You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Hollywood Film Fest highlights comedy

Inaugural sidebar honors underappreciated genre

Coming into its 13th year, the Hollywood Film Festival wasn’t at all superstitious. Organizers confidently supplemented its annual array of features, shorts, docs and animation with a brand new showcase that could be the start of something big.

The Comedy Sidebar, which concluded Sunday, honored the industry’s most significant — and most often underappreciated — genre. “Most of the movies getting any notice and making any money, this year especially, were comedies,” observes fest founder and director Carlos de Abreu, who three years ago added a section highlighting horror pics.

He hopes the Comedy Sidebar will eventually occupy a niche left open since the axing of Aspen’s prestigious U.S. Comedy Festival. To that end, the new sidebar was programmed to highlight and encourage the work of local comic talents, including the preem of “Wild Girls Gone” from L.A. mainstay Upright Citizens Brigade.

“I think it’s great that a festival cultivates and celebrates smaller projects,” says UCB’s Matt Walsh, who plays a redneck sheriff in the semi-improvised spring-break laffer. “Comedy is always the redheaded stepchild of the business. People don’t realize how much artistry goes into it.”

The 13th fest has continued to maintain its mission, in de Abreu’s words, to focus “on social or humanitarian problems.”

During this year’s fest, which ends today, the mistreatment of Congolese women was spotlighted in docs and panels.

TIP SHEET

What: Hollywood Awards

Where: Beverly Hilton, Beverly Hills

When: 7 Monday night

Host: Mary Hart

Web: hollywood awards.com

More Film

  • Berlin: Brazil Buys Remake Rights to

    Berlin: Brazil Buys Remake Rights to 'Corazon de Leon’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    Coming into its 13th year, the Hollywood Film Festival wasn’t at all superstitious. Organizers confidently supplemented its annual array of features, shorts, docs and animation with a brand new showcase that could be the start of something big. The Comedy Sidebar, which concluded Sunday, honored the industry’s most significant — and most often underappreciated — […]

  • Watch: Dakota Fanning's Directorial Debut Short

    Watch: Dakota Fanning's Directorial Debut Short 'Hello Apartment'

    Coming into its 13th year, the Hollywood Film Festival wasn’t at all superstitious. Organizers confidently supplemented its annual array of features, shorts, docs and animation with a brand new showcase that could be the start of something big. The Comedy Sidebar, which concluded Sunday, honored the industry’s most significant — and most often underappreciated — […]

  • TrustNordisk Enlists EFM for Norwegian Folklore

    TrustNordisk Enlists EFM for Norwegian Folklore Pic 'The Ash Lad' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Coming into its 13th year, the Hollywood Film Festival wasn’t at all superstitious. Organizers confidently supplemented its annual array of features, shorts, docs and animation with a brand new showcase that could be the start of something big. The Comedy Sidebar, which concluded Sunday, honored the industry’s most significant — and most often underappreciated — […]

  • Picnic at Hanging Rock

    Berlin: TV Series Gain More Traction as Festival Opens Doors to Small Screen Fare

    Coming into its 13th year, the Hollywood Film Festival wasn’t at all superstitious. Organizers confidently supplemented its annual array of features, shorts, docs and animation with a brand new showcase that could be the start of something big. The Comedy Sidebar, which concluded Sunday, honored the industry’s most significant — and most often underappreciated — […]

  • Berlinale -- 2018 -- Maria Ramos

    Maria Ramos on Dilma Rousseff Impeachment Doc 'The Trial’

    Coming into its 13th year, the Hollywood Film Festival wasn’t at all superstitious. Organizers confidently supplemented its annual array of features, shorts, docs and animation with a brand new showcase that could be the start of something big. The Comedy Sidebar, which concluded Sunday, honored the industry’s most significant — and most often underappreciated — […]

  • Chinese Producer Feng Xiaogang Attends at

    Berlin: Feng Xiaogang Dials up ‘Cell Phone 2’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    Coming into its 13th year, the Hollywood Film Festival wasn’t at all superstitious. Organizers confidently supplemented its annual array of features, shorts, docs and animation with a brand new showcase that could be the start of something big. The Comedy Sidebar, which concluded Sunday, honored the industry’s most significant — and most often underappreciated — […]

  • Jean Brehat Teams 'When Pigs Have

    'The Insult' Producer Teams With Helmer for 'Le Pape' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Coming into its 13th year, the Hollywood Film Festival wasn’t at all superstitious. Organizers confidently supplemented its annual array of features, shorts, docs and animation with a brand new showcase that could be the start of something big. The Comedy Sidebar, which concluded Sunday, honored the industry’s most significant — and most often underappreciated — […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content