'Thunder' to open Beverly Hills fest


CORRECTED at 2:24 p.m. PT, March 28, 2008

Andrew Wainrib's documentary "Thunder Man: The Don Aronow Story" will have its world premiere as the opening-night film at the eighth annual Beverly Hills Film Festival, which kicks off April 9 at the Clarity Theater.

"Thunder" will be preceded by the short film "Hole in the Paper Sky," starring Jessica Biel and Jason Clarke and directed by Bill Purple. The five-day event will offer 50 films.

On April 13, the fest will hold a Gala Awards Ceremony at the Beverly Hills Hotel, where the inaugural BHFF Living Legends Award will be presented to Hollywood photographer Phil Stern by producer-director Brett Ratner, who is working with filmmaker Hector Cruz Sandoval on a documentary about Stern titled "Hollywood Big Shot." Software entrepreneur Eric Pulier will present the Digital Evolution Award.

The fest also will present seminars on Independent Film Financing & Distribution and the New Digital & Physical Distribution Model for Independent Movies.