Malibu Film Festival plugs on

Last year's festival screened films at The New Malibu Theater.

Five years after its debut in 1999, the Malibu International Film Festival has grown from 100 entries by filmmakers the first year to more than 1,000 submissions this year.

Although the festival has grown, it hasn’t been without trials and tribulations, from suffering leaky screening tents the first year to a complete revamping the fourth year, eliminating much of the celebrity factor, to this year not being able to screen at the New Malibu Theatre in its hometown.

However, film festival organizers have plugged on and this year will screen its opening feature at the Malibu Pier, with another screening taking place at Bluffs Park on the Sept. 24. Other screening venues are being negotiated.

And, a new festival director has been appointed. Matt Treinish is taking over for founder David Katz. Treinish came aboard in June, and is responsible for organizing all the facets of the nine-day festival with the help of two event producers, sponsors and volunteers. Treinish owns his own production company, Buckeye Productions LLC, which produces features and short films. The company also represents artists.

The categories of films submitted break down into documentaries, short films, feature length, and various VHS and DVD versions of the above.

Also added to this year’s festival, taking place Sept. 16—24, are two new events: The Best of Fest will take place at the end, which screens the winners from this and other international festivals; and Pitch Day to give writers, directors and producers from the festival, as well the community at large, access to top industry executives and production companies. A Spec Fest is offered as well, with international competition of spec commercials and unsigned artists’ music videos.

Festival and industry-related experience is also offered to budding filmmakers by way of the festival’s internship school credit program, and production resources are available to Malibu filmmakers at the festival offices in Santa Monica including the use of equipment such as cameras and editing facilities.

As the competition is both audience and jury judged, Malibu residents can participate by attending screenings and voting for their favorites.

The opening night party, on Sept. 16, will be a celebratory 5th Anniversary Malibu Film Festival fundraising event with ribbon cutting, a fashion show, food and music. The awards party is scheduled to take place on Sept. 24 at Malibu Vineyard.

More information about tickets and schedule details for screenings and events can be obtained online at or by calling 310.452.6688.