FILM FESTIVAL TRUTH: It's a somewhat quirky but completely understandable fact that film festivals unfurl in the middle of some of the world's prettiest locations. That is a quirky thing, in part, because people tend to be inside during film festivals, watching movies, and the city's sights often play third or fourth fiddle to the socializing and cinema-zing, too. But consider that Venice and Telluride and Cannes and several other showy and/or naturally gorgeous locations are associated with major movie gatherings; it is a forever trend that is here to stay. Let's also add Catalina Island to that hallowed list. The buffalo-, flying fish-, and hill-bedecked outpost that's just about 22 miles from the mainland is the host to a yearly fall film gathering, a gathering that attracts lauded filmmakers and magazine-famous stars both. Comic book great Stan Lee was a past honoree, and this year? Sharon Stone will receive the Stanley Kramer award, an honor given out during the five-day film-tacular.
AND THAT IS ON... From Wednesday, Sept. 18 through Sunday, Sept. 22. The treats at the Catalina Film Festival are plentiful, but let's start with one that has LA cred: "True Romance" will receive special due -- the film turns 20 this year -- and Patricia Arquette, Tom Skerritt, Lisa Bonet, and a host of actors will be out to remember and pay tribute to director Tony Scott. Jon Favreau will get the Charlie Chaplin ICON Award -- we don't think Iron Man flew over Avalon in the series, but the property's longtime helmer should definitely consider a fly-by in the next "Iron Man" outing. And rounding out the schedule? Wine mixers, screenings, and other cozy to-dos.
But... possibly the sweetest? "The Little Mermaid" will show on the beach in honor of its 25th. Yeah, that's a pretty perfect setting; figure you'll watch in near some real-life Sebastians and Flounders. Want to go? Here's where you get tickets, Ariel aficionados.
U.S. & World
WE SUPPOSE... then it is no mystery why film festivals and picturesque locales are so frequently partnered. A film fest is special, and people travel for it, so why not set it someplace that looks like it could be in a movie? The fun part about Catalina, of course, is that it has been, time and again.