In less than a month, the 10th-annual Idyllwild International Festival of Cinema opens its door for another week of exciting and new motion pictures, from full-length and shorts to documentaries and animation.
More than 800 films from all over the world were submitted for inclusion in the 2019 IIFC.
“There are more than 15 foreign entries, including Iran, Australia, and, of course, the UK and Canada,” said Stephen Savage, IIFC founder, director and chair. “This year we will have the first film from Mongolia.”
The official opening night feature is a crime dram, “Myra,” which Christopher Baize directed. A love triangle, gangs and a trans sex worker all are components of this film, which stars Tom Sizemore, Roberto Sanchez and Scott Krinsky. It will be shown, along with other films, starting at 6:50 p.m. Tuesday, March 5.
“This is very Quentin Tarantino-like,” Savage promised.
Other feature films include “Under the Same Moon.” Bob Wasson directs Lucas Kerr and Luciana Vara in a “dramedy and romance” about a man who has been in a coma for five years. His last memory is buying a wedding ring.
Leading the documentaries is one about Idyllwild’s Mayor Max. The “Mayor” is the official opening night documentary and Tylor Horky directs it. This recently premiered at the 34th Santa Barbara International Film Festival.
“It’s so well done,” Savage noted. “Well thought out and a professional documentary; it’s really good.” This will be shown at 4:40 p.m. Tuesday, March 5.
Then there is the official opening night short film “Boxed,” a film about Henry “Box” Brown’s escape from slavery in 1849, written and directed by Wanjiru M. Njendu. She was born and grew up in Kenya, and went to school at Emerson College in Boston.
But the featurettes showcase several veteran Hollywood producers, directors and actors. For example, Alan J. Levi directs “Take My Hand.” He has directed episodes of several well known and popular television series, such as NCIS, JAG, Columbo and Magnum, P.I. The film’s ensemble cast includes Barbara Bain, Sondra Curry, Eileen Gubba and Cherie Curry, the lead singer for the Runaways.
And Erik Bork, a five-time Emmy winner, will have “I Got This” showing next month. This featurette is a comedy about a young couple trying to clandestinely obtain DNA samples from three men “… who could be the father of her daughter who he’s been helping to raise, thinking she was his.”
Bork won an Emmy for his miniseries “From the Earth to the Moon.”
The Rustic Theatre and Town Hall will again be venues for the films, and possibly the Creekstone. Hollywood stars such as Anne Archer and Loni Anderson are expected to make an appearance during IIFC 10.
Until Feb. 14, local passes for the entire festival may be purchased for $25 at the Rustic Theatre, the Town Crier and some other locations with proof of residence.

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