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TVInews - 107 A Hollywood Beat / A Celebrity Scene Report from Ojai Film Festival 2006. Donna Jeffries & Larry Leverett and Tweeny -- with Laszlo Kovacs, Bill Paxton, A.C. Lyles, Peter Strauss; Editor's Note By Josie Cory, publisher of Television International Magazine - MORE STORY

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A FALL ISSUE - - tviNews OCT - NOV Festival Event Issue

FEATURE STORY
• 02.The Awards
03. Kovacs
Editors Notes

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Photo: l-r - Josie Cory, A.C. Lyles, Peter Strauss, Donna Jeffries, Bill Paxton, and Laszlo Kovacs with Donna and Larry Leverett - MORE ABOUT Ojai Film Festival - Home Page

Welcome to the Seventh Annual Ojai Film Festival - October - 2006
••• The Ojai Film Festival, like the new millennium, was launched in 2000 with great vision and promise.
••• Conceived as an independent film festival set in the enchanting town of Ojai - only 70 miles from Hollywood - the Festival has since grown into a world-class showcase nestled in the pristine mountains of Southern California.

••• Each year, far from big city bustle, this delightful small town offers a unique experience.
••• Films shown at the Festival provides an enthusiastic audience for the creative efforts of both emerging and established filmmakers.
••• The Festival features memorable ceremonies to honor the industry's luminaries - recipients of Lifetime Achievement Awards. -

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01. Feature Story / Ojai Film Festival 2006 / By Donna Jeffries, Larry Leverett & Tweeni. MORE ABOUT AC LYLES
••• Television International Magazine loves to visit "Shangri-La," especially Tweeni, our youngest intern reporter, says publisher, Josie Cory. The tviNews journalists assigned to cover the Ojai event with Tweeni, loved the car ride up into some of the most beautiful countryside in California. Tweeni said what got her excited the most was, "the festival's opening barbecue at the Ojai Arts Center." MORE ABOUT TWEEN SAVVY
••• This year's festivities include the best of world-wide new independent films, and as they say it • Hot filmmaking seminars with top industry icons • Special screenings of film classics • Opportunities to mingle with the filmmakers, directors, production staff, and • Premieres and pre-release screenings of major motion pictures.
••• World-renowned cinematographer Laszlo Kovacs was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award this year. He was absolutely charming as he chatted and posed for photos with us at the opening night event. Kovacs was the brilliance behind the camera for such films as "Easy Rider," "Paper Moon," "Five Easy Pieces," "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," "Ghostbusters" and dozens of other wonderful films.
••• We really enjoyed learning and "Exploring the Visual Language of Film" during Kovacs' Saturday afternoon seminar, reported Tweeni. We were treated to extensive film clips of some of his greatest cinematic work. Between clips of "Easy Rider," Kovacs revealed how much of the enjoyment he derived while working on this film came from being able to highlight the great American landscape... shooting on location in the magnificent Monument Valley and all across the country.
••• He shot most of the outdoor scenes from an old station wagon while riding along side the bikers on their cross-country tour. As wonderful as it all was, apparently things got a little crazy, "Imagine spending three weeks in a station wagon with Jack Nicholson?!" Kovacs exclaimed.

Part 02/ Award Gala - Peter Strauss, this year's Master of Ceremonies.
••• On Saturday evening the Award Gala was held at the gorgeous Ojai estate known as Glen Muse. With its impressive frontage, fountain and expansive driveway, the enamored crowd scattered about, sipping delicious organic wines from Ojai's Casa Barranca Winery and tasting scrumptious hors d'oeuvres.
••• Also attending the Gala was TVI's friend A.C. Lyles. Lyles (won the Lifetime Achievement Award 2 years ago, and actor Peter Strauss, this year's Master of Ceremonies. Levertt ended up introducing the two of them.
••• Strauss's gorgeous dark-haired wife joined in also. reported Tweeni. We noticed her earlier and were still trying to figure out where we had seen her before. She looked so familiar it was beginning to drive us nuts, especialy Tweeni.
••• She admitted to being an actress but teasingly would not reveal her name or what movies she's been in, claiming that this was "Peter's night." Just as she finished taking a group photo for us, Strauss was called to deliver his opening address.
••• Strauss' speech was remarkable to say the least! He certainly knows how to deliver drama; stressing everything from the time-limit enforced on him by the heads of the Festival, to the perils of actors in general being abused by the film industry, to the glory of all participants ending up at this wonderful Festival... "Forget Cannes, Venice, and Berlin!"
••• Ironic or sardonic... either way, it was a real butt-kicker of a speech. Bravo to a truly great actor. When the charismatic Strauss finished handing out the awards to the winning filmmakers, it was time for actor Malcolm McDowell to award Kovacs his Lifetime Achievement Award. Frankly, we were so blown away by Strauss that we don't even remember what McDowell had to say.
••• After the awards were given out, Tweeni reports that the whole tviNews team met actor Bill Paxton, who was so friendly and down-to-earth that we could almost swear we were talking to an old family friend.
••• Bill can be seen in a whole slew of hit films such as "Titanic," "Terminator," "Aliens," "Twister," "Apollo 13." "True Lies," "Commando" and dozens of others! He is currently starring in the HBO smash hit "Big Love" playing a man who has several wives!
••• Bill enthusiastically introduced us to Cissy Wellman, the daughter of legendary director William Wellman. What a beautiful bundle of energy she was! We had noticed everyone clamoring to be near her earlier in the evening and now we knew why.
••• During the course of the Festival, Larry, Donna and myself also had the chance to get to know some extremely talented filmmakers such as Bruce Geisler and marketing director Natalie. Their documentary "Free Spirits," about the rise and fall of a controversial Renaissance community in Massachusetts, was one of the hits of the Festival.
••• During TVI's interview with Panavision V. P. of Marketing, Phil Radin, he discussed a concept of doing a documentary about Panavision, utilizing Panavision cameras.

