Another Successful Festival in the Books for the Award-Winning Yucca Valley Film Festival

Photos courtesy of Yucca Valley Film Festival

The 5th Annual Yucca Valley Film Festival (YVFF), named Cultural Contributor of The Year by the Basin Wide Foundation and listed as the ‘Top 100 Best Reviewed by Film Makers” by Film Freeway, celebrates another successful event. Attracting close to 1,500 attendees for its 5th anniversary event, the Community Center of Yucca Valley became the center of the world for 126 filmmakers, artists, and their guests. The festival red carpet and kick-off attracted so many people, the Town staff had to add chairs and make more room before the screenings started.

The second day saw a record-breaking attendance for the Kids Program, with a unique Puppets Demonstration by animator Paul Hollingsworth, who explained and showed the kids how stop-motion animation works. Quickly after that, legendary actress Rosanna Arquette arrived and took the stage. She casually discussed her career with festival founder, Matt Beurois, for a full hour, reminiscing about Pulp Fiction, Silverado, Desperately Seeking Susan, and more. Multiple times during the Masterclass, she took questions from the audience. After her main stage event, she stayed to sign autographs and take pictures, generously staying for as long as there was a line.

Saturday’s evening night of movies started with an impressive martial arts demonstration by local Yucca Valley Club Americana Jiu Jitsu Collective. The festival screened over 40 movies this year, with a great proportion of them showcasing our desert landscapes and Joshua Trees, whether the movies were comedies, westerns, music videos, or student films. Attendees were abuzz, once again praising the quality of the curated program. Filmmakers were in awe of the multiple possibilities to connect with the audience.

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Sunday morning, filmmakers gathered at the Yucca Bowl for a filmmakers-only industry event with guest speaker Desiree Staples. Staples produced the feature film, My Divorce Party, that uses Joshua Tree and Yucca Valley as the background of its story.

Sunday afternoon was highly educational, starting with a live piano demonstration by Brain Katona who explained his approach to music composing. Questioned by the attendees, he came back to the piano for an additional impromptu performance that included music themes from Indiana Jones, Star Wars, E.T, and many others. The annual script writer’s roundtable gathered 10 writers on stage, each of them being offered free Final Draft software valued at $3,000.

The festival’s final night started with a mesmerizing live harp performance by international player, Arami, who adapted a special set of movie songs for the harp, including Chariots of Fire, The Godfather, Game of Thrones, Jurassic Park, and Pirates of the Caribbean.

The annual Award Ceremony wrapped the festival evenly distributing 15 awards to local, international, and national artists. Award presenters included the boards of the Copper Mountain College, the Yucca Valley Chamber of Commerce, and the High Desert Water District, as well as the complete Miss Yucca Valley Court, the Homecoming King and Queen, the Superintendent of the Morongo School District, and numerous representatives of the Town of Yucca Valley (Recreation Department, councilmembers, staff).

The YVFF proved once again it deserved its designation of “signature event” of the Town of Yucca Valley.

All pictures and videos are already available on Facebook and YouTube.

2023 Yucca Valley Film Festival Awards

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