Tickets are now on sale for the five-day Catalina Film Festival (CFF) starting on September 18 through 22.

Now in its third year, the festival continues its celebration of foreign and domestic independent films, shorts, animation and documentaries. The festival benefits the Catalina Island Conservancy, a responsible steward of Catalina’s wildlands through a balance of conservation, education and recreation.

CFF is a competitive festival and film market with awards in up to 10 categories, including the prestigious Charlie Chaplin ICON Award, Stanley Kramer “Social Artist” Award and the Isla Earth Award.

“I am very proud of the Isla Earth conservation documentaries that provide young filmmakers an opportunity to bring pressing ecological issues into focus.” said Ann Muscat, president and CEO of the Conservancy, a non-profit dedicated to the protection and restoration of the Island’s wildlands. “We once again welcome the Catalina Film Festival. Several of the Island’s beautiful locations have been used in many memorable motion pictures.”

Avalon Mayor Bob Kennedy said he always enjoys seeing the Catalina Film Festival come to town. “The film industry has a long history here,” he said. “It is good to see film enthusiasts come out here to enjoy all Avalon has to offer.”

Sharon Stone and Jon Favreau will be in attendance.
Sharon Stone and Jon Favreau will be in attendance.

In addition to the more than 75 films that will be screened at the festival, several prestigious awards will be presented to members of the entertainment industry. Opening day of the festival will feature the presentation of the Stanly Kramer Social Artist Award to actor Sharon Stone. The following day, September 19, Jon Favreau will be honored with the Festival’s Charlie Chaplin ICON award in the beautiful Avalon Casino Theater. Other guests confirmed to attend include: Patricia Arquette, Michael Rapaport, Jaime Pressly, Ian Zierin, Lisa Bonet, Nikki Reed, Billy Zane and more.

Tickets are available at CatalinaFilm.org. Same day party boat packages on Classic Catalina Cruises leave Friday and Saturday, September 20 and 21, from the Queen Mary Landing at 9 a.m. in Long Beach and departs from Avalon at midnight. Discount coupons for the Catalina Express Catalina Express leaving from Long Beach, San Pedro and Dana Point are also available.

Stanley Kramer Award
Sharon Stone we be receiving the award named for the late producer and director of such socially conscious films as “The Defiant Ones” (1958), “Inherit the Wind” (1960) and “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” (1967).

“I am deeply honored to receive the Stanley Kramer Award,” Stone told the entertainment website bwhub.com. “Mr. Kramer spent his life as a filmmaker creating films that would demonstrate a greater humanity; one where race, religion, higher thinking and spiritual elegance would be at the forefront of his purpose,” she said. “He bore the responsibility of his positive actions with the grace and endurance of a goodly warrior. Time and truth reveals the impact of his thoughtful and meaningful choices.”

Charlie Chaplin ICON Award
Jon Favreau, who wrote and starred in “Rudy” (1993), "Swingers (1996) and directed "Iron Man (2008) and "Iron Man 2 (2010), will be honored with the Festival’s Charlie Chaplin ICON award on Thursday, Sept. 19, in the beautiful Avalon Casino Theater.

“It’s a thrill to be honored for my diversity in film throughout the years. I look forward to continue creating and acting in films that I hope the audience will enjoy,” said Favreau.

“Favreau has the well-rounded and accomplished career that the festival has envisioned with this award,” said festival founder Ron Truppa. “His body of work truly honors Chaplin’s qualities of realism, diversity and courage within his craft.”

Young Filmmaker Award
On Saturday morning the Make a Wish Foundation will present a Young Filmmaker Award posthumously, to the late child filmmaker, Rina Goldberg. The award will be presented to her mother from Bailee Madison, who portrayed Goldberg in the short film “The Magic Bracelet” (2013).

MOVIE SCREENINGS

Two notable films that will make their Catalina and West Coast Premiers, respectively, include the comedy “Ass Backwards” and the “dramedy” “Best Man Down.”

Thursday’s screening of “Ass Backwards” follows the exploits of Kate (June Diane Raphael) and Chloe (Casey Wilson) as they embark on a cross-country trip back to their hometown to attempt to win a pageant that eluded them as children. Also starring Bob Odenkirk, Alicia Silverstone, John Cryer and Paul Scheer. Chris Nelson directed and Raphael and Wilson wrote the film. The two actresses-writers are scheduled to attend the screening along with Scheer.

Screening on Friday in its west coast premier is “Best Man Down,” written and directed by Ted Kolan. It’s about a newlywed couple who cancels their honeymoon and returns to the snowy Midwest to make the funeral arrangements for their best man, who died unexpectedly after their ceremony. Starring in the film are Justin Long, Jess Weixler and Tyler Labine. Long is scheduled to attend the screening.

Just before the screening, the 2013 Catalina Crest Award will be presented to rising young actor Kodi Smit-McFee, who as in “The Road” (2009) and “Let Me In” (2010).

Earlier on Friday will be the centennial screening of Stanley Kramer’s “Bless the Beasts and the Children,” filmed on Catalina in 1971. Billy Mumy (Lost in Space) stars, along with Catalina’s non-native bison.

Also on Saturday a tribute will honor the late filmmaker Tony Scott with a screening of 1993’s “True Romance,” directed by Scott and written by Quentin Tarantino. The film stars Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette.

Films will be screened at various locations in Avalon, including at the iconic Avalon Casino Theater.

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