The 13th annual Hollywood Film Festival and Hollywood Awards, presented by Starz, has unveiled its line-up of finalists for this year's festival, it was announced today by founder and executive director Carlos de Abreu. The programming includes features, documentaries, shorts and music videos from around the world, including films from Bulgaria, Canada, Germany, Israel, Mexico, the Netherlands, South Korea, Spain, Uganda, the United Kingdom and the United States. Also announced were nominees for the Hollywood Movie Awards, the winner to be chosen through public voting on the Yahoo! Movies website.
The Hollywood Film Festival, which takes place October 23-25 at ArcLight Cinemas, will open on Friday, October 23 with the feature film Another Harvest Moon, a sensitive drama about four elderly Americans, directed by Greg W. Swartz and starring Ernest Borgnine, Piper Laurie, Anne Meara, Doris Roberts, Richard Schiff and Cybill Shepherd.
This year's lineup includes The Assistants, a film by Steve Morris about Hollywood assistants trying to make their own movie, starring Joe Mantegna, Jane Seymour, Stacy Keach and Chris Conner; South Korea's 2009 Academy Award Foreign Language submission Crossing, directed by Kim Tae-kyun and based on true accounts of North Korean defectors; Formosa Betrayed, a film by Adam Kane starring James Van Der Beek, Wendy Crewson, John Heard, Tzi Ma and Will Tiao, based on the murder of a professor at a small Midwestern college; Not Since You, directed by Jeff Stephenson, a romantic drama about a tight-knit group of college friends who graduated from NYU the year of 9/11 and reunite years later for a weekend wedding; and Last Day of Summer by Vlad Yudin and starring Nikki Reed, DJ Qualls and William Sadler, spotlighting a fast-food employee who has reached his breaking point from being harassed and tormented by his boss. The festival will close on Sunday, October 25 with the presentation of the Hollywood Discovery Awards to announce the festival winning films - Best Feature Film, Best Documentary, Best Comedy, Best Short Subject, and Best Music Video.
The documentary program focuses on social and humanitarian issues. Documentaries include Garbage Dreams by Mai Iskander, a moving story of young Egyptian men searching for ways to eke out a living for their families and facing tough choices as they try to do the right thing for the planet; Neshoba, by Micki Dickoff and Tony Pagano, about a Mississippi town trying to come to terms with its violent racist past; No Subtitles Necessary: Laszlo and Vilmos, by James Chressanthis, about the lives of renowned cinematographers Laszlo Kovacs and Vilmos Zsigmond from their escape from Hungary during the 1956 Soviet invasion to the present; and War Dance Returns, by Sean Fine, about the return to Uganda to screen the 2008 film War Dance for the members of Patongo, the community documented in the film.
The festival continues its tradition of highlighting genre films with the launch of this year's Hollywood Comedy Film Festival. Of those titles making their debut are John Ennis' Wild Girls Gone, about a spring break bikini contest gone wrong, starring Amy Poehler, Matt Walsh, Matt Besser and Ian Roberts. Matthew Modine and Zach Galifianakis contemplate life, death and other philosophical issues around L.A. in the absurdist comedy Little Fish, Strange Pond. And Chris Kattan tries to take over his father's scouting camp in Scout's Honor, which also stars Fred Willard. A Q&A with the film's talent from Wild Girls Gone and Scout's Honor will follow each respective screening.
In addition, the festival will launch its first Human Rights Symposium on Saturday, October 24, which includes the screening of a documentary highlighting the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a symposium on "Ending Violence Against Women" in the Congo, plus the presentation of an award to the winner of the "Come Clean 4 Congo" contest.
Also, the festival has announced the nominees for this year's Hollywood Movie Awards. They include (500) Days of Summer, directed by Marc Webb; District 9, directed by Neill Blomkamp; G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, directed by Stephen Sommers; The Hangover, directed by Todd Phillips; Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, directed by David Yates; The Hurt Locker, directed by Kathryn Bigelow; Inglourious Basterds, directed by Quentin Tarantino; Star Trek, directed by J.J. Abrams; Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen directed by Michael Bay; and Up, directed by Pete Docter. The winner of the 2009 Awards will be decided by public voting at the Yahoo! Movies website (Movies.Yahoo.com/Hollywood-Movie-Awards) and will be announced at the Hollywood Awards Gala Ceremony on October 26.