HOLLYWOOD, Calif., — On May 3 and 4, Life Fest Hollywood marks its 9th year at Raleigh Studios, Hollywood, the original Chaplin Studios. In seeking to revive the real roots of Hollywood storytelling, the goal of Life Fest is to honor films that highlight the significance of an individual life, especially the seemingly insignificant life. Life Fest’s signature award, the “Spirit of Capra,” is named after director Frank Capra, whose work underscored the significance of the seemingly insignificant life, and how one “insignificant individual life, though seemingly irrelevant, can actually change everything in the world in which he or she lives.”
Many diverse shorts and features have been honored at Life Fest over the years, including: October Baby, The Way; Doonby; The Book Thief; Brother’s Keeper; Return to the Hiding Place, Gosnell, and now Unplanned, which has been nominated for picture of the year.
Of the 280 films entered for this year’s screenings only 14 were chosen. “We actively seek out the new generation of filmmaker, and help get them scholarships and connections with industry folks,” says Brian Johnston, Festival Director. Johnston, who brings experience in entertainment law, acting and producing, wants the ‘deeper structure’ of real story-telling retold in the visual medium again.
“Not a lot of car crashes; CGI or gratuitous blood and kinetics in our typical honorees. It’s the human story – the individual who struggles and whose struggle and decisions are just human. That’s how good storytelling reaches us. They may be facing extraordinary circumstances, but they face them.
“I think Frank Capra said it best,’ says Johnston. “Every individual is unique. That insignificant guy or gal is in fact VERY significant. We are all unique. There is only one you.’
“Capra really got story, says Johnston. “And he mastered so many nuances and details of examining that person and making them empathetic characters. The reason stories matter is that, we all have a story. We are all significant, even if others or all of society implies otherwise.”
SOURCE Life Fest Film Festival