Film Fest founder’s vision still alive

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The Catalina Film Festival has been underway since Wednesday and runs through Sunday, Sept 28.

With its Red Carpet event today, and the Awards Ceremony on Saturday, plus more than 75 film screenings, Ron Truppa is once again in the eye of the hurricane – and loving it.

The Catalina Film Festival has been underway since Wednesday and runs through Sunday, Sept 28.

With its Red Carpet event today, and the Awards Ceremony on Saturday, plus more than 75 film screenings, Ron Truppa is once again in the eye of the hurricane – and loving it.

Truppa is the founder and director of the Catalina Film Festival, of which he’s said he is proud of as a parent that has seen his baby grow over the last four years. The event include guest appearances from legendary personalities from the film history as well as independent film makers, whose importance to the event he said he’s never underestimates.

In fact, Truppa said, they are the heart and soul of what the Catalina Film Festival is all about.

“Promoting the work of independent film makers and their passion for film has always been a big part of our mission,” he said. “We work so hard on the logistics of putting the festival together, but when we see the look on these film makers’ faces, we realize why we screen so many of their works, which we hold in high regard. We’re here to celebrate independent films.”

Truppa said one of the things he enjoys most about the film festival is that it brings like-minded people together.

“This is a film market,” he said. “I always go to the film festival to learn and I like knowing I’m going to meet the filmmakers and find out why they created their film and what they had to go through to get it done.”

The film festival also has the potential to bring high profile people from the film industry together with the independent filmmakers. That scenario can create larger opportunities for all involved.

This year is no exception for bringing in some well-known celebrities, whose work can be recognized for more than their glamour.

For example Academy Award nominee, William H. Macy, will be honored with the Stanley Kramer “Social Artist” award, Saturday, Sept. 27, following the premiere of his directorial debut “Rudderless.”

The award honors a film professional whose work embodies Stanley Kramer’s qualities of social consciousness while taking risks to create and influence a social transformation.

Also on Saturday, Sept. 27, Oscar winner Nicolas Cage will be honored with the Charlie Chaplin ICON award. Andy Garcia, a recipient of an Academy nod, will be feted with the Festival’s Ronald Reagan Great Communicator award, and producer, writer, and Academy Award nominee, Roman Coppola, will receive the Vanguard award.

Emmy nominee Jason Ritter will be presented with the Catalina Crest award on Thursday, Sept. 25. Additional guests scheduled to attend with their films include Sean Astin (Lord of the Rings, Rudy); Sam Trammell (True Blood, The Fault in Our Stars); Jordin Sparks (Sparkle, American Idol); Lea Thompson (Back to the Future, Dancing With the Stars); Cassi Thomson (Left Behind, Big Love); and more.

The Film Festival continues to grow with numbers of filmmakers submitting their work.

Meanwhile, the festival continues to be an event with a cause. From its inception the Catalina Island Conservancy has been the beneficiary of financial support from the fellow non-profit Catalina Film Festival, which has also been a vehicle for people to learn about the Conservancy’s purpose, mission and goals.

According to the Conservancy, it’s mission is to be a responsible steward of the island of Catalina  through a balance of conservation, education and recreation.

Founded in 1972 as a non-profit organization, the Catalina Island Conservancy is one of the oldest private land trusts in Southern California. It protects 88 percent of Catalina Island, including more than 62 miles of unspoiled beaches and secluded coves—the longest publicly accessible stretch of undeveloped coastline left in Southern California.

The Conservancy is a leader in conservation programs that protect and restore endangered species and threatened habitats. It conducts educational outreach through two nature centers, its Wrigley Memorial & Botanic Garden, guided experiences in the Island’s rugged interior, and its award winning radio series Isla Earth.

“We love the Conservancy,” Truppa said.

Catalina Film Festival, an annual celebration of film on the only West Coast resort island, also features nightly events and entertainment.

Meanwhile, Films are screened at multiple venues around the island, including the iconic, art deco, 1,200-seat Avalon Theatre – the world’s first sound theatre. It is a competitive festival with awards in up to 10 categories. For more information, visit www.CatalinaFilm.org.

Film Fest founder’s vision still alive