Topanga Canyon, California: Movies Under the Stars Screened at the Topanga Film Festival

Photo Credit: Topanga Film Festival. The critically acclaimed Topanga Film Festival is receiving a record number of film submissions for the outdoor film festival, promising to deliver the best showcase of short films in its 5-year history. This open air cinema, boutique festival receives entries from around the globe and showcases a broad range of short films from documentaries, animation, drama, comedy and experimental. It is unique in its appreciation of thoughtful content and design, which represents the area's approach to the environment and community. The outdoor cinema program reflects the international and eclectic taste of its founders who go to great lengths to create an inspiring atmosphere for filmmakers to present their work. The festival's highlight is the competition screening on the giant outdoor screen perched high in the canyon. The audience spreads out on blankets and beach chairs to watch the sunset to live music, DJs and food/beverage vendors in anticipation of the evening's program. "Like its sister festivals, TriBeCa, Sundance and Cannes, Topanga is a true original, a chance to see great films under the stars in one of the most magical spots on the continent. A little jewel of a festival," said actor Wendie Malick, a Topanga resident and prior judge at the festival. Outdoor Movies at the Topanga Film Festival, CaliforniaSeveral workshops, panel discussions and special showcase screenings are scheduled over the 4 days. Special screenings include, "First Look," a glimpse at features about to be completed; "High Caliber International Shorts" and "Best of Topanga," a night of local talent. Because the Topanga community is celebrated by outdoor enthusiasts, this year's festival will recognize film achievement in the Action Sports category. The "Action Sports Showcase," presented by Abuelita's Mexican Restaurant, will open the festivities on Thursday night. While most screenings are outdoors, some VIP events take place at the historic Mountain Mermaid Originally built as a country club in 1930, the Mermaid went on to become a casino, brothel and a nightclub and later on a Tavern and provides the perfect backdrop for this one-of-a-kind festival. Because Topanga Canyon is the home to many world famous writers, actors, filmmakers, musicians and artists, the Festival attracts a sophisticated audience of renowned artists and entertainment industry veterans. Past jurors, many of which are Topanga residents, include entertainment industry pros from behind and in front of the camera including actors Kadeem Hardison and Wendie Malick and directors / cinematographers Dan Mindel and Randall Einhorn. Ticket prices range from $10 for a single event to $50 for a festival pass. For more information please go to The Topanga Film Festival is a project of the International Humanities Center, a 501[c]3 non-profit organization. Source: Topanga Film Festival official press release -"Fifth Annual Topanga Film Festival Returns August 6-9, 2009". Read full release here:

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