticket information, go to www.ticketweb.com.