Vegas CineFest 2011
It was an exciting three days of outstanding films at the Vegas Cine Fest at The Tropicana Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas from August 25-27, 2011. With all the stars that attended, one rising star stood out amongst everyone and her name is Claire Elizabeth. Claire starred in a dark comedy “Daddy’s Little Girl” as Pumpkin and she was fantastic. She won the Audience Choice Award for the film, which was well deserved. Daddy’s Little Girl was the second runner up for the Best 2010 short film. Claire is in post production for “The Chozen”, a story she thought of while riding in the car and then wrote and starred in it. At nine years old, Claire is looking ahead to a great future in acting, dancing, singing and filmmaking. We definitely will be seeing a lot of her in the future.
I asked Claire how old she was when she wanted to go into acting and she said at two years old she wanted to climb into the T.V. set. A clear sign of how we know what we want to do when we are toddlers. I asked her what she wanted everyone to know and she said she wanted to thank her parents for supporting her and she loved them very much.
The 3rd Annual Vegas Cine Fest was founded in 2009 by Phillip Marcus, Executive
Director and Maria Marcus, Producer. They were ever present through out the entire festival and did a fantastic job in running the film festival. There were over 50 films, red carpets, and filmmaking panels and after parties in Nikki Café where everyone met to celebrate after the day’s events.
A special Filmmaking Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Director John Landis (Animal House, Blues Brothers). Landis directed the film “Burke and Hare” the first U.S. screening and it was the closing film of the night. It is a true story about two grave diggers William Burke and William Hare who supply Robert Knox (Tom Wilkinson) with bodies to dissect at Edinburgh Medical College. John spent a lot of time on stage answering questions and it was an enjoyable to experience his charm and wit and his knowledge. Everyone gave good reviews on the film.
There were a few heartwarming films and the first one was “More To Live For”. It is a story of three people with cancer who are in need of a bone marrow transplant. Seun Adebiyi, a young law student and an Olympic athlete, Michael Brecker, the greatest saxophonist of all time and James Chippendale founder of the Love Hope Strength Foundation. The film brings awareness of how simple it is to get tested to donate stem cells so you can save lives. Noah Hutton directed the film and he was joined on stage with James Chippendale to share their moments about the film.
“A Second Knock at the Door” was also a moving story of military families who have lost loved ones in friendly fire. It is a heartbreaking story of families having to cope with not knowing the truth behind their deaths and trying to get the military to tell them the true cause of their deaths. The film was the second runner up for Best Documentary Film
Eight time world boxing champion Manny Pacquiao was featured in a documentary showing the making of songwriter Dan Hill’s “Sometimes When We Touch”. The film showed the soft, human side of Manny and as he sang it touched my heart and I felt a connection to him, as if he were in one of my past lives. Not only is Manny a boxer, a singer, he is a humanitarian and is hailed as one of the Philippines modern day heroes and loved by the entire nation. He has donated millions of dollars to build houses and feed the poor through out Asia. The film was directed by Sandrine Orabona and produced by Anke Thommen. Sandrine was the cinematographer for Michael Jackson’s “This Is It”
“Some Guy Who Kills People” was the opening film of the film fest, starring Barry Bostwick, written and produced by Ryan Levin and directed by Jack Perez. It is a story of a man just recently released from a mental institution and having to deal with a dominating mother and a daughter who he is trying to establish a relationship with. Barry Bostwick plays the sheriff who is dating the mother who is played by Karen Black. It is a great cast of characters and a good story line.
“Neander-Jin-The Return of the Neanderthal Man”. It was an enjoyable film that had won awards prior to being shown at the film fest.
It is a story of the Neanderthal an who comes back to the present time and meets a 23 year old student and becomes involved with her and the fun begins. Rick Zieff is outstanding as the Neanderthal man. The film won the award for Best Feature Film at the festival.
The award for the Best 2010 Short Film went to “Quality Time” directed, produced and written by James Redford and starring Jason Patric and Lena Redford. A father tries to get his children off to school and encounters obstacles that may not follow the plans he had to get them to school on time. A Q & A followed and I was very excited to meet James Redford, the son of Robert Redford, who I have been in love with my entire life. I told James that I loved his father for years and he gave me a huge smile. As I sat next to James I couldn’t help but think of Robert Redford because James looked so much like him.
The award for Best Student Film was “Return to Sender” directed by Byron Leon.
Award for Best 2010 Featurette was “DeadBeat” directed and written by Brenda Lee Lau and produced by Valerie Berwanger.
On the Red Carpet was Schatar “Hottie” Sapphira
Robert Nash from the Las Vegas Mob Experience and Mickey Silver " The Worlds Fastest Hands”.
My favorite thing to do is to go to the movies and I look forward to next years Vegas CineFest.
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