03 / A profile of Laszlo Kovacs, and his fabled career.
••• Kovacs has worked on several films with Bogdanovich, such as "What's up Doc?", "At Long Last Love", "Nickelodeon" and "Mask." Kovacs also worked with another great director whom Larry and I had the good fortune of interviewing on our "Hollywood Beat" show; Martin B. Cohen. Cohen and Kovacs collaborated on "Rebel Rousers" which was another "Easy Rider" inspired film also featuring Jack Nicholson, along with Bruce Dern and Diane Ladd. What a small world it is!
••• While working on "Paper Moon," Kovacs was thrilled to have the rare opportunity to shoot a black and white film. Alas shooting in black and white can also have its challenges, but Kovacs was determined to triumph.
••• Fortunately enough, one of the most magnificent filmmakers in history happened to be staying at Bogdanovich's home during part of the shoot. Kovacs proceeded to pick the brain of none other than Orson Welles... whom I also had the opportunity to pick the brain of when I literally smashed into him head-on at the Ma Maison restaurant several years ago.
••• We were both rounding a corner at the same time as he was headed for his favorite table (carrying his tiny black poodle) and I was headed for the powder room! But that's another story.
••• As for Welles' advice to Kovacs; red filters were the key. Unfortunately, the drawback was losing two f-stops. But with Kovacs' brilliant mind and keen eye, the movie turned out to be a smash success... even earning an Oscar for the film's young star Tatum O'Neal, of which Larry reminded Kovacs and the audience.
••• Kovacs also showed clips of the hit film "Shampoo," starring Warren Beatty. He briefly mentioned that there was a bit of financial worry on the set. Larry related to me about how he himself was mistaken by Warren Beatty for a heavy-handed financier while visiting the "Shampoo" set.
••• Yes, the world of Hollywood can be full of surprises. One thing is certain, Kovacs' films all feature good solid stories. He, in fact stated that the kinds of films he has always been interested in have NOT been films filled with special effects but films about people, and he wishes more films were like that today.
••• I promptly burst out in applause to give recognition to that wish that I also hold dear... in response, the entire auditorium also broke out in applause. Kovacs summed it all up by saying that it is now in the hands of the future generation of filmmakers and hoped that they would indeed create more meaningful films.
••• Kovacs also treated us to clips from our old pal Peter Bogdanovich's film "Paper Moon." Earlier when we had mentioned to him about Bogdanovich inviting us up to his home to interview him, Kovacs joked that he was surprised Peter even had a home!

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04. / HOLLYWOOD BEAT / Celebrity Scene
 It seems our TVInews coverage of the annual Ojai Film Festival 2006 became another fantastic event for our news reporters and participants! We made friends with Laszlo Kovacs who shot "Easy Rider", "Paper Moon", "Five Easy Pieces", "Close Encounters of the Third Kind", "Ghostbusters" etc. and Bill Paxton from "Titanic", "Terminator", "Aliens", "Twister", "Apollo 13", "True Lies", "Commando" and is now starring in the HBO hit "Big Love" (as a man with several wives). Donna said she again met up with my old friend, Paramonts, A.C. Lyles who then introduced him to Peter Strauss - the festival's Master of Ceremonies and knocked the whole Ojai Valley off their rockers with his nasty/cussing opening speech!! Anyway, the event was a good one to open the holidays with.

More Articles • Converging News 472006 / TeleCom BuyOuts, Spinoffs and Asset Seizure Boom

Respectfully Submitted
Josie Cory
Publisher/Editor TVI Magazine
 TVI Magazine, tviNews.net, YES90, Your Easy Search, Associated Press, Reuters, BBC, LA Times, NY Times, VRA's D-Diaries, Industry Press Releases, They Said It and SmartSearch were used in compiling and ascertaining this Yes90 news report.
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