I had the pleasure of covering the Hollywood Weekly’s first annual film festival on Saturday, September 20th at the iconic William Morris building’s Charles Aidikoff Screening room. This event paid tribute to legends in the film and TV industry at a really prominent place as Aidikoff is a renowned projectionist and a living legend in Hollywood. He has worked in the industry for over 75 years and claims to have seen over 50,000 films. Aidikoff’s grandson, Josh, was in attendance to show his support for the festival. “It was an incredible honor to have someone of Mr. Aidikoff’s stature lend his name and talent to this festival, especially since it’s our first year. And we have amazing films, performers and sponsors,” said Prather Jackson, the publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Hollywood Weekly Magazine and the founder of the festival.
Guests were treated to a wonderful live jazz performance by Debbie Joyce featuring the Tony Campodonic Trio along with a screening of their winning submissions originating from 60 foreign countries.
The star-studded red carpet brought artist from not just film and TV, but legends in cuisine, fashion and the spiritual and fine art world. The event was catered by celebrity Chef Jack Lee and beverages were sponsored by Hula Girl. “It was an honor to work with Mr. Prather Johnson and be a part of this wonderful film festival,” said Chef Lee. “I think this festival is absolutely amazing and I stand by what Prather creates,” added Hula Girl’s Brand Ambassador BJ Drake. Renowned fashion designer Sue Wong was in attendance as well as Master Romio Shrestha, who is a modern master of the Indo-Nepali-Tibetan Buddhist traditions of enlightenment art.
“I came to the festival to support Chef Jack. He’s a good friend. He was going to make a special dinner for Master Romio, but since the Master has to go back to Vietnam, we were on a tight schedule, so Chef said we should stop by and check out the festival and I’m so glad we did. And BJ is a good friend too and Hula Girl sponsors my parties, so I wanted to come and show my support for him as well. As for her upcoming projects, Wong said,” I have a huge show in October at LA Live, where the theme is “Fairies and Sirens,” which is about the dark and light side of feminine nature. It’s the sacred and the profane. The Mayor of Los Angeles and the ambassadors to China and Great Britain will be there,” added Wong. “And Master Romio is the only living artist in the Natural History Museum and has celebrity clientele like Bill Gates, Charlize Theron, Madonna, Bono, Peter and Tara Guber, Deepak Chopra and Dr. Andrew Weil, so I knew he’d enjoy the festival,” said Wong.
Prominent casting director Natasha Ward (“Tupac,””The 420 Movie: Mary and Jane”) was also in attendance. “I’m producing as well and I’m looking for other producers and investors. I’m also expanding into the realm of media with a radio show,” said a very busy Ward.
Once again, I covered the festival as press and talent, as a film I acted in multi-talented, writer-director-producer-actor Rajeev Chhibber’s film, “I’m Not That Kind of Girl.” This film is about a beautiful, yet emotionally troubled young woman Parisa (Mariam Vardani), who finds it hard to be in a healthy romantic relationship with her husband Raj (Chhibber), and I play her concerned but meddlesome Aunt Vida, who is married to Parisa’s even more concerned and meddlesome uncle Nasir (Ahmad Lucan from “Homeland”). Tulsi Ram plays Parisa’s caring father. Sittara Attaie, Caroline Amiguet, Steve Whelan and Rayva Sehmi round out this international cast. Chhibber was unable to attend the festival as he booked a national commercial for AT&T and was on set, but he was definitely there in spirit. “It’s great to see the end result of Rajeev’s hard work and talent lead to his film screening here. This is a wonderful festival and I’m so glad I could be a part of it during its inaugural year”, said esteemed entertainment attorney Nadia Davari, who provided legal services for the film. “It was also good to see my clients and friends work on the screen,” Davari added. Davari is my attorney as well.
More info about the festival at http://www.hollywoodweeklymagazine.com