[Special Screenings] Festival Mania!

Movies of the Week:

Festival Mania
Last week, you were informed about the fourth biennial Vietnamese International Film Festival winding down at UC Irvine just as the 10th annual Latin American Film Festival (LAFF) was set to open on campus (tonight, if you are reading this on Thursday, April 16). This week, there are so many festivals we can’t keep them straight without a program. Literally.

As just mentioned, the LAFF opens with a free screening of Jorge Duran’s multi-award-winning Brazilian film Proibido proibir (Forbidden to Forbid) and continues through April 25. UCI, Humanities Instructional Building, Room 100, Lucille Kuehn Auditorium, Irvine, (949) 824-7418; www.humanities.uci.edu/fvc/.

The seventh annual Riverside International Film Festival, which focuses mostly on foreign films, kicks off Friday with a noontime screening of an American production, Bureaucracy, which stars Riverside Poly graduate Jack Robinson, RIFF alumnus Jane Shepherd (from last year’s Defying Gravity), University of Redlands graduate Christine Haeberman and other local talent. That evening, the Lifetime Achievement Award RIFF 2009 is presented to actor William Devane, who played a Kennedy on film or television more times than I can remember. Among the 120 films from more than 30 countries to be shown through April 26 include American Venus from Canada, White Night Wedding from Iceland, Romania’s California Dreaming, India’s Mumbai Meri Jaan and Denmark’s 2009 Oscar submission To Verdener. Regal Riverside Plaza Stadium Theaters, 3535 Riverside Plaza, Riverside; riversidefilmfest.org.

The National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP) Conference 10, which is subtitled “A Decade of Influence,” includes the screening of a new Latino-made film and appearances by folks close to the production. But NALIP says you have to keep going back and checking their website up through Friday’s opening night to find out what the title is, when it is shown and how much it costs to get in. Past conferences have premiered Patricia Riggens’ La Misma Luna (Under the Same Moon), Franc. Reyes’ Illegal Tender and Edward James Olmos’ Walkout. The Island Hotel, 690 Newport Center Dr., Newport Beach; nalip.org.

And, as mentioned elsewhere on this website, the 10th anniversary Newport Beach Film Festival kicks off Thursday, April 23, with Derick Martini’s dark dramedy Lymelife. It’s a solid flick featuring great performances, but it will also be opening in theaters for much less than the steep price for this festival opening night screening and after-party ($150, or $80 for the party alone). Then again, you might bump into a member of the cast that includes Alec Baldwin, Cynthia Nixon and Rory Culkin. Or, more likely, Martini, his brother/co-writer Steven and supporting player Emma Roberts. Subsequent festival films through April 30 are a more reasonable $8-$12. Edwards “Big Newport,” 300 Newport Center Dr., Newport Beach, (949) 253-2880; www.newportbeachfilmfest.com.

Also Showing:

Falling for Grace
Laguna Beach Film Society presents what could have been called My Big Fat Chinese Wedding. Co-writer/director Fay Ann Lee plays a Wall Street banker who attends a high-society soiree on the Upper East Side, where she is mistaken as an heiress from Hong Kong and introduced to NYC’s most eligible bachelor, Andrew Barrington Jr. (Queer as Folk’s Gale Harold). Will Grace allow a budding romance to blossom under mistaken identity? The cast also includes Christine Baranski (Mamma Mia!), Ken Leung (TV’s Lost) and comedians Lewis Black and Margaret Cho. Laguna South Coast Cinema, 162 S. Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, (949) 494-8971, ext. 201. Thurs., April 16, 7:30 p.m. $15; $20 if you attend the 6 p.m. wine and hors d’oeuvres pre-reception around the corner in the Wells Fargo community room.

Industry Insiders
Hollywood director Martha Coolidge leads screenings and discussions of these television shows (and episodes): CSI (“Living Legend”), Sex & the City (“I Heart NY”) and Weeds (”Shit Highway”). Chapman University, Marion Knott Studios, Folino Theater, 11283 N. Cypress St., Orange, (714) 997-6711. Thurs., April 16, 7 p.m. Free.

Lost in Yonkers
Martha Coolidge’s next Industry Insiders screening is her 1993 film, which Neil Simon adapted from his own coming-of-age play about two boys sent to live with their grandma and aunt in Yonkers, New York, following the death of their mother. Chapman University, Marion Knott Studios, Folino Theater, 11283 N. Cypress St., Orange, (714) 997-6711. Thurs., April 23, 7 p.m. Free.

Pink Floyd The Wall
Alan Parker’s trippy-dippy 1982 flick follows troubled rock star Pink (Bob Geldof) into madness and a ripping soundtrack. If you don’t need no education, this movie is for you. But how can you have any pudding if you don’t eat yer meat? Bay Theater, 340 Main St., Seal Beach, (562) 431-9988; www.baytheatre.com. Fri., 10:30 p.m.; Sun., 6 p.m.; Mon. & Wed., 8 p.m. $5-$8.

Polvo nuestro que estás en los cielos (Our Dust, Who Art in Heaven)
The 10th annual Latin American Film Festival presented by UC Irvine’s Film and Video Center continues with Uruguan director Beatriz Flores Silva’s intriguing tale about an illegitimate 7-year-old girl who is forced to live with her father, a highly influential politician, following the death of her mother. Her new home is one of heightened emotions and neurosis as it is inhabited by 10 egocentrics trying to resolve their pasts during a span from 1966, just before the election of President Gestido, to the coup de état of 1973. The film is shown in Spanish with English subtitles. Silva is scheduled to take part in an afternoon and evening of activities. UCI, Humanities Instructional Building, Irvine, (949) 824-7418; www.humanities.uci.edu/fvc/. Thurs., April 23: Forum and roundtable discussion in HIB 110, 4:30 p.m.; Reception in Humanities Hall 344, 5:30 p.m.; Screening in HIB 100, 7 p.m. $2. The festival continues through April 25.

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