Malibu film festival draws stars

Malibu Film Festival wraps up four days festival honoring director Brett Ratner at awards dinner.

By Ryan O’Quinn / Special to The Malibu Times

Movie stars, expensive cars and open bars, all good ingredients for a Hollywood party. Such was the case this past weekend and on Monday at the 7th Malibu International Film Festival.

On Monday night, the awards ceremony took place on the beach in a large tent at Gladstone’s Malibu and featured a dinner program that honored the winning filmmakers and films in various categories.

The 2006 Award for Achievement in Arts was presented to director Brett Ratner, whose credits include the upcoming “X Men: The Last Stand,” “Red Dragon,” “After the Sunset” (starring Malibu resident Pierce Brosnan), “Rush Hour” and “Rush Hour 2.”

The award was presented to him by legendary producer Robert Evans who received a standing ovation.


“He is the most prolific young director Iíve ever met in my 40 years in this business,” Evans said of Ratner. “He watched ‘Scarface’ as a kid and said, “I want to be a director,’ and worked his way up.”

In accepting his award, Ratner acknowleded Evans for his contribution to film, and his mother and grandparents for their support.

“The most important thing you have to have to be a filmmaker is passion and perseverance,” Ratner said. “Fearlessness is very important.”

Also acknowledged were Bruce, Dana and Wes Brown for their contribution to action sports filmmaking and surfing documentaries including 1966s “Endless Summer.”

Other celebrity presenters included actor William Sadler and Jessica Alba.

Similar to last year, the festival shared hosting duties with various venues in the city of Santa Monica and Malibu. In previous years, the festival has utilized the New Malibu Movie Theater on Cross Creek Road. However, due to continued renovation following the fire last year, which damaged a number of businesses in Cross Creek Plaza, festival organizers opted to once again draw on the resources of nearby Santa Monica to host many of the screenings.

The annual event kicked off on Friday night with a well-attended premiere of “Rising Son: The Legend of Skateboarder Christian Hosoi” at the Aero Theater in Santa Monica. Following the screening was the opening night party at The Victorian in Santa Monica.

Searchlights and a steady stream of cars marked the crowded affair on Santa Monica’s Main Street as the parking lot was full and closed shortly after the start time on Friday night. The party featured various DJs throughout the evening as well as magician David Minkin and a Rock ní Roll-themed fashion show sponsored by Second Amendment Co Clothing Company.

“I really wanted to be a part of this,” said Janet Laird, Malibu Chamber of Commerce Board Member. “They’re rebuilding the theater [in Malibu] and we have all the panache to be the greatest place in the world. Thereís a small town mentality there and thereís a lot we can do as far as art and culture and I think everybody wants to help out.”

One of the benchmarks of the Malibu Film Festival has been the networking aspect that founder David Katz is adamant about maintaining as a staple of the weekend. The Networking Breakfast took place on Cross Creek Road near the theater’s construction site in a large tent dubbed the Jaguar Theatre for the auto maker which co-sponsored the occasion.

“This year we looked at the festival like the production of a music video or a commercial,” Katz said. “I looked at it like a four-day shoot and we have a year to prep. I thought ‘why don’t we take advantage of the people we come in contact with and work with all the time?’ and the result is a higher class event is produced.”

As the weekend progressed the festival screened 70 independent films from around the world and among those were 53 world premieres, various feature films and short film lineups and documentaries.

At the end of the evening, Katz said the festival stepped up their event this year with “style and grace” and promised that the affair will continue to grow bigger and better.

For a list of winners and submission information for the 8th Malibu International Film Festival currently slated for next April, visit ibu and maintain a high level of quality at the same time. I think we did that.”

The Malibu Times is the first newspaper in Malibu, serving the community since 1946.

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