The annual Santa Monica Film Festival is set to return to the local area for the 14th year on Saturday, Nov. 30, and event organizers said it will showcase a number of award-winning films created by local, national and international filmmakers.
Doors will open at 10:45 a.m. and the showcase of innovative and compelling films will begin shortly after as multiple screening blocks are slotted for 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m., according to the event’s website. A moderated filmmaker discussion will accompany each film screening to give the audience an opportunity to interact with the filmmakers and ask any questions they may have had during the film.
“We’re excited to showcase a curated selection of like-minded, high-quality films from emerging filmmakers with some stand-out performances, great visuals and important messages expressed on film,” film festival Founder David Katz said Wednesday.
“Returning to Santa Monica for the 14th annual Santa Monica Film Festival feels important because now more than ever we need thought provoking art,” added Nicola Carbonetta, SMFF’s creative director.
Coupled with the various screenings, the festival will also hold an awards ceremony and party from 5:15-5:45 p.m. and 5:45-7:45 p.m. respectively, according to the event schedule. Both the awards ceremony and film screenings will take place at the AMC Broadway 4 located at 1441 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica, and Bar Chloe, which is located at 1449 2nd Street in Santa Monica, will be the site of the awards party.
The festival’s various films scheduled to screen throughout the day include:
– Content Guidelines
– The Animal People
– The Fix
– The Liquor Store Incident
– The Tony Alva Story
– This Is Fine
The Santa Monica premiere of “The Tony Alva Story” is slated for 3:30 p.m. and is among one of the festival’s most anticipated selections, according to Katz, who said he’s excited to premiere Vans’ “The Tony Alva Story” in Santa Monica— “the birthplace of skateboarding.”
Tony Alva is the oldest professional skateboarder in the world at 62-years-old and is considered to be the godfather of modern-day skateboarding, according to the film’s description. “Vans’ The Tony Alva Story chronicles T.A.’s humble beginnings on the streets of Santa Monica to his rise to superstardom as part of the legendary Z-Boys, his inevitable drug-induced implosion and his ultimate rise from the ashes to accept his rightful place as a beacon of hope and inspiration for generations of skateboarders the world over.”
The event’s closing film is “The Animal People” which is making its Los Angeles premiere at 7:30 p.m., according to festival organizers.
Executive Produced by Joaquin Phoenix and more than 10 years in the making, “the feature documentary ‘The Animal People’ follows the journey of six young activists who find themselves indicted as terrorists by the United States’ government, the festival’s website reads, explaining how the documentary touches on topics related to animal rights’, civil liberties and the laws that could potentially weaken free speech rights for all Americans.
Carbonetta said, “(the film) is not only a story of animal rights activism but is also a cautionary tale of censorship and the power of large corporations over private citizens. Both are very timely issues.”