La Costa Film Festival – Press Release (Sept. 30, 2013)

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FIRST ANNUAL LA COSTA FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES LINE-UP

THE SHORT GAME to open festival and AT MIDDLETON closes with galas and screenings under the stars at Omni La Costa Resort and Spa.

Other highlights include a retrospective screening of FIELD OF DREAMS, and award winners THE CRASH REEL, DECODING ANNIE PARKER, WILLIAM AND THE WINDMILL, STAND CLEAR OF THE CLOSING DOORS, and BROKEN CIRCLE BREAKDOWN

LA COSTA, CA (September 30, 2013) – Today, the La Costa Film Festival (www.lacostafilmfestival.org) proudly announced its lineup of narrative and documentary features and short films for this year’s festival.  The impressive program features some of the most engaging films of the past year.  The La Costa Film Festival will make its grand debut October 24-27, 2013 at the world famous Omni La Costa Resort and Spa.

The delightful documentary THE SHORT GAME will feature as the opening night film, reflecting the Omni La Costa Resort’s long tradition of golfing and family.  The film follows the lives of eight of the best seven-year-old golfers in the world as they train for and compete in the World Championships of Junior Golf.  The film has received numerous accolades, including Audience Awards at the SXSW and Maui Film Festivals, and is Executive Produced by Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel.

Closing the festival will be AT MIDDLETON, which stars Andy Garcia, Vera Farmiga, and Taissa Farmiga in the story of two wildly different parents who meet and discover they have an irresistible chemistry while taking their kids on a college tour.

Both the opening and closing red carpet galas will feature screenings and parties under the stars at the Omni La Costa Resort and Spa.

The juried sports competition includes a variety of compelling documentary features: THE CRASH REEL follows snowboarder Kevin Pearce and the traumatic brain injury that kept him from competing for Gold in 2010; MAIDENTRIP reveals the journey of Laura Dekker, the youngest person to ever sail around the world alone; MCCONKEY is about Shane McConkey, a revered pioneer of free-skiing and ski-BASE jumping; and the story of two young surfers who battle nature in a remote, arctic island in Northern Norway in order to catch the perfect wave is the focus of NORTH OF THE SUN.  The opening night film, THE SHORT GAME, will also compete.

Shorts in competition include: SLOMO, THE RED PILL, CROOKED LINES, and MAGNESIUM.  The jury will be announced in the coming weeks.

The winner of the local high school competition is the short film ROUTINES, which will premiere at the festival.  ROUTINES was co-directed by Canyon Crest Academy senior Jason Lee Phillips and former CCA student Jason Lee Segal, who is now at Chapman University.  Canyon Crest Academy will receive a cash prize from the La Costa Film Festival for its distinguished Envision Cinema program.

The Narrative spotlight section features favorites from this year’s festival circuit: the Belgian drama BROKEN CIRCLE BREAKDOWN is flavored with American-style bluegrass and was awarded the Panorama Audience Award at the Berlin Film Festival, as well as Best Actress and Best Screenplay awards at Tribeca; based on a true story of one woman’s fight against breast cancer, DECODING ANNIE PARKER stars Helen Hunt and, winner of the Best Actress award at the recent Seattle International Film Festival, Samantha Morton; French dramedy JUST A SIGH premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival this year; and winner of a Special Jury Prize at Tribeca, STAND CLEAR OF THE CLOSING DOORS.

The Documentary Showcase also has its share of acclaimed titles: an intimate portrait exploring the tragedy of Alzheimer’s, THE GENIUS OF MARIAN premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival; WALKING THE CAMINO is a festival audience favorite about the experience of walking the ancient 500-mile pilgrimage across Northern Spain known as “The Camino de Santiago;” and winner of the Grand Jury Prize at this year’s SXSW, WILLIAM AND THE WINDMILL follows a young Malawian who rescued his family from famine by building a power-generating windmill from scrap parts.

There will also be a special outdoor retrospective screening of the 1989 Kevin Costner classic, FIELD OF DREAMS, in which an Iowa farmer is inspired by a voice he can’t ignore to pursue a dream he can hardly believe.

