Alexandra Nakelski

Founder / Director

Because my resume is so vast, it would almost sound like I am making it up… so I am electing rather to speak of my vision for the festival. The following is a stream of conscious when I was asked what this festival means to me….

I use the word “entourage ” in an endearing way….from living most my adult life in LA….I found that one can be fabulous, all inclusive and party while engaging in intellectual conversation simultaneously. At my festival there is no way NOT be part of the entourage…you are by default part of the mix…

What I noticed in my 15 -year tenure of working festivals is that tons of people get lost in navigating it all by themselves in a city they are not familiar with. I hated these experiences and vowed to one day start my own festival that focused on the camaraderie as much as the content.

The social aspect of the festival should never be exclusive. Everybody involved should all collaborate in discussing how the meaning resonated with them. The audience is a huge factor…almost as important as the invited guests…because in my academic research, spectatorship is what forms meaning and is crucial in understanding the film’s role in the zeitgeist.

It is an experience….

To me, life is cinematic, and cinema is life. We’ve designed our festival to reflect that philosophy.

This is also a destination festival…we want you to experience the city as well as the films which is why I have a filmmaker beach bonfire to open up the festival and the party at the gorgeous rooftop at the Huntington Hilton (Offshore 9) where we can bask in the awesomeness of it all. I never program films at the same time of this event…I don’t want people to have to choose between the VIP party and a film, or for my volunteers to have to miss out…I also do not like when other festivals treat their volunteers like indentured servants!

This festival is like a gathering of nations. The common denominator being film. People come from around the world in this moment in time to share a collective experience. In that aspect, we create a community that carries on after the festival.

Networking doesn’t even begin to capture what we do.

It’s about the people. It’s about the passion and just absolutely enjoying each other’s company.

I will continue to keep the festival at a perfect size where we can continue to do so. I don’t ever want to have a fragmented audience or guests.

We’re gonna party our faces off, celebrate film, celebrate each other and be in the moment. We hope to see you June 2021 to create another epic memory!

Juan Pérez

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