Pasadena International Film Festival Opens

Ninth annual Pasadena International Film Festival runs through June 30 at Laemmle Playhouse 7 in Pasadena.

PHOTO: Kasper Tobias | South Pasadena News | Moviegoers outside the Laemmle Playhouse 7 theatres at the Pasadena International Film Festival

“The Pasadena International Film Festival gathers the best and the brightest in entertainment from all around the globe to spend eight days and nights reveling in the joy that is film. Film brings us all together.” Opening night brought out many of the filmmakers to the red carpet to enjoy the spotlight.

PHOTO: Kasper Tobias | South Pasadena News | “Heard” director Danielle Savre with filmgoers at Pasadena International Film Festival

Filmmakers and moviegoers gathered around the Laemmle Playhouse 7 on opening night to celebrate and talk amongst each other about their love of films and filmmaking. There was a strong sense of community as laughter and excitement permeated the crowd.

PHOTO: Kasper Tobias | South Pasadena News | “Anchorage” director Scott Monahan with Director of Photography, Erin Naifeh and actor Dakota Loesch at the Pasadena International Film Festival.

“Anchorage” was one of several films being premiered at the opening of the festival. A movie that only took five days to complete filming, “Anchorage” is 1 hour and 22mm. This film stunned the audience by its ending as one of the final scenes came to a head. The chemistry that Director/Actor Scott Monahan and  Writer/Actor Dakota Loesch display is undeniable in the film. “There is a Cain and Able influence to the story”, say the actors. Two brothers attempt to drive a trunk full of opioids from Florida to Alaska to cash in big in the Land of Gold. A split-second act of violence somewhere in the California desert derails their trip and sets them on a crash course with tragedy.

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PHOTO: Kasper Tobias | South Pasadena News | Talkback after screening of “Anchorage” featuring director Scott Monahan, actor Dakota Loesch and Director of Photography, Erin Naifeh at Pasadena International Film Festival.

Scott Monahan stood with the rest of the crew after it ended and talked about the inspiration of the film. “Growing up around toxic masculinity and dysfunction was hard. I knew I wanted to break that cycle”, he said. In a sense this film is exactly that. It is a film that challenges the family trauma and karma.  Dakota Loesch began to tear up as Monahan expressed how important it was for him to break the cycle of dysfunction for him. “The film offers one of the most beautifully shot but horrific scenes I have seen in years” offered one moviegoer. The Director of Photography, Erin Naifeh composes beautiful shots amid the the destructive nature of the characters.

PHOTO: Kasper Tobias | South Pasadena News | Check in at the Pasadena International Film Festival

The Pasadena International Film Festival will be showing over 100 films from June 23-30 with the closing night being “The Great Gatsby Award Ceremony”, which is a suggested Black Tie 1920’s dress code. Come out and celebrate the gift of film and the love for movies.

For a complete film festival schedule, please visit www.pasadenafilmfestival.org.