Film Festivals
By Stacey Kumagai
Aug 23, 2004, 18:17

Temecula, CA --- For nine years, the Temecula Valley International Film; Music Festival (TVIFMF) remained “the best kept secret festival” according to Film Threat’s Chris Gore’s Ultimate Film Festival Survival Guide. Celebrating ten years, the TVIFMF is slated for September 8-12 at The Movie experience 10 at Tower Plaza (E. I-15 @Ynez Road; Rancho California Road) and has hit a whole new league of growth. Last year the festival had over 8,000 attendees, boasting participation from 200 filmmakers, musicians, producers, directors, writers, judges, cast and crew, this year the expected attendance is well over 10,000.

This year, the action-packed event showcasing the best in film and music from the US and around the world including countries such as Australia, France, Japan and Italy adds more industry participation than ever before. This year’s film showcases include presentations from The American Film Institute (AFI), Independent Feature Project (IFP), Toronto Int’l Film Festival Group, USC School of Cinema-Television, Australian Film & TV Radio School, San Diego State University and sister festival, Rome Independent Film Festival (RIFF) which will be the highlight supplement to four full general screening days of shorts, documentaries, animation, features and student films, with special Hollywood presentations.

"We are really looking forward to working with Temecula," states Robin Rhodes, Programming Manager, Film Circuit -The Toronto International Film Festival Group, ( presenting nine films within their Canadian Film Showcase.

Sister-festival, Rome Independent Film Festival came on board last year as a partner festival, where Temecula’s Best Film winner gets to showcase in Italy as an international screening presentation. "RIFF is both honored and excited to continue our partnership with Temecula, as it will not only stimulate a form of dialogue between the United States and Italy, but equally as important, a discourse of cinematographic language, breaking both international and expressional barriers. We hope this provides the opportunity to exchange ideas and attain visibility for those who, today, have the courage to be independent," states Fabrizio Ferrari, Festival Director for RIFF (

Award-winning Director, Keith Gordon who will present a Master Class on Directing workshop on Sunday, September 12 from 11 a.m-1p.m. has put together a special feature presentation screening of “The Singing Detective” which stars Robert Downey, Jr. Robin Wright Penn, Mel Gibson, Jeremy Northam, Katie Holmes, Adrien Brody, Jon Polito, Carla Gugino, Saul Rubinek, Alfre Woodard, Amy Aquino, David Dorfman, Eddie Jones and “The Chocolate War.” While Director, Jonathan Lynn who is receiving his Lifetime Achievement Award for Directing Sunday night will be bringing “My Cousin Vinny” to Temecula. The film stars Joe Pesci and Marisa Tomei – the very film for which she won her Oscar. He will also showcase “The Distinguished Gentleman” starring Eddie Murphy. A special Q&A will follow, for a very rare opportunity to speak with Director, Jonathan Lynn.

This year’s film jury includes new members: Robb Thomas is producer and founding staff member of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts; and Raymond Singer, whose impressive writing credits include HBO, ABC, CBS, USA, NBC, TNT and PBS Networks and such animated series as Disney’s Mulan (for which he won The Annie Award for Best Writing/Animated Feature), Lion King 1 ½,Lady and the Tramp III and Dreamworks’ Joseph King of Dreams which won a Gold Angel Award for Best Animated Feature. Film Jury President and Producer, (who is also presenting a Master Class in Producing Workshop) Paul S. Mezey will be presenting his multiple Award-winning film “Maria Full of Grace” to the festival as the Opening Night film. The film won the Audience Award at Sundance 2004 and the Silver Bear at Berlin 2004 and is about a seventeen year old girl, Maria Alvarez (played by Catalina Sandino Moreno), who lives with three generations of her family in a cramped house in rural Colombia and works stripping thorns from flowers in a rose plantation and is suddenly thrown into the world of international drug trafficking. Rated R

Other growth spurts include the All-Day Music Fest. Last year’s All-Star Jam has transformed into a Saturday All –Day Music Fest featuring emerging, up and coming unsigned performing artists, bands and vocal performers - with finalists selected to be part of the 10th anniversary compilation CD. The CD will be produced by Emmy nominated Songwriter and Performer, Monty Seward (2002 TVIFMF Award of Excellence Honoree). Distribution is an added dimension to the festival’s offerings as a prize package for the artists from Blockbuster.

Aside from the Master Class in Directing workshop by Keith Gordon, and Master Class in Producing by Paul Mezey, other workshops feature a full-slate of interesting topics including a conversation with 2003 Lifetime Achievement Honoree for Producing, Paramount Pictures’ Hollywood Icon/Producer, A.C. Lyles who has been in show business over 65 years, A Guerilla Marketing for Musicians workshop by CEO and Founder of IndieSpace, Jeannie Novak, UCLA/LA Film School Instructor and Film Producer, What A Casting Director Looks For by UCLA/LA Film School instructor/producer, Gabrielle Kelly & Former Disney Casting Director, Gretchen Rennell Court, a writing workshop by Writer-Producer, David Cole and Award Winning Afghani Director, Yama Rahimi presents a Glimpse of Kabul.

Adding new heights to the 10th anniversary celebration is the annual Black-Tie Awards Gala , 6 p.m. on Sunday, September 12, 2004 at Wilson Creek Winery (35960 Rancho California Rd., Temecula). This year’s honorees include Actor, Louis Gossett, Jr., R&B Icon, Lou Rawls – presented by Isaac Hayes, Film Composer/Musician, Trevor Rabin- presented by Director, Renny Harlin, Director, Jonathan Lynn – presented by Actress, Natasha Henstridge and Oscar-winning Film Editor, Paul Hirsh, Actress, Gina Gershon, Icons & Legends Fame Photographer, Michael Childers- presented by Actress, Stefanie Powers and Dean of USC School of Cinema-Television, Dr. Elizabeth M. Daley. Master of Ceremonies for Gala Night is International Entertainment Correspondent/Author, Nelson Aspen.

For all ticket information, go to

Festival Director: Jo Moulton
Phone: 909/699-8681

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