Films shown at the Rustic Theater, Silver Pines Lodge and Town Hall
“Vermijo,” the first film in the ninth-annual Idyllwild International Festival of Cinema, will be shown at 10 a.m. Tuesday, March 6. That evening, “Lies We Tell” starring Gabriel Byrne, Sibylla Deen and Harvey Keitel will be the official opening feature of the festival.
These are just two of the more than 100 films to show during the festival, which will culminate Sunday, March 11, with the IIFC Film Awards Ceremony at the Rustic Theater.
Erika Christensen, film and television actor (“Traffic,” “Parenthood” and more), will co-host the Awards Ceremony with festival Founder/Director Stephen Savage.
There are thrillers, there are dramas, there are documentaries, there are short films, and many of the films have been nominated and won awards at other festivals this fall and winter.
This year, IIFC will offer several other events — a Children’s Film Festival, several seminars and a benefit showing — during the festival.
The first seminar, “Film Scoring and Licensing Songs for Movies,” will be from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, March 8, at the Mile High Café. Besides the good cuisine, the availability of a baby grand piano made it a fine location for this seminar, he noted.
Savage has invited several celebrated and talented filmmakers, composers and lawyers to this seminar. “We’re going to talk about how you get a director to score a film,” he said.
Kim Allen Kluge and Kathryn Kluge, who composed the original score for Martin Scorsese’s “Silence,” will be speaking. David Minasian, who has written numerous musical pieces for films, including his latest collaboration with Justin Hayward of the Moody Blues, “The Wind of Heaven,” also will speak.
Friday evening, Savage and others will discuss “Bang for Your Buck Flimmaking and the New Distribution Frontier.” Joining him will be Will Wallace, well known to fans of the IIFC. Also on the panel for how to make a film without sufficient funds will be Randall Harris, president of Living Free Animal Sanctuary. Its documentary on equine therapy for veterans will be shown prior to the panel discussion.
“I am most pleased with the development of the festival and how it has grown. It’s crazy, I hear about it everywhere,” Savage said proudly. “This year, we’ve had more community help than ever before. People are still approaching us.
“We’re a fast-growing film festival. But we’re caught between being a small good independent film festival and bringing in corporate sponsorship,” he added. One of the current sponsors, Riverside County Film Commission, is major but not corporate.
And the IIFC future may change and grow. Savage said the festival is working toward and close to achieving its accreditation with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences — the Oscars.
Between the seminars and Sunday’s Award Ceremony, two special events will occur Saturday, March 10. The first, at 11:15 a.m. at the Rustic Theater, will be a special fundraiser for the Live Love Foundation. Seven-year-old Violet Brielle Spataro will be here and Brett Culp’s documentary “Look to The Sky,” which features Violet along with other young people who demonstrate “the spirit of Superman,” will be shown.
Later, the fifth-annual Children’s Film Festival will begin at 2 p.m. at the Idyllwild Library.
As of a week ago, Savage said based on the calls he has had or heard about from festival staff, he expects a record attendance in 2018, which is why he still encourages local residents to get a festival pass for the whole event. They are still available even though prices went to $35 Tuesday.