Julie comes to California every year to volunteer for this five-day event, which includes the screening of over 120 films in 10 venues in the Carmel area. There are nightly parties, live music, and panels along with 300 film makers, executives, actors, producers, directors and celebrities.
Julie invited Bill and me to stay with her in the vacation home she rented with her husband, just a block from the beach and a short walk to Ocean Avenue, the main shopping and dining area in Carmel-by-the-Sea. The two-story rental house was beautiful and so full of natural light. This was the view off the back deck on the second floor of the home. A stunning vista!
Bill and I quickly unpacked and got settled in our beautiful guest room. Julie had our press passes and info ready for us so I spent some time getting familiar with it all. I love the cool messenger bag with the Carmel International Film Festival logo and brought it back home with me to Sonoma.
The Film Festival
That evening we headed out with Julie and her husband to the Filmmakers Welcome Party at the Sunset Center in downtown Carmel-by-the-Sea. The first thing we noticed when we arrived were the unique table scapes. This one had a pair of white mannequin legs coming out of the centerpiece. How creative!
The catering was done by Kurtz Culinary. They really outdid themselves with these colorful displays of beautiful fresh fruit, nuts, cheeses, charcuterie and bread. It was almost too pretty to eat but somehow we all managed!
There were chocolate treats too. Bill and I visited the Marich Premium Chocolate table more than once – I think four times if I remember correctly. This tasty chocolate company only uses fair-trade-certified premium cocoa, whole nuts, and fresh fruit. The big bowl of white candies in the middle was filled with their Peppermint Bark Caramel Popcorn. If you are looking for a sweet holiday treat to give as a gift or to yourself, this is it!
There were about a dozen Monterey County wineries at the reception too. It’s always a treat to taste wines from other California regions.
It was such a delight to meet Julie in person. We have chatted often online but this was our first time face-to-face. I am so grateful to have met her and attend this wonderful event.
Matthew Modine was at the event that evening, presenting a short film he wrote and directed. It’s titled Super Sex and stars Ed Asner, Kevin Nealon, Elizabeth Perkins and Matthew Modine’s daughter, Ruby Modine. Don’t let the title fool you! It’s a such a cute film that is sure to give you a giggle or two.
Julie convinced Matthew Modine to take a photo with me. He had just plucked a grape from one of the many tables and was commenting about how huge it was! Such a funny moment – sort of surreal.
After the reception, we were asked to head into the beautiful theatre at the Sunset Center. First we watched Super Sex, then Matthew Modine and Ed Asner came on stage afterward and answered some questions from the emcee, Erin Clark who is also the co-founder of the Carmel International Film Festival. The Q & A was quite entertaining! I forgot how hilarious Ed Asner can be. I love his dry, quick humor!
Next, we watched The Space Between, a feature length film written and directed by Amy Jo Johnson, who also acted in the film. You may recognize Amy from her roles on Flashpoint, Power Rangers, Felicity.
The Space Between is an indie comedy about family, forgiveness and coming of age. It was humorous, touching and I enjoyed the plot line. After the movie, the cast came out to take questions from Erin as well as the audience.
Another great event during the festival was attending the Women in Film reception and luncheon at La Playa Hotel in Carmel-by-the-Sea. The reception was outdoors on the hotel’s beautiful patio. It was such a gorgeous day!
Once lunch began, we went inside to find our assigned table. Look who was sitting with us?
This event is a celebration of women in the film industry. It brings together powerful women, from many fields, for networking opportunities and to support and encourage both present and future artists. After lunch we listened to a panel discussion led by Erin Clark.
That evening, all four of us – Julie, her husband and Bill and I – went out for dinner, then returned to the Sunset Center to see Good Fortune.
The Red Carpet had been rolled out and stars began to arrive!
Bill caught this photo of John Paul DeJoria with the Mayor of Carmel, Steve Dallas.
Good Fortune is a documentary about John Paul DeJoria’s rise to incredible success after growing up poor and, at times, being homeless. The film focuses on his many philanthropic endeavors. You’ll want to be friends with John Paul and you’ll be inspired to be more like him after watching this film.
After the film, John Paul came on stage with directors Josh and Rebecca Tickell to discuss the film and take questions. Shortly after, John Paul received the first Carmel International Film Festival Creative Humanitarian Award, established this year by the Board of Directors. The award recognizes John Paul DeJoria’s many contributions and achievements and his tireless charitable and volunteer work.
The last event we attended at the film festival was the Filmmakers Beach Dinner at Lovers Point in Pacific Grove. It was a wonderful evening, capping off a fantastic experience in Carmel.
It just wouldn’t be a complete trip to Carmel without visiting the beach. I took several walks on the beach with Bill during our stay.
We liked to watch the surfers ride the waves.
And of course on a gorgeous, sunny fall day at the beach, we had to take a selfie!
We also watched the sunset…
a couple times. I love the jagged rocks on the coastline.
Birthday Shopping in Carmel!
My birthday was a couple of days after the film festival ended, but I thought it was still early enough for a little birthday shopping! Julie suggested I visit European Jewelers at jewelry store at The Crossroads in Carmel.
They have gorgeous and unique jewelry! Bill bought me a beautiful ring I wear all the time and a long necklace with pearls, amethyst and other semi-precious stones. I love the long necklace layered with the Agate pendant from KayandStar that I bought last year.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my favorite highlights from Carmel! It was truly a wonderful experience I won’t forget. Thank you, Julie!
Holiday Offer from KayandStar
Julie and her daughter Jordan are offering readers a special discount on KayandStar jewelry for the holidays. Take 15% off your KayandStar purchase(s) from now until 12/20/16. Just use code RICHLIFEGIFTS at checkout!
How I Wear My Reminder
The How I Wear My theme for December is “Holiday Party Look.” Send in a photo of you in your holiday outfit to [email protected] no later than Monday, December 5th. The posts will go live December 7th.
Jill of Everything Just So and I can’t wait to see your holiday looks!
Make it a rich day!
Disclosure: I was given two media passes to attend the Carmel International Film Festival. All opinions expressed here are my own, as always.