In another nod to the area, two films will screen as part of the festival’s Surf Spotlight: ISOLATED and H2INDO.

The festival’s family film will be KHUMBA, an animated comedy from South Africa, which recently premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, and features the voices of Steve Buscemi and Laurence Fishburne.

“We’re very proud to welcome so many talented filmmakers from around the world and present their work to our community,” said festival founders, Mike and Ruby Callihan. “In turn, once they experience the beauty, hospitality, and wonder of Carlsbad, we believe it will leave a lasting impression, and they’ll want to return often.”

Festival Producer and Head Programmer, Nancy Collet, added, “This is an incredibly diverse and high-quality line-up of films.  All of these titles have been awarded with accolades and have proven to be audience favorites on the festival circuit over the past year.”

More information about all the films in the line-up, along with a schedule of screenings, can be found below at http://www.lacostafilmfestival.org.

Tickets and Passes

The inaugural La Costa Film Festival runs October 24-27 at the Omni La Costa Resort and Spa, located at 2100 Costa Del Mar Road in Carlsbad, CA.  Additional screenings will take place at nearby venues, including Cinepolis Theaters and the Ruby G. Schulman Theater. Festival Passes are currently on sale at the festival’s website, with special early bird pricing until October 1, when individual screening tickets go on sale. For more information please visit www.lacostafilmfestival.org or follow us on Twitter (@LaCostaFilmFest).

Press materials available at www.lacostafilmfestival.org.

ABOUT THE LA COSTA FILM FESTIVAL

Founded by La Costa residents Michael and Ruby Callihan in 2013, The La Costa Film Festival will deliver a new cultural experience to North San Diego County, integrating a series of film screenings, panels, retrospectives, and gala events in celebration of the art and impact of motion pictures. All net proceeds of the festival will go to the local Boys & Girls Clubs of Carlsbad.

The annual event will showcase some of the most engaging international documentaries, narrative features, and short films of the past year and present them in a variety of unique local venues. The Opening Night Gala will feature a red carpet and a screening under the stars on the beautiful grounds of the Omni La Costa Resort and Spa. Additional screenings will be offered at the nearby, luxurious La Costa Cinepolis Theaters, as well as the spacious Ruby G. Schulman Theater, at the Carlsbad Dove Library next door to the Resort. Film enthusiasts may join in Q&As and mingle with participating filmmakers as well as celebrity guests at numerous intimate parties where all pass-holders are welcome.

In recognition and celebration of the La Costa area’s love of sport, in particular the world-class championship golf and tennis that the resort is known for, the La Costa Film Festival will feature a special competition focusing on sports-themed films.

There will also be a special shorts competition for local high schools, offering them the opportunity to exhibit their talent and to participate in the festival. The winning school will receive a cash prize to support its film program.

ABOUT OMNI LA COSTA RESORT AND SPA

Fresh from a $50 million renovation and nestled among the beautiful coastal foothills of Carlsbad, Calif., Omni La Costa Resort & Spa boasts a new look with no part of the resort untouched. California’s original destination for Mind, Body + Sport, Omni La Costa’s re-designed areas include 607 newly imagined guestrooms and suites, an adult-only pool venue, the Coastal Events Center featuring 110,000 square feet of meeting and event space, an expanded Athletic Club as well as two golf courses, including the all-new Champions Course, recognized by Golf magazine as “Southern California’s Only Gold Medal Golf Resort.” Honored as the #1 Wellness Spa in the Nation by Spa magazine, the 43,000-square-foot Spa at Omni La Costa includes a private pool, café and therapeutic reflexology path. Acclaimed restaurants – Legends Bistro and BlueFire Grill – present an updated take on locally inspired cuisine and culinary delights prepared by Chef Gregory Frey, Jr. For more information on Omni La Costa, call (800) 854-5000 or visit www.lacosta.com.
OPENING NIGHT GALA

