When you think of the Temecula Valley, the word sedate pops into mind–nice, quiet hot air balloon rides across semi-arid mesas, vineyard hopping in open convertibles, bottomless bottles of chilly inebriants keeping the heat at bay. So when Hollywood comes a’ knocking at such a quiet corner of America, you hardly blink an eye. Perhaps this is what makes the Temecula Valley International Film and Music Festival (TVIFF) such a refresher–it’s just the right distance away from the cock and bull media blitzes up north and the party-till-you-drop mindset of the Palm Springs crowds to make the movie biz fun again. A place where discussions between the filmmaker and his film-savvy audience center more on content than A-lister brouhaha.
This year, TVIFF spotlights films from over 20 countries around the world in five categories: full-length features, shorts, documentaries, animation and student films. Slated on the 2007 schedule are Greg Chwerchak’s Greetings From the Shore, the world premiere of A Modern Mark Twain Story: The Prince and the Pauper starring Cole and Dylan Sprouse, special presentations of National Lampoon’s Bag Boy, Heber Holiday (a statement on LiLo, Paris and company perhaps?) and Journey to Palomar, a local film celebrating the trials and tribulations of George Ellery Hale in birthing the great telescopes at Mount Wilson and Palomar Mountain. Finally, ten unsigned musical artists will be performing, vying for recognition from industry pros during the Musicfest Extravaganza taking place Friday and Saturday.
On the final night of the festival, quintessential Tough Guy, Michael Madsen, masochistic tormentor of poor Uma in Kill Bill and sadistic con and razor-totin’ jewel thief Mr. Blonde of Reservoir Dogs will be honored, along with Motown legend Smokey Robinson, with Lifetime and Career Achievement Awards. (Nancy Powell)
TVIFF, September 12-17, at the Movie Experience 10 at the Tower Plaza on the corner of Ynez and Rancho California Road, Temecula; (951) 699-5514; Admission: Festival pass to all events, $200; day pass, $15; individual films, $8. For more info go to www.tviff.com.