The Catalina Island Film Festival is set to return to its seaside venue on Wednesday.
"You have this Hollywood reverence and history on this beautiful gem of an island," festival director Ron Truppa said. "It's the closest thing we have to the Cannes Film Festival in the United States."
Catalina Island's history as a location for film shoots dates back more than 100 years. D.W. Griffith's "Man's Genesis," was filmed on the island in 1912, according to the Catalina Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau. It's virtually impossible to venture around the island city of Avalon without seeing black-and-white photos of old-time movie stars at local businesses.
The historic Avalon Theatre, inside the Catalina Casino, is among the venues selected for the island film festival.
Filmmakers are scheduled to show more than 75 films over the course of the five-day event. Feature films on the list include the West Coast premiere of "Best Man Down." The film is a Magnolia Pictures release about a newly-married couple who must forsake their honeymoon to arrange a funeral for the groom's best man, portrayed as something of drunken lout in the film's trailer, who dies at their wedding. The couple's efforts bring them in contact with a young woman who has a connection to the deceased character, named "Lumpy."
Catalina Film Festival organizers also plan to present their Stanley Kramer "Social Artist" Award, named after the director of "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner," "Inherit the Wind" and "On the Beach" to Sharon Stone in recognition for her works with The Foundation for AIDS Research and other causes.
The festival's Charlie Chaplin ICON award is set to be awarded to Jon Favreau, director of "Iron Man" and its first sequel as well as a star of "Swingers."
The Catalina Island Film Festival has been held since 2011 and is a benefit for the Catalina Conservancy. Tickets can be obtained online or at the festival box office at Hotel Metropole, 205 Crescent Ave., Avalon.
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