THE SHORT GAME
USA / 2013 / 90min
Director: Josh Greenbaum
Cast: Edd Hall, Jennifer Van Horn, Allan Kournikova, Zamokuhle Nxasana, Alexa Pano, Yang Kuan, Jed Dy, Augustin Valery, Sky Sudberry, Amari Avery

The best seven-year-old golfers from around the world descend on the world famous Pinehurst Golf course in North Carolina to determine the next world champion and who might become golf’s next phenomenon. Most of these young prodigies have been holding clubs since before they could walk and are better by the time they are six than most people will be in their lifetime. This is the breeding ground for the PGA and the stakes are huge. THE SHORT GAME follows nine young golfers vying for the title of ‘world champion’.

CLOSING NIGHT GALA

AT MIDDLETON
USA / 2013 / 100min
Director: Adam Rodgers
Writers: Glenn German, Adam Rodgers
Cast: Vera Farmiga, Taissa Farmiga, Andy Garcia, Tom Skerritt, Peter Riegert, Nicholas Braun, Daniella Garcia, Tony Doupe, Spencer Lofranco, Sean Cook, D.R. Anderson, Stephen Borello IV, Kent Kimball, Kenny Parks Jr.

It’s not only teenagers who find themselves when they go off to college. Two brilliant actors best known for dramatic roles join forces in a romantic romp, and they have a ball. Vera Farmiga and Andy Garcia play strangers who meet while escorting their teen children to campus-tour day at a mythical college named Middleton (the film is in part a hilarious parody of American college life).

SPECIAL “UNDER THE STARS” RETROSPECTIVE SCREENING

FIELD OF DREAMS
USA / 1989 / 107min
Director: Phil Alden Robinson
Screenplay: Phil Alden Robinson
Cast: Kevin Costner, Amy Madigan, Gaby Hoffman, Ray Liotta, Timothy Busfield, James Earl Jones, Burt Lancaster, Frank Whaley, Dwier Brown

An Iowa corn farmer, hearing voices, interprets them as a command to build a baseball diamond in his fields; he does, and the Chicago Black Sox come.

SPORTS COMPETITION

THE CRASH REEL
USA / 2013 / 90 min
Director: Lucy Walker
Cast: Kevin Pearce, Shaun White, Mason Aguirre, Jake Burton, Danny Davis, Scotty Lago, Jack Mitrani, Luke Mitrani

Fifteen years of vérité footage show the epic rivalry between half-pipe legends Shaun White and Kevin Pearce, childhood friends who become number one and two in the world leading up to the Vancouver Winter Olympics, pushing one another to ever more dangerous tricks, until Kevin crashes on a Park City half-pipe, barely surviving. As Kevin recovers from his injury, Shaun wins Gold. Now all Kevin wants to do is get on his snowboard again, even though medics and family fear this could kill him.

MAIDENTRIP
USA / 2013 / 75 min
Director: Jillian Schlesinger
Writers: Laura Dekker, Penelope Falk, Jillian Schlesinger
Cast: Laura Dekker

14-year-old Laura Dekker sets out on a two-year voyage in pursuit of her dream to become the youngest person ever to sail around the world alone.

MCCONKEY
USA / 2013 / 109 min
Director: Murray Wais
Writers: Rob Bruce, Scott Gaffney, Murray Wais, Steve Winter, David Zeiff
Cast: Shane McConkey, Sherry McConkey, J.T. Holmes, Glenn McConkey, Jim McConkey, Jonny Moseley, Miles Daisher, Travis Pastrana, Bob Burnquist, Mike Douglas, Kent Kreitler, Scot Schmidt

A heartfelt examination of the legacy one athlete left to the progression of his sports, and the path he paved to conquer his dreams. Shane McConkey is revered as a pioneer of freeskiing and ski-BASE jumping, and through his talent and ability to use his trademark irreverent humor he’s an inspiration to countless lives.

