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Film Festival has Lift-Off

By Ed Fuentes
Published: Friday, December 07, 2007, at 01:48PM
IMGP7544.JPG Ed Fuentes

The Jules Verne Adventure Film Festival held it's Opening Gala with a green carpet (in honor of conservation) welcome at the Shrine Auditorium last night. Before the screening of Amazon Trek, a hearty Malcolm McDowell lead the on-stage tributes to "Buzz" Aldrin, Tippi Hedren, Ted Turner, Jean-Michel Cousteau, and Tony Curtis before a smaller than expected, but very warm, crowd.

After clips from his films were shown, Curtis gingerly came on stage to a standing ovation from a city that tends to forget. Hedren, who wore green, captured the crowd’s affection with her commitment to the preserve she runs for endangered big cats given up by circuses, zoos and private owners who could no longer care for the animals. Backstage a film fest worker, whose day job is a technical trainer at JPL, nabbed a photo op with Patrick Stewart and Buzz Aldrin, leaving her giddy.

In the Shrine's adjoining hall is an art exhibit with a number of pieces from local artists, including Mark Walsh. A quick peek showed it worth returning to look at more closely.

HallI was (almost) giddy when standing next to Ray Bradbury, who was in the lobby waiting for the festival's Roll Royce Limo to whisk him to the VIP after-party at The Edison. I introduced myself as a fellow Clifton’s Cafeteria customer, and he beamed, then said “My boy. Downtown can come back, and it has to start with Broadway.”

The Edison itself was a perfect fit, complimenting the Jules Verne inspired film fest. The party's closing scene closely resembled the festival posters seen around Downtown since August. The rain brought in a mist as the Rolls Royce limos turned left onto Main St with the City Hall Lindbergh Beacon lighting the sky in the background.

The Jules Verne Film Festival continues this weekend at the Shrine Auditorum. It moves to the Los Angeles Theater December 14 and 15.

Top: Aldrin creating Buzz for the Jules Verne Adventure Film Festival. Below: End of the night.

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