Hollywood Film Fest returning in August

To include special screenings, film market and awards

With actor James Woods and director Ted Kotcheff on hand, Hollywood Film Festival organizers on Thursday announced plans for the event’s second installment, in August.

Apparently energized by the ongoing renewal of the once drab Hollywood district, the fest will showcase domestic and international films and will hold a film market, seminars, special screenings and a night of awards.

“This is the heart and soul of the world film industry,” Woods told Daily Variety before a news conference proclaiming plans for the five-day fest beginning Aug. 6. The lack of a film festival in Hollywood, he said, had “created an enormous vacuum, and nature abhors a vacuum.”

This year, the fest’s honors will include the Hollywood Discovery Awards, for features, shorts, docus and animated films; the Hollywood Young Filmmaker Award, for entrants under 25 years of age; the Hollywood Independent Filmmaker Award, with a jury of fellow indies; the Hollywood 16mm Discovery Award, honoring the best feature shot and projected in 16mm; the Hollywood Music in Film Award, targeting soundtracks; and the Hollywood Digital Awards, which honor advances in digital technology.

In addition, the fest will hand out the Hollywood World Cinema Awards, with a jury consisting of industry pros like October Films’ Susan Glatzer and Miramax’s Matt Brodie; and the Hollywood Cyberawards, honoring the best entertainment Web site. Only unreleased films are eligible.

The awards will be given at a gala on Aug. 10, although not in Hollywood; the bash will take place at the Beverly Hilton.

“We want to get high-quality films from all over the world, using Hollywood as a platform to give the filmmakers the opportunity to network with the established industry in Hollywood,” said fest founder Carlos de Abreu, after unveiling this year’s poster for the event.

Organizers also announced that the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce had stepped aboard as a sponsor. Leron Gubler, the chamber’s exec director, told de Abreu the board of directors was “very impressed with the progress you have made after only one year of building this festival.”