NORTH OF THE SUN
Norway / 2012 / 46 min
Director: Jorn Nyseth Ranum, Inge Wegge
Writers: Jorn Nyseth Ranum, Inge Wegge
Cast: Jorn Nyseth Ranum, Inge Wegge

Inge Wegge (25) and Jorn Ranum (22) spent nine months of cold, Norwegian winter in the isolated and uninhabited bay of a remote, arctic island by the coast of Northern-Norway, facing nothing but the vast Atlantic Ocean. There they built a cabin out of driftwood and other cast-off materials that washed up on shore, and ate expired food the local stores would otherwise have thrown away. But the boys brought with them two items of utmost importance: their surfboards – perhaps their biggest motivation for the arctic adventure. Because the remote bay holds a well kept secret; some of the world’s finest waves.

THE SHORT GAME
USA / 2013 / 90min
Director: Josh Greenbaum
Cast: Edd Hall, Jennifer Van Horn, Allan Kournikova, Zamokuhle Nxasana, Alexa Pano, Yang Kuan, Jed Dy, Augustin Valery, Sky Sudberry, Amari Avery

The best seven-year-old golfers from around the world descend on the world famous Pinehurst Golf course in North Carolina to determine the next world champion and who might become golf’s next phenomenon. Most of these young prodigies have been holding clubs since before they could walk and are better by the time they are six than most people will be in their lifetime. This is the breeding ground for the PGA and the stakes are huge. THE SHORT GAME follows nine young golfers vying for the title of ‘world champion’.

COMPETITION SPORTS SHORTS
CROOKED LINES
USA / 2013 / 19 min
Director: Lucy Walker
Cast: Denise Tan, Samira Maas, Vanja Rukavina

Ailson Eraclito Da Silva is the best rower in Brazilian history, the Michael Phelps of his sport. Growing up in a leper colony on the banks of the Amazon River, he’s constantly discriminated against. But his dream to win Gold for Brazil at the Olympics is within his grasp. He’s got the talent. But there’s a twist, and this gets more interesting than any Olympics featurette. Because Ailson has an achilles heel — he’s heavy for the lightweight category he competes in. Usually, he makes his weight by not drinking ahead of regattas. This time, his plan fails: he’s disqualified from the Olympic trials. Everyone plays the blame game, until Ailson goes home and faces up to the real reason he can’t control his weight

MAGNESIUM
Netherlands/ 2013 / 20 min
Director: Sam de Jong
Cast: Denise Tan, Samira Maas, Vanja Rukavina

A talented gymnast makes a life-changing discovery as she prepares for an important tournament, which is her last chance to reach the top.

THE RED PILL
USA / 2013 / 14 min
Director: Lucy Walker
Cast: Anjali Forber-Pratt, Jean Driscoll

Illinois-based Paralympian Anjali Forber-Pratt was adopted from India as an infant and became paralyzed shortly after arriving in the US. Despite daunting obstacles – told by teachers she couldn’t go to college, having to sue her school district – Anjali is now a PhD graduate and world record holder in 200m wheelchair racing. And she says if she could do it all over, she’d pick being disabled.

SLOMO
USA / 2013 / 17 min
Director: Joshua Izenberg
Cast: John Kitchin
SXSW ’13 (Best Short Doc), Big Sky Documentary FF ’13 (Best Short Doc)

Depressed and frustrated with his life, Dr. John Kitchin abandons his career as a neurologist and moves to Pacific Beach. There, he undergoes a radical transformation into SLOMO, trading his lab coat for a pair of rollerblades and his IRA for a taste of divinity.

NARRATIVE SPOTLIGHT

BROKEN CIRCLE BREAKDOWN
Belgium / 2012 / 111min
Director: Felix Van Groeningen
Writer: Johan Heldenbergh, Mieke Dobbels, Carl Joos, Felix Van Groeningen
Cast: Veerle Baetens, Johan Heldenbergh, Nell Cattryse, Geert Van Rampelberg, Nils De Caster, Robbie Cleiren, Bert Huysentruyt, Jan Bijvoet, Blanka Heirman, George W Bush

Elise and Didier fall in love at first sight, in spite of their differences. He talks, she listens. He’s a romantic atheist, she’s a religious realist. When their daughter becomes seriously ill, their love is put on trial.

