Celebrities and local dignitaries walked the red carpet last Friday on opening night of the Calabasas Film Festival. The Sony film, The Equalizer, starring Denzel Washington and Chloe Grace Moretz, made its U.S. debut at the Edwards Grand Palace Stadium 6, and the film’s producers, Todd Black and Jason Blumenthal, were on-hand after the screening to answer questions.
The festival continued at the Viewpoint School where it screened two documentaries and a comedy feature. The Saturday night closing film was Tracks, starring Adam Driver and Mia Wasikowska. A student film festival took place on Sunday at Founders Hall after which festival organizers held an award ceremony.
Awards went to the following:
- Award of Merit for Direction went to Matthew Carieri from Viewpoint School for Jumping Berlin
- Award of Merit winners for Writing went to Zachary Oschin & Sarah Evans from Viewpoint School for Chris
- Award of Merit for Production went to Mitchell Scott and Emma Gabay from Calabasas High School for Five Minutes to Judgment
Festival organizers deemed the event a big success. “We had well over 400 people attend opening night and the after-party,.” said Kelley Fries, event coordinator. “The feedback we received from guests and sponsors has been exceedingly positive. Calabasas is a perfect home for this type of event and we have big plans to grow the festival into a ‘name festival’ [like a] Sundance, Tribeca etc., in the years to come.”
Calabasas Mayor David Shapiro sparked the idea last year as a means of celebrating the film industry closer to home. “It really felt wonderful being on the red carpet and seeing the film festival for the first time come to fruition,” he told CV Happening. “… I think our city is a perfect fit for this type of festival and [there will be an] even bigger, better festival going forward. I think overall it was a success. I want to congratulate Pelagius for the great job they did and putting this together.” Shapiro said he’s already looking forward to next year’s event.