2014 Seventh Annual Bel Air Film Festival

Bel-Air Film Festival Opening Gala

 

Press Bel Air Film Festival

The 2014 Seventh Annual Bel-Air Film Festival presented by the A2E Family Partnership was held last October 7 at the historic Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills. The evening opening gala included a red carpet entrance with honoree Tippi Hedren. The festival’s Lifetime Achievement Award was presented by Hedren’s daughter Melanie Griffith to her mom for her career achievements in film.

I asked Melanie Griffith how it felt to present an award to her mom. She replied, “It feels amazing. She is an amazing woman. And the film that’s in the festival is a beautiful tale. It’s all sort of interconnected because my friend Honey Lauren directed the film.”

Melanie Griffith and Tippi Hedren at Bel Air Film Festival

Tippi Hedren being honored at Bel Air Film Festival

The svelte-figure Griffith beamed in an all red body hugging dress paired with red pumps and black clutch. While the honoree looked so elegant in her long black gown with a sheer floral lace design in her midsection still looking stunningly beautiful at the age of 84.

Hedren is best known as the actress from Alfred Hitchcock’s classic “The Birds.” Not only was she a successful model and actress but also an animal rights activist and of course as I mentioned earlier she was instrumental in helping Vietnamese immigrants to California get started with in the nail salon business.

Happy Hands

The Los Angeles premiere documentary of “Happy Hands” which stars Hedren herself chronicles how she helped to create and assist Vietnamese nail salons in the United States.

Tippi Hedren and Melanie Griffith premiere of Happy Hands

Tippi Hedren being honored at 7th Annual Bel-Air Film Fest

Tippi Hedren at the Saban Theatre

During Hedren’s speech she mentioned during the fall of Saigon, a lot of people left the country because they refused to live under communism. She said, “Food for the Hungry rented a battleship from the Australian navy and we cruised the South China seas helping the boat people. We also took in some of the Vietnamese refugees. I helped them find a career and they loved my finger nails. And wow, this could work. So my manicurist Dusty came up once a week for about eight weeks and taught them the whole course.”

She continued, ” About 60 women applied for the course and 30 women stayed with it. Every week Dusty would came up and then they practiced on each other and they practiced on me. We had such a great time. After the course was over we sat them down to beauty school in Sacramento and things went out and look what happened. Amazing. And I guess you know what happened to the manicuring business, it flourished. And I don’t have a percentage.” audience chuckles.

Tippi Hedren receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Tippi Hedren receives Lifetime Achievement Award Bel Air Film Fest

Melanie Griffith presents award for mom Tippi Hedren

Speech Tippi Hedren Lifetime Achievement Award

 

Christina Collard Hosts 7th Annual Bel-Air Film Fest

Christina Collard hosted the Bel-Air Film Fest this year. I asked Collard what she thought of the event. “I’ve actually hosted it before but this year is really exciting because it expanded. It is a lot bigger than it used to be. I’m super excited tonight because the film that is screening tonight is a women’s film. You know it’s really important that women enforce themselves as a stronger force in this industry so I’m really excited to celebrate chicks doing well in film.”

Christina Collard Host of 2014 Bel-Air Film Festival

Christina Collard Host of 2014 Bel-Air Film Festival

 

Short Film: I’ll Be Home Soon

I’ll Be Home Soon was the opening short film at The Bel-Air Film Fest written and directed by James Everett. A family member is held captive by his own family when they suspect him to be a terrorist. I watched the opening of the film and as an audience member, I was on the edge of my seat. The plot was so unique. It had me wondering could the parents be justified? What was going on in the mind of the main character? Overall, it was a real cliff hanger and I shouted for an encore. In other words, I give it a thumbs up.

 

Featured Film: Just Before You Go

Just before you Go is Courtney Cox directorial debut. It is written by David Flebotte and stars Seann William Scott, Olivia Thirlby, Garret Dillahunt, Kate Walsh, and Evan Ross. The story is about a man on the verge of giving up life. He returns to his hometown to tell his family and former classmates how he felt about the people who did wrong to him. The movie also deals with important life topics including school bullies, marriage trouble, obesity, teenage sexuality and child neglect.

 

Cleo King

Cleo King

 

Although the title has a negative connotation, it has a positive message: the importance of communication, respect and love in every situation. The movie was well written and the cast was just a powerhouse of energy. I asked Cleo King, who plays a mom to her gay son, about her thoughts on the movie and working with director Courtney Cox.

“I am very excited. It’s very exciting for this film to be here tonight. I love working with Courtney. She knows exactly what she wants. She gets it and we had a great time doing it. She know’s how to have fun. I love her.”

Missi Pyle, who plays Officer CT said, “I’m very excited to see the movie I did with Courtney Cox. This is her directorial debut.”

Missi Pyle

Missi Pyle

You could hear roars of laughter from the audience. Even if you choke out a laugh, you can’t help being drawn in. I give it another thumbs up.

The Caramel Liqueur

kkAda Caramel Liqueur was one of the vendors at the Bel-Air Film Festival. I am so lucky to have met the owners Margaret Carter and Zane Seely. I have never tried a liqueur that is flavored caramel. It was so good and tasty. After I tried one, I couldn’t help but try another one. According to the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, kkAda Caramel Liqueur is the “Hottest New Product in Hollywood”. I could not agree for more. It’s the best caramel experience.

kkAda One of the vendors for Bel-Air Film Fest

kkAda One of the vendors for Bel-Air Film Fest

Owners of kkAda Zane Seely and Charlotte Gilbert

Owners of kkAda Zane Seely and Charlotte Gilbert

Popbuff blogger Ruchel Freibrun at Bel-Air Film Fest at the Saban Theatre

 

Special thanks to Melody Storm

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