9th Annual Catalina Film Festival Honors Mira Sorvino With “Avalon Award”

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9th Annual Catalina Film Festival 26 miles across the sea hosts one of longest running venues on the Island.

Avalon CA, September 26 through the 29th, 2019 inside the historical Santa Catalina Island Casino Theatre. One of the longest running venues on the Magical Movie Making Island.

Day 3 Friday September 27th of the Catalina Film Festival, was kicked off on the island with a VIP pre red carpet party at the gorgeous estate of Ray & Kim McKewon in Hamilton Cove. Soon after, Catalina local, Lolo Saldana, whose documentary “Lolo and the Barbershop” film played before the World Premiere feature “Cicada Song”, walked the red carpet and was honored with a Catalina Spotlight Award for his contributions to the island as well as Festival pioneers Chuck Liddell and Bill Bushing, Co-Creators of the one year only (and done) Catalina “Island” Film Festival, as they called it, held in the Casino Ballroom and Avalon Theatre 40 years ago in 1979, were presented with the “Catalina Tribute Award”. At the original CIFF Liddell says 45 films were presented along with 5 workshops. The Feature Film “Willie Nelson 4th Of July” and the Premiere of Golden Globe-winner Joseph Bottoms’ “The Dove” (which Bottoms was supposed to attend) and a re-screening of the “Creatures of The Black Lagoon”. As fate would have it, Joseph Bottoms was in the Friday night’s World Premiere, “Cicada Song”, and was on hand to finally attend and present Liddell his award, 40 years after the 1979 festival. In 2011, 31 years after the one and only CIFF, Ron Truppa, Founder, and Co-Founders Delious “Tim” Kennedy and Xiomara Ferretti-Truppa, created the Catalina Film Festival (CFF), now in its 9th consecutive year. John Tusak, Avalon Casino organist has continued to play wonderful classical movie standards for the past 21 years for all events held at the historic theatre on 1 of 2 Page organs left in the world.

Avalon Award – Mira Sorvino
Wes Craven Horror/Thriller Award – “Black Cat in a Dark Room”
Wes Craven Horror/Thriller Award of Excellence – “High Desert Hell”
Best of Fest – U.S Feature – “Cicada Song”
Award of Excellence – U.S. Feature – “Badland” & “Dark Harbor”
Best of Fest – U.S. Short Film – “Men of Vision”
Award of Excellence – U.S. Short Film – “The Scorpion’s Tale” & “The Cake”
Award of Excellence – Documentary Film (Worldwide) – “Camp Alec”
Best of Fest – Documentary Film (Worldwide) – “Stronger than Carr”
Award of Excellence – Screenplay – “Deep East Texas”
Best of Fest – Screenplay – “Kid Soldier”
Award of Excellence – International Short Film – “The Portraitist”
Best of Fest – International Short Film – “Janek/Bastard”
Best of Fest – International Feature Film – “RWANDA”
Catalina Spotlight Awards – Chuck Liddell & Lolo Saldana

Deb Bauer “Unsung Hero Award” – “Father of the Flying Car”
Award of Excellence – High School Student Film: (Worldwide): “Screen Age” & “Artificial Connection”
Award of Excellence – Advanced Student Film (Worldwide) – “8”
Best of Fest – Advanced Student Film (Worldwide) – “Piggy Bank Proposition”
Award of Excellence – Animation Short Film (Worldwide) – “Substance”
Best of Fest – Animation Short Film (Worldwide) – “Destination: Unknown”
Award of Excellence – Conservation Film – “Saving Ohi’a”
Best of Fest – Conservation Film – “The Last Herd”
CFF Festival Treasure Award – “Barbie’s Kenny”
Best of Fest – Catalina Film Channel (Online) Awards:
Best Actor, Male: Ben Gail – “Happy To Help”
Best Actor, Male Comedy: Aaron Serotsky – “Men of Vision”
Best Actor, Female: Jennifer Morrison – “A Tattooed Heart”
Best Actor, Female Comedy: Leslie Vincent – “Fairy Tail”
Best Child Actor, Charity Rose – “Piggy Bank Proposition”
Best Cinematography, Mac Fisken – “High Desert Hell”
Best Supporting Actor, Male: Markets Christmas – “Unicorns”
Best Supporting Actor, Female – Jordan Knapp- “8”
Best Director, Frank Todaro – “Men of Vision

