The countdown has begun for the fifth Fallbrook International Film Festival, sponsored by the Fallbrook Film Factory, which will be centered at Digiplex Cinemas in Bonsall’s River Village April 5 through 11. This year’s festival will feature 65 films, three behind-the-scenes workshops, parties, music, and a gala awards banquet at Pala Casino featuring industry celebrities. At a media party attended by some of the filmmakers the evening of March 13, it was evident excitement is building.
“We will be presenting David Hasselhoff with a Career Lifetime Achievement award at the April 7 gala,” film festival co-director, Heidi Minga told filmmakers at the media party. Hasselhoff, listed in the Guiness Book of World Records as “The Most Watched TV Star in the World” had starring roles in two popular television series – “Baywatch” and “Knight Rider.” Hasselhoff has had many roles and accomplishments, including numerous feature films, Broadway musicals, and being a pop music singer. He is also a dedicated philanthropist.
Organizers also said legendary stunt and second unit director Terry Leonard will receive a Career Achievement Award. Leonard has gone from being a rodeo cowboy to stuntman to award-winning stunt director, they noted. His career includes work on 125 notable films, including Apocalypse Now, Romancing the Stone, Die Hard III, and Fast and Furious.
An award will also be bestowed upon a local individual who has made great contribution to the Fallbrook art community. Jerri Patchett, director of Fallbrook Arts, Inc.
will receive the festival’s Patron of Arts award.
The filmmakers, excited to talk about their work, shared interesting production stories and discussed their backgrounds, which were very interesting.
The familiar face of Brian Connors was easy to spot in the crowd. Connors, with a 34-year acting career, is also a writer and director. He has been seen hundreds of times on television in episodes of Law & Order, Law & Order SVU, The Riches, The Handler, and many others.
Connor’s short but dynamic film “Good Men” will be featured in this year’s festival. It is hoped that the film will serve as a pilot for a television series.
“Good Men is a 12-minute film about two elderly men who are longtime friends and show business colleagues, portrayed by Ed Asner and Mark Rydell,” explained Connors. “On an afternoon before an Oscar party, they get into an argument over the Holocaust, the proposed mosque at “ground zero” and the conspiracy allegations surrounding the 9/11 attacks on The World Trade Center.”
“Good Men” will be shown Friday, April 5 in screenings between 4 and 6 p.m. and Connors is planning on being on hand during the festival weekend.
Jeremy Saville, known for his prowess as a stand-up comedian, has produced “The Test,” a romantic/comedy that will be in this year’s Fallbrook International Film Festival.
Saville stars in the 90-minute movie with Kelly Sullivan of General Hospital fame. The story revolves around a guy who puts his unwitting bride-to-be through a series of increasingly bizarre “stress tests” to see if she’s worthy. Described as a movie that will “leave you laughing until you cry,” “The Test” results in a complete span of emotions.
“Kelly is very funny; the movie is not only funny, it’s touching,” said Saville. He also commented on the process of making an independent film.
“The thing I like about independent films is they are an act of faith – if it gets done, it’s a miracle,” said Saville. “[The process] tests you to the core. The payoff comes when people, strangers, are watching the film and start laughing genuinely hard.”
Saville will be on hand to greet festival-goers when his film screens on Saturday, April 6 in the 4 to 6 p.m. slot.
Producer/director Bala Balakrishnan’s film “The Lucky One” has been included in the Fallbrook festival. The film, Balakrishnan said, has already won eight awards at other festivals.
“This may be my last festival for this movie,” he said.
“The Lucky One” is a short drama about a little boy who, when ignored by his father, wanders off in a park. The film highlights an important issue, Balakrishnan said, “…about how in this day and age we are so preoccupied with all the insignificant things like smart phones and tablets and allow modern day technology consume our attention at the expense of our loved ones.”
“It also exposes the way how children feel, think and how direct they are,” explained Balakrishnan. “This direct way of experiencing the world is what adults often lack. The audience will be attracted to that at first, but will be emotionally torn apart when they see where it takes the characters.”
For a complete listing of all screenings, events, and ticket options for the Fallbrook International Film Festival, visit www.fallbrookfilmfestival.com