April 22, 2018

New Director Joins Topanga Film Festival


Urs Baur, creator and director of the Topanga Film Festival (TFF) calls this year’s eighth annual Topanga Film Festival a transition year for the team and the organization.

Baur says, “2011 was an amazing event by all measures. While we marvel at how this fest with its humble beginnings in our backyard has grown into a little gem of a festival with international reach and world-class programming, it has become increasingly evident that this idea has grown too big to be managed and run by a loyal family of volunteers — and I use family quite literally — all of whom have many other responsibilities we’re pursuing in our other lives.”

If you were lucky enough to get a ticket to last year’s sold-out opening-night film of The Highest Pass, you would have met the unassuming director and co-producer of the film, Jon Fitzgerald, who had agreed to have the World Premiere of his film at our Festival. The film went on to win TFF’s special Cinema Libre Spotlight Award and has since had a successful theatrical release.

Fitzgerald was a co-founder and executive director of Slamdance Fest, and went on to direct numerous world-class film festivals, such as: AFI Fest, Santa Barbara Film Festival and the Abu Dhabi Film Festival. Over the years he has consulted with dozens of festivals and numerous filmmakers. In 2012, he launched CineCause, a philanthropic platform connecting socially relevant films, news and celebrities to related causes.

“Jon has now agreed to come on as Festival Director moving forward,” Baur announced. “He has become part of the family and has the knowledge and experience to lead us into the future.

“We’ve agreed to jointly manage this year’s Festival in transition, our team providing logistical and production support, with Jon and CineCause bringing a selection of remarkable films and introductions to supporting organizations.”

Baur once again invites the community to attend the festival beginning with an Opening Gala at Theatricum Botanicum on Thursday, July 26 The ensuing three days, July 27-29, will present movies at the Topanga Library, receptions at the Inn of the Seventh Ray, the Canyon Bistro and other fun venues.

“We cannot thank the community enough for the continued support and for making TFF an integral part of Topanga’s rich cultural fabric,” Baur said.

Check the website or Facebook for more information as it develops. topangafilmfestival.com.