Malibu may still be down a movie theater, but that isn’t stopping local movie buffs from keeping it “reel.” They’re gearing up for the upcoming Malibu Celebration of Film, which takes place Oct. 4-8 with screenings at indoor and outdoor venues throughout Malibu. As summer came to a close, board members and MCOF supporters gathered for a kick-off party at the Malibu Racquet Club, billed as a “preview and a thank you.”
The festival opens with a special screening of “A Prairie Home Companion” at Calamigos Ranch. Although the flick starring Meryl Streep and Robert Altman’s talented all-star cast was released earlier this year, many Malibuites may have missed it. “We’ve been without a theater for a year and a half,” said festival co-founder Bob Klein. “I think a lot of people here haven’t seen much of anything.”
Klein said the upcoming celebration will be unlike any other film festival, including the city’s existing one. “The Malibu Film Festival is fine for kids and people who are just getting started, but we will be screening award-winning films from other festivals. It’s different in the sense that this is really for the community.”
And the community is getting behind the idea with reel royalty like Robert Altman, David Arquette, Courtney Cox, Téa Leoni, Dick Van Dyke on the Advisory Board, as well as real life princess, Lilly Lawrence.
Klein and his crew acknowledge they have their work cut out for them. “We really need to get the word out,” he said. “We know the first year is never easy.”
With its goal of bringing Malibu “the best of the best,” MCOF will showcase 30 feature films, documentaries and short films from world class film festivals including Sundance, Toronto and Berlin. The screenings will take place at Pepperdine’s Raitt Theater as well as under the stars at the Malibu Pier, Bluffs Park and Pepperdine.
Despite the outdoor venue, organizers promise a high-quality, movie-going experience, which will be just like the theater- only better. Following the “Prairie” kick-off, Lawrence will host a special tribute to Altman at her Kashan Castle. The legendary director will receive the festival’s first Malibu Courage Award, named after writer and composer Sandy Courage.
So as the celebration draws near, grab your popcorn, pull out a lawn chair, bring your blanket and get ready for a top-notch treat.