By Dana DOWSE
The third annual Glendale International Film Festival was launched this week on Wednesday, Sept. 28 and will continue through Oct. 5 at the MGN Five Star Cinema and at the Pacific Theatres Glendale at the Americana. Opening night kicked off with a red carpet, reception and a live band. A short film and a feature film were also screened. The festival will close with an awards show on Oct. 5 at Gauchos Village from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Velvet Rhodes is the visionary behind the festival. An actress, Rhodes’ first role was an angel in a church play. She recalled telling her mother she wanted to do this; her mother replied, “What – be an angel?”
But since then Rhodes has had a lot of different roles. She now runs her own company, Velvet Rhodes Productions, where she makes short films and feature film documentaries. She said that had such a good time at the Idyllwild International Film Festival that she decided to look into how to organize a film festival in Glendale. The organizers of the Idyllwild festival took her around town and gave her insights on how to host a festival. In gratitude, Rhodes dedicated the first Glendale International Film Festival to the organizer of the Idyllwild Film Festival, Scott J. Foster, whom had recently passed away.
Each day of the week-long festival will feature movie premieres divided into two-hour blocks. Movie categories include international, national and local feature films; short films; web series; student films. Each film/screenplay is watched and read by the event’s programmers and judges. Among the many award categories are special categories, like women filmmakers and screenwriters, and awards for filmmakers residing in the Glendale/Burbank/Los Angeles/Pasadena areas.
There will be two screenplay-reading contests and two panel discussions. The first screenplay reading competition includes 16 feature screenplays that were submitted and selected to be read. A group of actors will read seven pages from each screenplay before a live audience and the screenwriters.
In the second screenplay reading contest actors will read five pages from four short screenplays. Judges will give awards to the best screenplays. The panel discussions are titled “The Filmmaker’s Journey” and “The Screenwriter’s Journey.” The filmmaker discussion focuses on how to make a film and the screenwriter discussion is about writing screenplays and books.
Rhodes mentioned two films at the festival that she is excited about, “Aram Aram” and “Tevanik,” as well as her own film titled “Vintage Glorious Glendale.” The documentary is about the history, buildings and iconic sites of Glendale.
This year’s festival is dedicated to All Creatures Great and Small in the Animal Kingdom, Women Film Makers and Screenwriters, Leslie C. Brand, and the City of Glendale. Rhodes said she hopes the festival will be an opportunity to bring the City together and encourages everyone to attend.
She also urged buying tickets soon as many events are close to selling out.
Full day passes are $50 for each theatre. Tickets can also be purchased for two-hour blocks of film for $15. An eight-day all access pass can be purchased for $250 and a three-day weekend pass can be purchased for $100. There is also a discounted eight-day all access pass for military/veterans, seniors and students for $75. Tickets for the awards show at Gauchos are $25. Buffet and drink items are an additional cost.
For more information and to purchase tickets see http://www.glendaleinternationalfilmfestival.com/.
MGN Five Star Cinema is located at 128 N. Maryland Ave. in Glendale; the Pacific Theatres are located at The Americana at Brand, 322 Americana Way, Glendale.