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Mill Valley Packs 21st Edition With Quality Work

Mill Valley Packs 21st Edition With Quality Work

Mill Valley Packs 21st Edition With Quality Work

by Mark Rabinowitz

The 21st Mill Valley Film Festival kicked off on Thursday, with a
screening of Maya Angelou’s debut directorial effort, “Down in the
,” starring Wesley Snipes, Alfre Woodard, Al Freeman and Mary
Alice. With a lineup of over 200 features and shorts, a new media and
video sidebar, kids fest, tributes and seminars, Mill Valley looks to
pack quite a bit of diverse entertainment into the eleven days of the
event. The closing night film is set to be New Line Cinema’s upcoming
film, “Pleasantville.” Written and directed by Gary Ross, the film stars
Joan Allen, Jeff Daniels, Reese Witherspoon, William H. Macy and Tobey

Notable films among this year’s American indies are Bennett Miller’s
award-winning documentary, “The Cruise,” which is soon to be release by
Artisan Entertainment; Bill Condon’s “Gods and Monsters,” starring Ian
McKellan (“Apt Pupil,” “Richard III”) and Brendan Fraser (“Twilight of
the Golds,” “George of the Jungle”); Julia Sweeney’s film of her stage
show, “God Said, Ha!“; Roger Hedden’s (scr: “Bodies, Rest and Motion”)
directorial debut, “Hi-Life,” which stars Katrin Cartlidge, Charles
Durning, Eric Stoltz, Daryl Hannah, Moira Kelly, Peter Reigert and
Campbell Scott; Jay Rosenblatt’s short film “Human Remains“; Richard
Schenkman’s “Went to Coney Island on a Mission From God…Be Back By
,” starring Jon Cryer (who also produced and wrote the film with
Schenkman), Ione Skye and Rick Stear; Philip F. Messina’s “With Friends
Like These
,” which stars Adam Arkin, Laura San Giacomo, Elle Macpherson,
David Strathairn and Jon Tenney, and the world premiere of Daniel Pyne’s
Where’s Marlowe,” a mocumentary about a Los Angeles private detective
played my Miguel Ferrer.

The shorts lineup is nothing to sneeze at, either, with many notable and
prize-winning films et to screen. Many of which are contained in one of
Mill Valley’s traditional programs, “Five at Five,” in which five shorts
are shown each day for five days at 5:00 pm for $5. In addition, this
year the festival has announced that they will award the 5@5 Awards,
comprised of an Audience Award and a Special Jury Award. Some notable
shorts programmed include Elizabeth Schub’s excellent look at a Cuban
girl’s traditional passage into womanhood, “Cuba 15“; Amy Talkington’s
Second Skin” and Adam Colis’ “‘Mad’ Boy, I’ll Blow Your Blues Away, Be
“, all three of which are screening in the same 5@5 program
entitled: “Begin the Beguine.” Other shorts in the fest include David
Birdsell’s award-winning and hysterical “Phil Touches Flo“; “One Hand,
” by Corky Quakenbush, known largely for his claymation parodies
airing on “Mad TV“; Robert Luketic’s “Titsiana Booberini,” and the
Academy Award winning “Geri’s Game,” by Jan Pinkava.

Among international films are some upcoming and current releases,
including Stefan Ruzowitzky’s “The Inheritors” (Stratosphere), Thomas
Vinterberg’s “Celebration” (October), Kirk Jones’ charming “Waking Ned
” (Fox Searchlight), John Maybury’s “Love is the Devil” (Strand),
Shohei Imamura’s Cannes Palme d’Or winning “The Eel” (New Yorker Films),
Ken Loach’s “My Name is Joe” (Artisan) and Mark Herman’s “Little Voice

The two tributes at this year’s festival go to award-winning actors
Helena Bonham Carter and Derek Jacobi, who will be attending with the
films in which they star, respectively, “Theory of Flight” and “Love is the Devil.”

[For ticket information, check out the fest web site at: or for info, call: 415/383/5346]

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