Santa Barbara NEWS-PRESS
March 13, 2000
Film Festival Comes To An End

    After star-studded appearances by Richard Pryor, Anthony Hopkins, Whoopi Goldberg, Ivan Reitman and Jimmy Smits, the Santa Barbara International Film Festival lowered the curtain on this year's event Sunday night.
    In addition to attracting celebrities, the annual festival has become a popular showcase for independent films over the last 15 years. Nearly 40,000 people attended movies or events at this year's festival.
    Closing night ceremonies featured a screening of the Jimmy Smits movie, "The Price of Glory," directed by Carlos Avila, as well as an Awards ceremony for the independent films that were shown during the 10-day festival.
    ...Smits presented the Body Shop's Insight Award to James Ronald Whitney, who wrote and directed "Just, Melvin," a documentary about the filmmaker's grandfather who had molested his mother, sisters, and step-sisters and how they survived to share these family secrets.
    "Documentaries are often a labor of love for the filmmaker," he said. "They work for years to bring stories to their audiences."
    Whitney thanked his mother for the honor, saying, "The award means a lot. It's such a personal film."
                                                        -- Joshua Molina

DIRECTOR'S FILMS: GAMES PEOPLE PLAY: New York, GAMES PEOPLE PLAY: Hollywood, Telling Nicholas, Just, Melvin,
Find out more about James Ronald Whitney's Productions at the Fire Island Films website
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© 2003 James Ronald Whitney