6:45am PT by Carolyn Giardina
New Film Festival Planned in Beverly Hills
The City of Beverly Hills will be the home of a newly created film festival aimed at bridging Hollywood, Silicon Valley and Silicon Beach.
While planning is still underway, the debut of the Beverly Hills Infinity Film Festival is slated to take place Nov. 1-4, with The Paley Center for Media as its home base. Additional intended locations include the Writers Guild Theater and various private screening rooms at Beverly Hills-based talent agencies. Organizers also hope to attract area hotels for participation and various retail storefronts to host pop-ups for exhibitions and installations.
The first two days will feature screenings and programming for industry professionals. At press time, organizers confirmed that Paramount intends to premiere a new restoration of its 1953 classic The War of the Worlds, which won an Academy Award for special effects, at the festival.
The final two days will be open to the public. The fest’s November slot was selected to potentially attract awards season/holiday features or new product launches.
The event is co-founded by a trio of entertainment technology vets: co-BHIFF CEOs Nick Urbom and Mark Lieber; and chairman Roy Taylor, a BAFTA Los Angeles board member.
"Technology is changing the conversation, but it's more often relegated to niche events," Taylor told The Hollywood Reporter. "It's not as obviously to producers, actors ... [We aim to] allow people involved in new technology to come face to face with those who create the stories. This event will be for them."
Organizers expect technology themes to include artificial intelligence, light field and volumetric capture, LED screens and projection mapping. Urbom says the festival will incorporate Blockchain.
“The history of Beverly Hills is intertwined with the history of filmed entertainment. The city welcomes events such as this innovative film festival that will celebrate the next generation in filmmaking,” said Beverly Hills mayor Julian Gold in a statement.
Said Jeff Hyland and Rick Hilton, co-founders of Hilton & Hyland, the festival’s exclusive luxury real-estate sponsor, in a statement: “With its original village design, walkability, world-class restaurants and shops, and globally recognized destination brand, Beverly Hills is an ideal location for a film festival, and we were thrilled that Karén Setian, BHIFF’s chair of the Beverly Hills Chairman’s Council, invited us and our company to participate in a festival designed specifically for our great city.”
Event committee members include representations from The Film Foundation, Warner Bros., The Third Floor, USC and Technicolor.