Thursday, March 31, 2011

Doctor Zhivago Brings His Bolshevik Revolution to The Valley

In addition to independent cinema, The Valley Film Festival loves, loves, loves classic Hollywood films! Even those, actually made in Hollywood. We just can't get enough. And, when these classics return to the big screen for one-night engagements, being able to see them as they were intended, makes the experience that much richer. 

Earlier this year The New York Times Film Club launched in both NYC and L.A., or, more accurately, The Valley! As their website states, "The NYT Film Club is membership-based club devoted to an audience that is passionate about movies." Memberships start at $100 and come with a load of benefits, including access to preview screenings and digitally restored classics fused with Intel technology.

VFF is excited to share that this members-only club has extended an invite to VFF filmmakers, friends & fans, to attend their upcoming screening of the 1965 classic, Doctor Zhivago, starring Omar Sharif, Julie Christie, Geraldine Chaplin and a slew of other actual movie stars. Directed by David Lean, with a haunting soundtrack from Maurice Jarre, Doctor Zhivago won 5 of the 10 Academy Awards it was nominated for, and is a must see for movie lovers around the world.

Thursday, April 7, 2011
6:00-6:45pm Red Carpet Arrival/Reception
6:45-10:00pm Screening

Warner Bros. Studio
Burbank, CA

RSVP for you plus one guest at Please mention that you heard about the screening through The Valley Film Festival.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Happy Hour with The Valley Film Festival at Firenze Osteria

The Valley Film Festival is celebrating the close of its "Early Bird" submission deadline by relaxing in our new, favorite neighborhood haunt... Firenze Osteria...owned by Top Chef, Fabio Viviani.

We'll be at the bar where they'll be serving up private label wine for $5/glass and $4 martini's du jour.

Swing by, say hi, and if you missed the post office the day before, you can always hand deliver your submission to us at the bar. Don't forget, our submissions are open through August 15th, 2011. For our deadlines, guidelines, and application, visit our website.

As always, there is no charge to attend the event, but food & beverages are at your own expense. 
RSVP on Facebook or via Eventbrite.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Canoodling in The Valley ~ Remembering Dame Liz Taylor (1932-2011)

We at The Valley Film Festival loved her in The Last Time I Saw Paris, A Place in the Sun, and BUtterfield 8, to name a few, and we really, really, wish we could brag to the world that Elizabeth Taylor attended school or lived in The Valley, but alas, we can not. Ms. Taylor was a West Side girl through and through.

Not one to give up, VFF dug deep into the Valley vaults and found the gem we were looking for: Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton were regulars at El Chiquito Inn, across from Warner Bros. Wipe that smirk off of your face!  El Chiquito was not a pay-by-the-hour inn, it was a Mexican restaurant that served up fresh chili rellenos to Toluca Lake locals and studio workers. And since El Chiquito Inn opened in the 1950's and closed in the mid-1990's, we'd like to believe that Taylor & Burton's fondest moments were spent canoodling in the corner.

Now the Warner Bros. parking lot, El Chiquito Inn was located at 4211 Olive Avenue, near where Ciao! Christina stands today, and a few short blocks from local legend The Smoke House. Next time you're in the neighborhood, raise your glass and toast to Dame Liz. 

In the meantime, you can (re)discover her filmography on IMDB or Netflix and read all about her tireless efforts to educate & eradicate the world of AIDS via The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation

Sunday, March 20, 2011

1915-2010 ~ 95 Years of Production in the San Fernando Valley

Earlier this week, we asked our Twitter followers what they'd like us to blog about and they gave us some great suggestions. From iconic locations to industry hang outs, our fans are hungry for more about the fabulous San Fernando Valley and its contribution to "Hollywood".  And since we are a film festival, we've naturally decided to start with motion pictures produced or featuring The Valley.

Once we had our project, we took to Facebook and asked our fans what their favorite "Valley" film was. Unfortunately, we started off the post by stating we were partial to Valley Girl and Fast Times at Ridgemont High, and our post was mistaken for a poll. With all due respect, there was a shout out to Earth Girls are Easy.

After listening to our fans, we consulted with both Wikipedia and IMDB. Wikipedia confirmed the list we already knew: 2 Days in The Valley, Boogie Nights, Crash, Down in The Valley, E.T., Earth Girls are Easy, Encino Man, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Foxes, The Karate Kid, Magnolia and, of course, Valley Girl.

We were surprised that Wikipedia left off some obvious classics like Birth of a Nation, Casablanca, Chinatown, It's a Wonderful Life, and Terminator 2. We'll be sure to contribute to the page in the coming days and encourage you to add missing films, too.

What was more surprising were some of the titles on IMDB that list San Fernando Valley as a filming location:
What we really liked seeing were some of the independent films that we've screened on this list too:
Over the last 11 years, we've screened  hundreds of films shot in "The Valley" so we know that there should be a lot more independent films included in this list...just take a look at the VFF archives. Filmmakers, listen up, update your IMDB listing to include the location.

VFF encourages you to take a look at both the Wikipedia and IMDB pages, contribute where you can, and chime in below to let us know which film(s) are your faves!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Valley Film Festival Seeks Volunteers

Hello Filmmakers, Friends & Fans:

VFF11 needs your help! We're about 7-8 months away from our 11th showcase and need to step it up. So, we're looking for an army of volunteers who want to help out in the following areas:

Communications Team: Contribute content to our blog, website & newsletter. Also, help out in the social media (Twitter/FB) areas.

Screening Committee:
Watch movies! Write reviews! Yay! It's pretty simple, but the one rule of VFF -- you must watch the entire film from start to finish. It's a must.

Global Street Team:
Identify film societies, websites, organizations, events, etc. that VFF should be at to promote our call-for-entries & alumni filmmakers, or that will allow us to leave postcards, posters, etc. (Wink. Wink. This can be anywhere in the world...we'll send you the materials.)

Focus On:
This is our new, monthly series, and it needs some TLC. We're currently "focused on" screenings & networking events, but would love to do panel discussions. If you have a great idea or know someone w/ knowledge to share, help us out!

If there's anything we missed, or if there's something you've always wanted to do, let us know -- we'll try to make it happen.

Please email: with the areas you'd like to volunteer in or suggestions.