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Quendrith Johnson


Quendrith Johnson is filmfestivals.com Los Angeles Correspondent covering everything happening in film in Hollywood... Well, the most interesting things, anyway.
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Las Vegas Film Festival in 110 Heat, Yes, That Sucks

Do we give a sh*t about Vegas and its film festival? If you're Hollywood, you kind of look at it like an artifact on the artifact. A facsimile hatched together for the Sunset Boulevard

 devotee/autograph-seeking/souvenir-collecting fan-based crowd.

 

Which is to say that in 110 F degree heat, stuck in Hooter's with a bunch of paunchy middle aged doofs looking for p-u-s-s-y, there are many other things one of the film persuasion might consider doing... laundry, for example.

But since Las Vegas, land of miniature copies of every tourist landmark around the globe, is brave enough to ape Hollywood from a mere 100 plus miles away, the festival is worth a look.

Kevin Asch's indie smash-hit about a tight-knit Hassidic Jewish family that gets caught up in the "X" drug trade opened LVFF. This movie stars, ironically, the groom Justin Bartha from the Vegas-themed "The Hangover." Ari Gaynor makes another noteworthy performance, last seen in "Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist," where she first put herself on the Hollywood map.

Other films in the rotation can be viewed on the official website of the Las Vegas Film Festival, which needs a few tweaks in the scheduling and media credentials department. Hollywood Correspondent, Actor Ron Gilbert, was down for a VIP media cred but had no "plus one." Luckily he was a no-show due to the heat. When the nice LVFF newbies at the media check-in desk chirped "we ran out of lanyards, you'll have to use a string or something," the heat got worse for the press, forced to finger-and-thumb the Vegas-garish screaming yellow/red laminated VIP cred from screening to screening.

(Running out of lanyards is like unheard of at any major film festival; kind of like running out of gas at NASCAR on Lap 10. But hey, they're not Hollywood, so Hooter's 'Flash Friday' sort of rules probably apply more than those of AMPAS(R), MPAA, DGA, PGA, WGA, or other official organizations that make Hollywood, Hollywood. No offense to the good folks and film fans in Vegas, of course.)

The LVFF award ceremony was crowned by Golden Ace winner John Kestner, a screenwriter and real-life sniper, who is working on a new script about a vigilante who likes to play dolls, go figure --  when he gets relieved from his "elevated sniper position" on a typical 60-hour-a-week graveyard-shift as a security officer at Palo Verdes Nuclear Generating Station in Phoenix, AZ, that is. 

Congrats to Kestner, LVFF, and all attendees who withstood that crushing heat to see these films (and the unapologetic orange crush of a dozen amazingly unwilted "Hooter's girls," and their "girls," of course).

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About Quendrith Johnson

Johnson Quendrith

LA Correspondent for filmfestivals.com


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