Catalina Island has a long and storied history with Hollywood.
The picturesque island was the backdrop for films ranging from classics like “Treasure Island” and “The Ten Commandments” to modern-day movies like “Step Brothers,” where audiences can catch unmistakable aerial glimpses of Catalina.
For the last 13 years, the Catalina Film Festival has paid tribute to its early Hollywood roots while also celebrating new waves of cinema through its annual film festival, which returns on Wednesday, Sept. 20 and will run until Sunday, Sept. 24.
The five-day festival will feature over 300 films that will compete in 11 categories—including a shorts category for horror and thriller director Wes Craven, known for fan favorites like “Scream.”
The fest will also include industry panels, discussions, red-carpet appearances and after-parties to follow. The event opens for the first two days in Long Beach at the Scottish Rite Event Center before shipping off to the island for the remainder of the festival.
Both days in Long Beach open at 10:30 a.m. with back-to-back screenings of documentary and U.S. shorts, plus international shorts and conservation films.
The event’s first red carpet event on Wednesday is at 6:30 p.m. and will follow with the feature-length screening of “Not for Nothing,” a new crime drama described as “an old school mob war on the streets of modern-day South Philly.”
On Thursday, audiences can also see the screenings and awards ceremony for Craven’s horror and thriller shorts category, which is something unique to the festival as it has the only official Wes Craven-sanctioned horror awards category, with winners selected by the Craven family.
The festival will continue on the island on Friday, Sept. 22 with daylong screenings and panels at the Glenmore Plaza Hotel and the historic Avalon Theatre. The feature-length portion, which starts at 7 p.m., will showcase three films including “Year of the Fox” by director Megan Griffiths, with cast appearances including Balthazar Getty from “Lord of the Flies” and “Lost Highway.”
Saturday night’s feature film and guest appearances include the cast of the new crime drama, “Miranda’s Victim,” which includes Abigail Breslin, Donald Sutherland, Andy Garcia, Luke Wilson, Ryan Phillipe, Taryn Manning and Emily Van Camp. Their appearances have been approved thanks to an interim agreement with the SAG-AFTRA union, which has been on strike since July 14.
The festival’s film screenings end on Saturday with awards to also be announced that evening at 7 p.m. This year’s Career Tribute Award will go to Bruce Davison, a longtime and prolific actor perhaps most recognizable for his role as “X-Men” and “X2” villain, Sen. Robert Kelly.
The festival officially closes on Sunday with two back-to-back panels. Click here to see the entire film and events schedule.
There are a variety of tickets and package options for purchase, with single-movie tickets starting at $15. Two-day passes for the Long Beach portion of the festival cost $150. Three-day passes for the Catalina Island portion cost $250. The five-day festival pass can be purchased for $399. Click here to purchase tickets.
The Scottish Rite Event Center is at 855 Elm Ave. In Catalina, the Glenmore Plaza Hotel is at 118 Sumner Ave., and the Avalon Theatre is at 1 Casino Way.