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.
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.