March 4, 2024 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Topanga Film Festival:

The 4th Annual Topanga Film Festival will be held on Saturday, August 4, at an open air screening which starts at 8:15 p.m. The festival has evolved from a homegrown celebration presented by Urs and Sara Baur in their backyard into a celebration of short films. This year sixteen films will be presented with a number of world premiers.

On Friday, August 3, at 8:30 p.m., an Opening Night Party and Screening will be held at Froggy’s Topanga Fish Market. The informal gathering will provide an opportunity for filmmakers to meet each other. Also on Friday, the Coyote Club will present a Youth Salon a 5 p.m. for youth entries 16 and younger.

A Writers Mini Bootcamp for aspiring screenwriters will be presented at the Topanga Community House on Saturday, August 4, starting at 3 p.m.

Of the 16 films presented, a number are directed by Topanga residents. Hellholes, directed by Topanga’s own Kyle Rankin, with music by composer Kim Carroll, will be presented in four episodes. Renters beware!

Fun on Earth, by Topanga director Jesse Gordon, is a world premier. Boy meets girl and everything seems okay until…

The Colony, directed by Topanga’s Steven List and produced by Samuel Dowe-Sandes and Michael Miller, is also a world premier. A Penn State professor vanishes while hiking in Chile in 1985. His sister attempts to find out what happened to him and encounters a web of lies.

Fish, directed by Kim Spurlock and produced by Topangan Mai Spurlock, presents the story of an old man and little boy who share a dream about saving the world, one fish at a time.

Whispers, directed by Hakim Belabbes, follows a man’s obsessive search for his lost childhood through the dark alleyways and desolate cemeteries of the director’s Moroccan hometown, Boujad.

Immediately following the evening’s film program, Festival judges will meet to decide on this year’s recipient of the coveted Coyote Award, created by artist Lauren Bob. Festival judges are Actress/Writer/Teacher Wendy Kamenofff, Directors of Photography Randall Einhorn, Amy Vincent and Dan Mindel and actor Kadeem Hardison. Panavison awards a New Filmmakers Award with $60,000 value in film rental equipment.

The Festival will feature music by Aingel Emme, a Texas singer/songwriter; Book, combining an electro underground euro trash singer/songwriter, a punk surf bass player and a heavy metal electric guitar player; Mr. Caparro, a regular at the Air Conditioned Supper Club in Venice. Gourmet food will be presented by The Red Tomato and Café Nagomi with a Theme Bar by Saints and Sinners Lounge.

The Festival gates open at 5 p.m. at the Topanga Community House, 1440 N. Topanga Canyon Boulevard. Since it can get quite cold at night in Topanga, festivalgoers should bring a weatherproof blanket and a jacket. Approximately 100 chairs will be available for those who arrive early. Festival tickets are $20 – cash and checks only, no credit cards. Due to mature subject matter, this event is not suitable for children. For details, go to

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