The art and celebration of screenwriting will be the focus of an upcoming film festival being presented by the City of Agoura Hills’ Cultural Arts Council. What makes The Greatest Movies Ever Written! so unique is the fact that it has never been done before, according to event creators/screenwriters Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio, who collaborated on such hits as the Despicable Me films and The Lorax.
“This is long overdue,” said Paul, a resident of Agoura Hills. “Many people don’t understand the contributions that the screenwriter makes, and we’ve always thought there should be a film festival which highlights their work.”
Festival audiences will have an opportunity to screen four films selected by Paul and Daurio–Parenthood, Despicable Me, Tremors and Edward Scissorhands– and then ask questions of the screenwriters. “There are always these lists of great movies, but for this first round, we’ve chose the ones that we personally love and have watched over and over,” said Daurio.
Opening night will feature Parenthood after which there will be a Q & A with screenwriter Lowell Ganz. “This one was a no-brainer for us,” said Paul. “When we were starting out, [writing partners Ganz and Babaloo Mandel] were our idols … The film is an unheralded masterpiece.”
“The characters are so real and relatable,” added Daurio. “I have a quote from the movie framed and hanging in my house amongst my family photos.”
The filmmakers wanted to offer diversity by presenting movies that represent different genres. Tremors, by Brent Maddock and S.S. Wilson, was their “horror” selection. “It’s actually a horror/comedy, which is pretty hard to pull off,” said Cinco.
“One minute I was jumping out of my seat, the next I’m rolling on the floor with laughter,” recalls Daurio of his first viewing of the Kevin Bacon-starrer.
Kids are invited to attend a Saturday morning showing of Despicable Me along with a Paul and Dario Q & A. “This one is closest to our hearts,” said Daurio. “It’s the one that was left true to our original vision.”
The final film of the series is Edward Scissorhands by Caroline Thompson. “I remember first seeing this one with a group of friends and then going back the very next night to see it by myself,” said Daurio. “It takes you into a fairytale land and inside of Tim Burton’s brain … Then you think, ‘wow, you can make a movie about someone who has scissor hands and can’t touch people?”
Paul adds that the film also makes an important social commentary. “It’s really a love story, but it says a lot about how we treat others,” he said.
Currently, the writing duo are “deep into Despicable Me 3,” which will once again star Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig and Miranda Cosgrove.
The Greatest Movies Ever Written! will take place Friday, September 25 and Saturday, 26. Program highlights include a VIP opening reception on Friday evening followed by all-day Saturday screenings. For more information, go to 91301.org/events/celebratescreenwriters/ or click here to purchase tickets.