 “Smile” cast attending 9th Annual Catalina Film Festival, Emerson Blasco, Leslie Alejandro, Kevin Alejandro, and Dani de Jesus

Catalina Film Festival Day 4 began with a spectacular VIP party hosted by Gary and Kelly Johnson on their breathtaking estate atop the Catalina Mountains. The highlight of the evening was a toast to the drone! Redcarpet festivities included Mira Sorvino recipient of the “Avalon Award” followed by the Catalina Film Festival World Premiere of “Badlands” and Afterparty hosted by Toyon Grille.

Screenings throughout the Island included:

LIONS DEN, Avalon City Hall
Featuring industry notables: Shawn Nightingale, Producer; Grady Craig, Bondit Media Capital; Jennifer Bergeron, Private Equity Investor and Producer; Viviana Zarragoitia, VP of Three Point Capital and Producer; Barbara Bickham, Trailyn Ventures

CICADA SONG: Michael Starr (writer-director-producer), Tom Bellos (Producer – tentative), John Kellogg (Producer), Lyndsey Lantz (Karen), Kim Reed (Judith & exec producer), Joseph Bottoms (Kurt), Jenny Mesa-Oliva (Annabelle), Rob Tepper (Richard), Cesar Ramos (Javier), Ryan Griswold (Director of Photography), Alex Williamson (composer), Greg Curtis (Post sound supervisor), Robert Leon (production sound), Rusty Tinder (music contributor), Bert Rotundo (Neibaum), Clementine Leger (USC SCA festival office – credited)
Amy Laboube (Lyndsey’s wife), Leo Oliva (Jenny’s husband), Myra Arias (John’s girlfriend), Amanda Griswold (Ryan’s wife), Kathy West (financial contributor – uncredited), Asli Yildirim (Alex’s girlfriend), Katherine Bottoms (Joseph’s daughter), Peter Roth (Greg Curtis’ Studio assistant), Melanie DiPietro (Brain Academy Studios Exec).

Academy Award Winning Mira Sorvino, recipient of the “Avalon Award”  and Kevin Makely on the red carpet with Host Steffanie Siebrand.

Robert Frings and Erin Rye “Lady Parts” attending 9th Annual Catalina Film Festival.  

A touch of Island Romance as Alice Aoki and Justin Aoki arrive to the Redcarpet. The couple met and fell in love at the 5th Annual Catalina Film Festival 2015, Aoki’s got Married the year of the 6th Catalina Film Festival 2016, attended and walked the Redcarpet with Catalina Mayor “Annie” during the “7 year itch” 7th Annual Catalina Film Festival 2017 for the honeymoon, couple got pregnant 2018 on the carpet baby intow and now here at 1 years old baby “Amika Aoki” walks her very first Redcarpet at the CFF 2019. Founder Ron Truppa has the same similar story and poses with his new son and wife with the Aoki’s. Yes the Magical Movie Making Island of romance, romance, romance! And that’s a wrap!

Closing ceremonies were held at The Queen Mary on Sunday September 29th 2019. Catalina island express and Queen Mary Charter provided non-stop ferry rides to and from the island in less than 60 min. Photos by Gisele Ozeri @shooterdiva

Catalina Film Festival is an annual celebration of film in Southern California with coastal screenings and events in Long Beach and on Hollywood’s Island. Past CFF honorees include Nicolas Cage, Jon Favreau, Stan Lee, Kevin Hart, William H. Macy, Andy Garcia, Sharon Stone, Emmy Rossum, Richard Dreyfuss, and more. 2019 sponsors include The Cafaro Group, Building Image Group (BIG), Bogart Spirits, REED’S INC, REZ – Recovery Brands, BANDERO Tequila, Catalina Express, Toyon Grill, Bezalel, ABK BEER, Horseshoe Bend Vineyards, Sprint. Follow @CatalinaFilm, #CatalinaFilm www.catalina film.org.


Contact: Jennifer Chidester je******@mo*********.com, JP Petrini **@mo*********.com

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