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Art and Film Fest offers something for everyone

By CHRIS COUNTS

Published: October 9, 2009

COMBINING ART, film, food, wine and song, the first Carmel Art & Film Festival offers a little something for everybody.

The festival — which kicked off Thursday with an Opening Night Party at Sunset Center — continues this weekend with dizzying array of screenings, talks and receptions.

“It’s going to be an awesome weekend,” predicted co-founder Erin Clark. “If you love the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, we’ll have that. And if you simply like the nitty-gritty of film making, that’s available as well.”

Clark and her husband, Tom Burns, talked for several years about organizing an art and film festival. They decided Carmel was the perfect location for their venture.

“The artistic heritage here is incredible and unique,” Clark said. “Who doesn’t like Carmel?”

The couple also agreed the festival shouldn’t have too narrow a focus. Instead of showcasing only films, Clark and Burns wanted to add art and music to the mix.

“My husband publishes Artworks magazine, and we take a broad-based approach to art,” she explained. “We decided to offer something for everybody.”

All the couple needed were a few award-winning films — and they received those films from John Cooper, director of the prestigious Sundance Film Festival, who became an early supporter of the event.

Here’s a schedule of this weekend’s Art & Film Festival events:

- Friday, Oct. 9 — Sunset Center presents “The Queen and I” at 2 p.m. and “Untitled” at 5 p.m. Meanwhile, Mission Ranch hosts a Director’s Dinner and Cocktail Reception at 5:30 p.m. A screening of “The Prankster” follows at Sunset Center at 7:30 p.m. (A short film, “His Good Will,” by Carmel’s Scott Prejo, will precede the feature film). Also, Golden State Theatre in Monterey presents the film, “Precious,” at 9 p.m., followed by a Q&A session with director Lee Daniels and actress Paula Patton at 10:30 p.m. Co-produced Oprah Winfrey, “Precious” won the Grand Jury and Audience awards at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.

- Saturday, Oct. 10 — Starting at 10 a.m., Devendorf Park hosts a juried art show. Sunset Center starts off a busy day with lectures at 11 a.m. (about the documentary, “Mona Lisa Revealed”) and 12:30 p.m. (Kim Weston talks about growing up in a family of famous photographers). “The Wat Misaka Story,” a documentary about the first Japanese-American to play in the NBA, will be screened at 1 p.m. A lecture about a documentary that examines the life of painter Andrew Wyeth will be offered at 2 p.m. The film, “Art and Copy,” will be presented at 3 p.m., while “September Issue” will be screened at 8 p.m. “September Issue” tells the story of Anna Wintour, Vogue Magazine’s editor-in-chief. The highest grossing documentary ever, “September Issue” won an award for Excellence in Cinematography at this year’s Sundance Festival. Also, local galleries and wineries will stage an Art and Wine Crawl in downtown Carmel from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

- Sunday Oct. 11 — The Art Show in Devendorf Park will continue all day, while Sunset Center presents “Brunch with [Hollywood composer] Alan Silvestri” at 10:30 a.m. Silvestri, who composed music for “Forrest Gump,” “Back to the Future” and many other popular films, will also offer a talk at noon. Meanwhile, “September Issue” will be presented again at 3 p.m. The film, “Shorts,” will close the festival at 7 p.m., followed by a Q&A session.

For ticket information, call (831) 620-1648 or visit www.carmelartandfilm.com.