Films to be Screened at the 22nd Valley Film Festival (VFF)

The Valley Film Festival 2022

The Valley Film Festival (VFF) has announced its line-up of eight feature films to be screened at Laemmle’s theatre in North Hollywood from August 3rd – 7th, 2022. Tickets are available now at Laemmle NoHo 7.  In total, the VFF runs from August 1st – 8th with additional special events held at the new film studio, Hennessey Studios, located steps away from the Television Academy’s campus.

The evergreen theme of the VFF, “Community + Culture,” is seen in all eight of the films that were chosen from the U.S. and around the world. These include: a road trip movie from Australia, a love story from the United States set in the afterlife, the life of an Indian-Muslim-South African stand-up comedian, a comedy from the United States set in the confectionery industry, and a David Lynch-like noir film set in the desert.

In addition, VFF has also included two documentaries and a Civil Rights gospel singer’s biopic as its three “real-life” films that reflect the community. One shows a pandemic destroying a restaurant in Los Angeles, while the other demonstrates ways to protect cities from massive fires. David Oyelowo, who won an NAACP Award for his performance as Martin Luther King Jr. in the biographical film Selma (2014), narrates Elemental.

“This was a particularly strong year for feature-film entries, reflecting the world’s challenging times,” said VFF Director Tracey Adlai, who founded the festival 22 years ago. Tracey added, “Filmmakers are finally back in theatres with their sense of community and we look forward to this, too. As always, we’re celebrating the ‘818’, and our festival’s affordable $8.18 entry point allowed films to be entered from around the world. We’ll once again laugh and weep as one.”

The eight chosen full-length movies, their synopses, and their screening times at Laemmle Noho 7 (5240 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood, CA) are mentioned below:

1)  CENTERPIECE DOCUMENTARY – SATURDAY, AUGUST 6, 2022 AT 6 PM

Elemental. (Redefining our relationship with wildfire). Directed by Trip Jennings. USA. Los Angeles premiere.

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Narrated by David Oyelowo (NAACP Award Winner for MLK in Selma). As super-fires grow more deadly, this documentary offers scientific and indigenous solutions.

2)  CLOSING-NIGHT SCREENING – SUNDAY, AUGUST 7, 2022 AT 6:30 PM

Silent River. Directed by Chris Chan Lee. USA. (Multi-award-winning film both at festivals and for the actors’ performances).

On the road in a desperate attempt to reunite with his estranged wife, Elliot takes respite at a desert motel. He encounters Greta, a mysterious woman bearing a striking resemblance to his wife. Elliot soon discovers Greta’s secret and descends into a mind-bending journey that forces him to question who she is and where they are.

Cast: West Liang, Amy Tsang. The feature also features a stunning score by Brian Ralston with musicians Andrew Duckles (Top Gun: Maverick) & Phil O’Connor (Mandalorian).

3)  OPENING-NIGHT SCREENING – WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 3, 2022 AT 7:30PM

Two Dash One One. Directed by Valley Film Festival alum Nate Hapke. USA. (World Premiere).

After being torn apart by a tragic accident, two young lovers are forced to reexamine their relationship when they are reunited in the afterlife. (Cast: Mackensie Breeden, Allie Leonard)

4)  CENTERPIECE NARRATIVE SCREENING – SUNDAY, AUGUST 7, 2022 AT 3:30 PM

Remember Me. The Mahalia Jackson Story. Directed by Denise Dowse. USA.

This bio-pic portrays the life of gospel singer Mahalia Jackson, her rise and challenges in the music industry, her unbreakable bond with Dr. Martin Luther King, and her dramatic impact on the Civil Rights Movement.

Cast: Nine-time Grammy-winner nominee Ledisi (as Mahalia), Columbus Short (as Dr. King), Janet Hubert, Keith David, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Corbin Bleu, Keith Robinson, Vanessa A. Williams, Shaleah Nikole, and Jallen Josey.

5)  DOCUMENTARY SCREENING – SUNDAY, AUGUST 7, 2022 AT 1 PM

Belle Vie. (Beautiful Life). Directed by Marcus Mizelle. the USA.

This documentary portrays a beloved Parisian-style bistro “Belle Vie,” located in an L.A. neighborhood between a Mcdonald’s and KFC. The restaurant is owned and operated by a charming hopeful French immigrant, Vincent. As business booms, a fulfilled Vincent provides “community” to his neighborhood — until the Covid-19 pandemic hits. It sends him (and all of us) for a loop …

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6)  NARRATIVE SCREENING – THURSDAY, AUGUST 4, 2022 AT 7:30PM

New Material. Directed by Craig Freimond. South Africa.

Cassim Caif (Riaad Moosa) is a young Muslim man living in Johannesburg. He is balancing the demands of a new marriage, a young child, and living in a house with his aging parents, with being one of South Africa’s few Muslim stand-up comedians. Cassim decides to take his act on the road …

7)  NARRATIVE SCREENING – FRIDAY, AUGUST 5, 2022 AT 7:30PM

The Marshmallow Mystery Tour. USA. L.A. premiere.

Directed by Jeff Beals, Matt Beals. After landing a gig at a marshmallow theme park, a cameraman uncovers the shocking truth about America’s candyland and his own sugarcoated childhood.

8)  NARRATIVE SCREENING – SAT, AUG. 6 AT 3:30 PM

The Road To Perth. Australia. Dir. by Chad Peter.

Rejected after a marriage proposal, Alex finds himself alone on a journey from L.A. to Australia — on what was supposed to be his vacation with his fiancée. Stuck in a state of shock, Alex crosses paths with Ronnie and together they take a road trip to Perth.

About the Valley Film Festival (Community + Culture)

Now in its 22nd year, the Valley Film Festival (VFF) is an all-volunteer, non-profit arts project of Community Partners. We support local and international voices that advance storytelling while furthering the education, production, and exhibition of film. We do this by having an affordable entry point ($8.18 USD), so filmmakers everywhere can participate; awarding call-for-entry scholarships to filmmakers in countries affected by conflict or displaced by war; supporting locally-produced films through our signature “Made in the (818)” program; mentoring filmmakers through their careers via our Focus On series of panels/events; and providing a platform, in the heart of Hollywood, to showcase and share stories that matter.

This post is written, edited and published by the Cinecelluloid staff.

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