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Malibu Film Festival Hosts Screenings in Santa Monica:

The 10th annual Malibu Film Festival hit big screens in Santa Monica and Malibu from August 6-8, showcasing the work of more than two dozen filmmakers over three days.

The event kicked off Thursday night with a screening of two films at Malibu Cinemas and a subsequent opening night party at Duke’s. Things wrapped up Saturday night in Santa Monica with an awards presentation and reception at the Ocean Avenue Screening Room – an intimate theatre that seats about 50 people at 1401 Ocean Avenue. Hamilton Gallery also hosted a portion of the closing night festivities.

Thirty one films from America, France, Canada, the United Kingdom, Denmark, and Sweden screened at this year’s festival, and filmmakers had several networking opportunities.

I dropped in on the festivities Saturday, heading to the “Meet the Filmmakers Breakfast,” where I met Santa Monica-based filmmaker, Scott Weintrob, the director, producer and writer of the short film The One Last Time. Post production on the film – a stick-up flick about two groups of bank robbers who plan a heist at the exact same time and location – was done completely in Santa Monica. The Malibu Film Festival marked the film’s U.S. debut, and Weintrob was happy to have an audience for his work at a venue close to home.

After chatting with Weintrob, I headed to a screening of five short foreign films: Make My Day (Denmark), The Funeral (Denmark), The Pig (Denmark), Good Advice (Sweden) and  La Tangente (France). My favorite was The Pig or Grison, a piece that is essentially about tolerance. Directed by Dorte Hoegh, the film tracks the story of an elderly man, Asbjorn, who is hospitalized for minor surgery and subsequently diagnosed with what may be cancer. Loneliness and despair set in as Asbjorn lays in a stark hospital room awaiting his fate. A painting of a gleeful pig comforts the old man, but when a Muslim patient moves in, they remove the pig painting for religious reasons. A fight ensues between the ailing Asbjorn and his new, sickly neighbor. The film is a highly effective work of art, with music, lighting, editing, and acting that all serve the central theme. The house was extremely small on Saturday afternoon – less than ten people attended the foreign film screening block – and the audience choice award went to Good Advice, another clever film about a young boy who makes a tape full of advice for his unborn brother. Here’s a complete list of this year’s award-winning films:

Jesse’s Story

Director – Mark Jacobs, WINNER – Jury Award for Best Documentary, WINNER – Audience Choice Award for Best Documentary

 The Mouse That Soared, Director – Kyle Bell, WINNER – Jury Award for Best Animated Short, WINNER – Audience Choice Award

Good Advice, Director – Andreas Tibblin, WINNER – Jury Award for Best Short Film

 Trunk, Director – Christopher D’Elia, WINNER – Audience Choice Award for Best Short Film

 2:22, Director – Philip Guzman, WINNER – Jury Award for Best Feature

 Son of the Sunshine, Director – Ryan Ward, WINNER – Audience Choice Award for Best Feature

 For more information about the Tenth annual Malibu Film Festival, visit malibufilmfestival.org.  

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