OPENING NIGHT - FILMS of 2021
The Santa Clarita International Film Festival is thrilled to announce a STELLAR line up to kick off the festival and define its voice and mission.
Thursday Dec 9th @ Laemmle Theater
Thu DEC 9th @ 5pm
Opening Night consists of the Short Film "Two Heads Are Better Than One" and the Feature Film "Fireboys". To buy tickets for this event click on the "Purchase Button below.
TWO HEADS ARE BETTER THAN ONE: MAKING OF THE BEN FERENCZ BUST
Director: Eric Kline
Starring: Benjamin Ferencz And Yaacov Heller
Category/Genre: Short Film
Run Time: 28 Minutes
This film chronicles the conversations of peace and tolerance between Benjamin Ferencz, the last living Chief Prosecutor at the Nuremberg Trials and Yaacov Heller, globally recognized artist and sculptor. These meetings led Heller to make the bust of the now 100-year-old Ferencz. The bust was accepted into the International Criminal Court in the Hague on December 17, 2020.
Directors: Jake Hochendoner & Drew Dickler
Starring: Chuy Hernandez, Alex Bailon, Dominiq Porter
Category/Genre: Documentary - Feature Film
Run Time: 1 h 22 min
Fireboys is the untold story of young men incarcerated in California who are offered a way out: by fighting wildfires. Immersive and personal, this coming-of-age story is told from the perspectives of young men as they summon the courage to fight fires and confront their pasts. Alex Bailon, 18, whom we meet in prison, and Chuy Hernandez, 20, who is about to be released after serving his sentence, have both enrolled as volunteer firefighters for the California Department of Corrections and Cal Fire’s conservation “fire” camp program. Among the 43 camps across the state, Pine Grove Youth Conservation Camp alone is staffed exclusively by juveniles -- young people under the age of 21. Following these young men from prison, fighting wildfires in the forests of California, and finally, back to their homes on the outside, Fireboys examines a correctional path that is both hopeful and destructive; California’s fire camps promote Alex and Chuy’s rehabilitation but also exploit their labor to address one of the state’s most urgent environmental problems.
Opening Night - Host & Emcee
Fritz Coleman is NBC4's weathercaster on the weekday editions of "Channel 4 News," airing at 5 and 11 p.m. A Southern California broadcasting icon, he is well known for his sense of humor and extensive knowledge of weather. He joined NBC4 in 1982 as the weekend weathercaster and moved to weekdays in 1984. Coleman has been part of the longest-running evening news team with legendary journalists Chuck Henry and Colleen Williams and Sports Anchor Fred Roggin.
Coleman has been named "Best Weathercaster" in nearly every major newspaper in Southern California. He devotes much of his free time supporting events, frequently organizing evenings of entertainment to
benefit local nonprofit organizations. He has also led several NBC4 community town hall meetings throughout the Southland addressing the drought crisis that has impacted our region for many years, including educating neighborhoods on weather patterns and water conservation.
Coleman has garnered several awards and honors for his dedication to community service. In 2019, he received an honorary doctorate from Woodbury University in Burbank for his extensive public service in the community. Since 2000, he has won Humanitarian of the Year Awards – including from Shelter Partnership and the California Hospital Medical Center. The City of Los Angeles named Coleman a "Treasure of Los Angeles,” and the United States House of Representatives gave him the Humanitarian of the Year Award for his fundraising efforts on behalf of the American Red Cross. Coleman has also been honored by the Los Angeles Chapter of the Salvation Army for his long-time commitment to the organization.
Coleman moved to Los Angeles in 1980 from Buffalo, New York, where he worked as an radio personality. Prior to that, he was a disc jockey and radio talk show host at various stations throughout the country. In the early 1980’s, he worked as a stand-up comic at various clubs in California. He has also made a number of appearances on the "Tonight Show" and other television programs. Coleman has performed at The Improv, The Ice House and other Southern California comedy clubs. He has used his humor in multiple series and specials that have aired on NBC4 over the years including "What a Week" (1990 – 1991), "It’s Fritz" (1988-1990), "Fritz and Friends" (Special) and "The Perils of Parenting" (Special). He received four Los Angeles area Emmy Awards for his work on the NBC4 comedy specials and series.
He has written, produced and starred in three one-man plays. His first production "It's Me! Dad!" won the coveted 1997 Artistic Directors Award. A humorous and touching account of what happens when a "baby boomer" tries to recount his own life for his young children, the play shows how the father comes to grips with the passage of time and the skeletons in his own closet. The production also aired successfully on public television in Los Angeles.
"The Reception," Coleman's second play, is an insightful and hilarious look at relationships found at an imaginary wedding reception - the bride’s second marriage -- the groom's third. His most recent play, "Tonight at 11!" is an insider’s look at a typical local newscast. A rollercoaster ride between funny and poignant, Daily Variety called it, "surprising, incisive and powerful."
A Navy veteran, Coleman is originally from Philadelphia and attended Salem College in West Virginia and Temple University in Philadelphia where he studied radio, television and film. Coleman is an avid cyclist, runner, rollerblader and skier. He lives in the San Fernando Valley and has two sons and a daughter.