‘Journey’ to L.A. film fest

'Hellboy,' 'Center of the Earth' play event

HOLLYWOOD — The Los Angeles Film Festival seemed to live up to its slogan “something for everyone” as a smorgasbord of events took place over the weekend.

On Saturday, helmer Guillermo del Toro and the cast of “Hellboy II: The Golden Army” arrived at Westwood’s Village Theater for the pic’s premiere. Before the screening, del Toro handed out jury prizes to the festival’s winning documentary filmmaker (Darius Marder for “Loot”) and feature director (Sean Baker for “Prince of Broadway”).

“He wanted to give back,” said fest director Rich Raddon. “And come on, how often do you get a chance to get a hug from Guillermo del Toro?”

The next day, New Line/Warner debuted “Journey to the Center of the Earth.” At that preem, New Line topper Toby Emmerich described the pic as “a summer popcorn movie in the best sense of the word.” As for the pic’s new format, producer Beau Flynn said 3-D is “a chance to stretch the playing field. We haven’t increased the moviegoing experience in 30 years.”

Later that evening Halle Berry, Paul Haggis and Jennifer Beals arrived at the Billy Wilder Theater for the fest’s closing-night ceremony, at which Don Cheadle received the Spirit of Independence Award.

Following clips from Cheadle’s career along with a short docu about his work in Darfur, he took the stage to accept his kudo, saying, “I like for my work to entertain and at the same time make people think a little.”

— Bill Higgins, Justin Kroll and Kurtis Lee

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