DECODING ANNIE PARKER
USA / 2013 / 91min
Director: Steven Bernstein
Writer: Adam Bernstein, Steven Bernstein, Michael Moss
Cast: Samantha Morton, Helen Hunt

Love, science, sex, infidelity, disease, and comedy.  The wild, mostly true, story of the irrepressible Annie Parker and the almost discovery of a cure for cancer.

JUST A SIGH
France, Belgium, Ireland / 2013 / 104min
Director: Jérôme Bonnell
Writer: Jérôme Bonnell
Cast: Emmanuelle Devos, Gabriel Byrne, Gilles Privat, Aurélia Petit, Laurent Capelluto

Alix and Doug were not supposed to meet, but they did. They did because Alix, whose relationship with her husband was at a crossroads, fancied this handsome serious-looking gentleman on the Paris-bound train. They did because Doug, although not in the mood for love, quickly fell for her. They were not supposed to meet but their brief encounter would prove to be overwhelming.

STAND CLEAR OF THE CLOSING DOORS
USA/ 2013/ 102min
Director: Sam Fleischner
Writer: Rose Lichter-Marck, Micah Bloomberg
Cast: Andrea Suarez Paz, Jesus Sanchez-Velez, Azul Zorrilla, Marsha Stephanie Blake, Tenoch Huerta Mejia, Kevin Bewersdorf

The story of an autistic youth named Ricky who, after a particularly difficult day at school, escapes into the subways. It’s here that he starts his real journey, on a days-long voyage of discovery while, above ground, his mom frantically searches for him.

DOCUMENTARY SHOWCASE

THE GENIUS OF MARIAN
USA / 2013 / 85min
Director: Anna Fitch, Banker White
Cast: Pam White, Marian Steele, Banker White

The Genius of Marian follows Pam White in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Her son, the filmmaker, works with her as she attempts to write a book that tributes her mother, the artist Marian Steele. As Pam’s family comes together to support her, they must also prepare for the new reality that Alzheimer’s brings. Both an intimate look at a much-feared illness and a loving portrait of the meaning of family.

WALKING THE CAMINO
USA / 2013 / 76min
Director: Lydia B. Smith

The story of walking the ancient 500-mile pilgrimage across Northern Spain known as ‘The Camino de Santiago’. The documentary follows six strangers from incredibly diverse walks of life as they attempt to cross an entire country on foot with only a backpack, a pair of boots, and an open mind. Each pilgrim throws themselves heart-and-soul into their physical trek to Santiago de Compostela, and their personal journey to themselves. As you watch, you will learn the rich history of this honored tradition, as well as witness the Camino’s remarkable ability to change lives and provide those who choose to walk its paths with a greater sense of self and spiritual knowledge.

WILLIAM AND THE WINDMILL
USA, Malawi, South Africa / 2013 / 95min
Director & Producer: Ben Nabors
Cast: William Kamkwamba,Tom Rielly

Fourteen-year-old Malawian William Kamkwamba teaches himself to build a power-generating windmill from junk parts, successfully rescuing his family from poverty and famine. He becomes an energy icon for the developing world and meets American entrepreneur and mentor Tom Rielly, who helps him imagine a new future. Fame, opportunity, stress, and isolation follow his invention, and his life is transformed. As William struggles with the potential of his promising future, he privately yearns to distance himself from the windmill that made him famous. This is a story about a complex young man straddling two cultures, carrying the burdens of his past achievements, while boldly pursuing a bright future.

SURF SPOTLIGHT

ISOLATED
USA, Indonesia / 2013 / 106 min
Director: Justin Le Pera
Writer: Justin Le Pera
Cast: Ryan Phillippe, Travis Potter, Jenny Useldinger, Jimmy Rotherham, Josh Fuller, Andrew Mooney

Five world-class surfers travel to New Guinea in search of undiscovered waves, but end up discovering so much more.

