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Pasadena International Film Festival Set To Return In September

Published on Thursday, August 26, 2021 | 6:20 am
Pasadena International Film Festival Creative Director Marco Neves and Festival Director Jessica Hardin at 2019 Festival. (Courtesy photo)

The Pasadena International Film Festival (PIFF) is getting ready for its return to in-person premieres in September with more than 100 films.

Much like many other events, the COVID-19 pandemic had forced the PIFF to go virtual in 2020. But this 2021, festival organizers decided to once again hold screenings at the Laemmle Playhouse 7 at 673 E. Colorado Blvd.

Jessica Hardin, Festival Director said organizing the event this year was “more difficult” with the COVID-19 pandemic but organizers believe now is the best time to resume the in-person movie screenings.

“We figured now would be a good time because we’re hoping with the vaccine and with summer, right before things get rocking and rolling, that this would be a good time to finish the festival,” Hardin said,

Hardin said a selection of 115 films from various genres will be screened during the festival, which will run from Sept. 9-16.

“We’ll have all different genres, like thrillers, horror, shorts, comedy. Comedy is always the toughest to find, but it’s always the most appreciated. And we try to keep the sad tragedy to a minimum this year,” she said.
Documentaries, music videos, animation, and web series will also be screened during the event.

Every film programming block will end with a question and answer so viewers could learn about the filmmaking process.

There will also be an in-person panel discussion in which industry experts will share their knowledge about the entertainment industry.

Hardin said filmmakers from New York, Chicago and Miami will be participating in this year’s festival. Jane Kaczmarek, Cheri Oteri of “Saturday Night Live” fame, and Camryn Manheim, among other celebrities, will also attend the event.

Hardin admitted the pandemic hit the PIFF hard and its organizers had fears for the future of the movie industry.

“We were just really terrified that we would go under because [most events space] have a ‘no refund no exchange’ as policy because if everyone asked for refunds it would bankrupt the arts organization.”

Hardin said the PIFF’s biggest challenge is finding sponsors who will fund its events. According to her, the PIFF is waiting for $1,500 worth of sponsorship funding from the city.

“We usually get $1,500, so we’re still waiting to hear back from the city. I think the heads of the arts and culture commission [are] on vacation right now,” she said,

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