Cinema City's Century City Bash - An Event To Remember

CCIFF: Suzanne DeLaurentiis

The second bi-annual Cinema City International Film Festival was held on  Sunday, March 10 and Monday, March 11, 2008 .  The event, masterminded by
Suzanne de Laurentiis
and Juliette Harris of It Girl, was held at the Hyatt Regency in Century City. This elegant presentation had two red carpets and ended with a gala star studded charity dinner and silent auction.

CCIFF: Kathy Kramer - presenting.

At breakfast the first day, I met two brothers who had come all the way from Australia to participate and found out that many members of this elite screening had traveled from the East Coast and Europe.  

The most important introductions I made the initial day were the brave men and women of 2-162 – infantry from the Oregon National Guard, just recently having returned home from Iraq.

CCIFF - Oregon National Guard - Red Carpet

They, and their movie, were the focus of the evening’s event – This Is War – which shows what is really going on in Iraq.  Members present were SSG Rebekah Mae Bruns, who had gone over as the troops' official writer and photographer and ended up in the midst of the action herself; SSG Philip “Vinnie” Jacques, SSG Kris Peterson; Ryan Tuttle, SG Ryan Howell, SSG Luke Wilson.  It was Luke and Vinnie who, upon arriving home and realizing that there was nothing to help reintegrate their buddies returning, started a program and a hot line. “If we didn’t know about something,” Luke says, “we find out. Every call is returned.”

CCIFF: Ed McMahon presenting

During the evening event after the first red carpet, Ed McMahon presented the troops with certificates.  Producer Scott Laney and Director Gary Mortensen were also honored.  

The first day consisted mainly of screenings from the nominated commercials, music videos, and TV pilots.

The drama category included Turk Diamond PI - Jeff Babb and Bill Ladd; The Gift (Stuart Altman, Emilio Rossal, Pedro Lopez, Luis Deveze);  Comedic ones were Super Sam (Brent Triplett, Bruan Mahoney); Someone To Love (Jill Jaress, Jennifer Murphy); Olympus (Jared Yarbrough), and Royal Heights (Brenden Borrell. Marisa Sterz.)

CCIFF: Gary Mortensen, Jill Jaress, Scott Laney

There were two impressive documentaries one - which the sci fi channel should pick up - was Ghost Stories From Burgh (Christopher Cameron; Andrea Kubala, Bob Bender) the other the sports channel might be interested in --  Hooked Up (Anthony and Kevin Arbouet, Larry Strong). 

Script style TV pilots and features were also honored.  Among them We Got Class (Robert Loche. Serita Stevens, Din Payne); Watching Closely (Diana Nile); Southern Gothic (Wendy Jane Cohen); Wild World (Deepak Arora); Raven Rock (R.R. Gee), Nita (Tim Hodge), Artifact (John Delatorre,Robert Mazzonna), Girls Gone Verbal (Casey Stangl); SEOS (Angela Jorgensen); Reality Trip (Leigh Delahanty) or The Precedent (Matt McManus, Tony Yarcenda.)

CCIFF: Mariah Wilson on red carpet

Some of the commercials/ music videos were funny - as the Festival Experience by Elizabeth Pasieczny which had a would-be filmmaker going to events, spending money for hotels and complaining... but at least she had MasterCard; or Hal On Earth (Curt Wilson and Jay Ryemom) with the robot now being a household item Others were sexy as Siempre Pude Ver  (Gary Ravenscroft, Anna Victoria) winner of the music video award; and still others serious as Colors of Love (Miguel Cruz); or heart wrenching as the musical Who Will Stand (Phil Valentine; Clint Holmes.)

CCIFF: Chris McDonald presenting

Since Suzanne’s goal is educating the young filmmakers, it was truly rewarding to see Marcus Clarke – a junior high school student from Alexandria, VA win the student award for his PSA on Down’s Syndrome in the school.  Accompanied by his mother and teacher, he spoke briefly of the events that caused him to write this film.

The second day saw a reading of last year’s best script There is a Season. a roundtable discussion with Kevin Falls (showrunner from Journey and West Wing) other screenings and then the big red carpet.

CCIFF Marcus Clarke and his mother - PSA student winner, Alexzandria VA

The red carpet was great fun and lots of prestige as the filmmakers and actors made their way across to the interviews.  Ed McMahon again presented our Oregon National Guard troop with awards. 

Winners included Siempre Purde Ver (Karen Lavendar) for the Music Video. TV Pilot script " Watching Closely" (Diana Nile) was followed by the TV pilot Loving the InLaws (Glenn McDonald) and the Short Film The Vault (Justin Owensby). iPhone Too Many (Carolyn McCray, Ben Hopkin and Jeremy Kent Jackson) took the commerical award and Wheat in Chicago  (Liz Alper) won best television screenplay.  

CCIFF: Jarvee Hutcherson presenting

Because New Americans – a TV pilot - was such a diverse group of actors – Israeli, Palestinian, indian and Chinese and  because the writer wanted to show how very much alike we all are.  Alan Blumberg was awarded the diversity plaque by Jarvee Hutcherson. Other presenters included Leo Rossi, Ed McMahon, Mariah Wilson, Chris McDonald, J'anet Dubois, Deborah Gibson, Kathy Kramer, Olivia Hussy, Ashley Barron, Laura Marie Steigers, Efren Ramirez, Laura Marie Pena ( 2008 breakout filmmaker ) Cuba Gooding Senior - who delighted us with several renditions of his songs. 

The audience also voted in Gunman (Darell and Dillard) and Undoing Time (Sheila Brothers, Kameron Scott King, and Greg Frucci.)

CCIFF: Greg Frucci and Kameron Scott King of Undoing Time

The charity ball and silent auction brought in monies for burn victims and was sponsored by Fox TV, Spike TV, Steigers Corporation -an environmental energy consultant, and C-Allure, a burn dressing company.

After the event, Ed invited the soliders back to his home where his wife, Pam McMahon gave them gift baskets with signed pictures of Ed in uniform before they returned to Oregon.

cciff--Olivia Hussey presenting.

Suzanne and Juliette are already planning for their September event - 5 days of everything.  For more information check out

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