H2INDO
USA / 2013 / 76 min
Director: Brent Deal
Writer: Brent Deal
Cast: Dave Kalama, Connor Baxter, Chuck Patterson, Slater Trout, Talia Gangini, Dave Boehne, Jamie Mitchell

Seven of the world’s greatest surfers, Dave Kalama, Connor Baxter, Slater Trout, Talia Gangini, Chuck Patterson, Dave Boehne, and Jamie Mitchell, travel to Indonesia to Stand Up Paddle Indo’s most famous surf breaks. The result is the compelling story of these athletes and the World’s fastest growing sport. The surfing images as well as the underwater scenes are breathtaking.

FAMILY FILM

KHUMBA
South Africa / 2013 / 85 min
Director: Anthony Silverstein
Writers: Anthony Silverstein, Raffaella Delle Donne
Cast: Steve Buscemi, Liam Neeson

Rejected by his superstitious herd, a half-striped zebra embarks on a daring quest to earn his stripes but finds the courage and self-acceptance to save all the animals of the Great Karoo.

SHORTS PROGRAM

ROUTINES – High School Student Short Winner
USA / 2012/ 11min
Directors: Jason Phillips, Jason Segal
Writers: Jason Phillips, Jason Segal
Cast: Jerrin Padre, Jason Phillips, Helen Segal

ROUTINES begins with a boy who is trying to cover up his loneliness by using routines. He creates these routines to hide from real life and so that he will be protected by the spontaneity that the world has to offer.

ANNA ET JEROME
France / 2013 / 21min
Director: Melanie Delloye
Writer: Melanie Delloye
Cast: Elodie Bouchez, Malo Blondel, Jarome Boyer, Laurent Cyr

Anna hasn’t always done things right, but she wants to change. She dreams of taking Jerome far away and starting over somewhere else. They could be happy, just the two of them.

ANNIVERSARIO
USA/ 2013 / 11min
Director: Jeffrey DeChausse
Writer: Jeffrey DeChausse
Cast: Astrid Carranza, Osvaldo Andersson

Carmela visits the beauty salon in preparation for an evening out on her 45th wedding anniversary. She’s greeted by her two favorite hairdressers, Chu Chi and Pepe. But in a tragic twist, Carmela becomes the most important makeover of their lives.

DEATH, TAXES AND APPLE JUICE
USA/2013/ 8min
Director: Tamar Halpern
Writer: Tamar Halpern, George Roth III
Cast: Aymeric Dauge-Roth, Claire Dauge-Roth, Hannah Perrault

A little girl ponders the meaning of life as her friend helps her file taxes.

THE MAKING OF LONGBIRD
UK/2012/16min
Director: Will Anderson
Writer: Will Anderson, Ainslie Henderson, Vitalij Sicinava
Cast: Will Anderson, Tobias Feltus, Vitalij Sicinava

A ‘behind-the-scenes’ look at an Animator/Filmmaker as he struggles with his character.

BIRD FOOD
Ireland/ 2012/ 5min
Director: Richard Keane
Writer: Richard Keane

A man plans to eat his lunch in the park, but the local pigeons have other ideas.

THE FEAR OF FLYING
Ireland / 2012/ 9min
Director: Conor Finnigan
Writer: Conor Finnigan
Cast: Mark Doherty, Aoife Duffin, Steven Courtney

A small bird with a fear of flying tries to avoid heading south for the winter.

CHOPPER
Belgium / Netherlands / 2012 / 2min
Director: Lars Damoiseaux, Frederik Palmaers
Writer: Lars Damoiseaux, Michael Palmaers
Cast: Ruud Lammers, Duncan Meijering

The circle of life. A mantis gets eaten by a frog, the frog has been swallowed by a stork while the stork itself is eaten by a crocodile before the crocodile gets shot by a hunter.

CAFÉ REGULAR, CAIRO
Egypt / 2012 / 11min
Director: Ritesh Batra
Writer: Ritesh Batra
Cast: Mai Abozeed, Alaa Ezzat

In a regular cafe in Cairo a relationship goes through its first big test.

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