Look no further, the Mammoth Film Festival is the fastest rising film fest in the country. Celebrating it’s 5th anniversary the film slate and guests have boomed. The festival has already attracted major names in the past years that included Kate Bosworth, Josh Duhamel, Tony Hawk, Rebel Wilson, Emile Hirsch and Nina Dobrev. That’s just naming a few. There are several regulars aalso, such as Ashley Greene-Khoury and Thomas Jane.
The 2023 Mammoth Film Festival took place March 2-6 in Mammoth Lakes, CA. This was the first time I was able to attend and cover in-person. I was able to have the full Mammoth experience, attending press junkets, red carpets, film screenings and events. What’s great about this fest is that it feels very personal and intimate. During the weekend I was able to run across many familiar faces and make great connections and new friendships.
So what was featured during the festival? Here are the major films and some reactions to them.
The big opening night film, Padre Pio, directed by Abel Ferrara and starring Shia LaBeouf. I didn’t get a chance to see the film due to the red carpet obligations, but heard great things about it and was able to speak with Abel Ferrara, the day after the fest at the Mondrian Hotel in Los Angeles. Check it out below:
Some Other Woman:
Friday night’s main feature was the film from Joel David Moore (yes, Norm from Avatar), starring Ashley Greene, Amanda Crew and Tom Felton. I enjoyed this twisted psychological thriller. Good performances from Greene and Crew and a plot that keeps you guessing what’s actually reality and what isn’t.
Fun young cast lead by Dylan Sprouse and also featuring Patrick Warburton (The Tick, or Bachelor Zach’s uncle). I found this to be a offbeat comedy. Good ensemble cast. Weird, but entertaining plot. Fun watch.
Part of the Saturday night triple-header. From Maritte Lee Go, a story of a Nigerian princess who infiltrates a slave camp to save her sister. I had a chance to speak with Maritte and one of the stars of the film Jimmy Jean-Louise. Inspired by true events.
I may be biased since the film is directed by a friend and very talented actor and filmmaker Danny A. Abeckaser. This film was also inspired by a true story of the biggest manhunts in the history of Israel. The film stars Emile Hirsch.
One of the most talked about and anticipated films at Mammoth. From director John Stalberg Jr., Bad Hombres features a star-studded cast of talent with the likes of Thomas Jane, Tyrese Gibson, Nick Cassavetes, Paul Johansson and Luke Hemsworth. The plot centers on two immigrant undocumented workers who are hired on a job, only to learn their employers are criminals.
Sunday night closed with Dyad. A thriller that pits a young journalist investigating conspiracy that involves a group consisting of society’s most wealthy and powerful types. I spoke to Rob Kirkland, who plays Governor Hughes in the film.
The selection of shorts offered a wide variety of choices. The following were my favorites:
- Lucas Needs an Agent
- The Traveler
- Yes Daddy
- 10 Year
- The Many Worlds of George Goodman
I thought The Many Worlds of George Goodman was one of the best films I’ve seen, shorts or features. Very imaginative. Looked great for a small budget. Fun story. Kudos to writer/director Gregg Bishop and star Blair Redford and and Lesa Wilson.
The staple of Mammoth and one of it’s big events is the Celebrity Charity Bowling Tournament.
This year the Bowling Tournament took place on closing night of the fest. The snow storm didn’t stop the celebrities from showing up and the house was packed. There were several teams that participated, ultimately the team with Thomas Jane and the festival board member Alexandra Chando prevailed.
Mammoth had a lot of events and plenty of films to see. There is a reason why in 5 years since it started that the festival has made so many strides and quick growth, it’s ran by people who know what they are doing and passionate about it. The talent turnout was impressive, Thomas Jane, Ashley Greene-Khoury, Amanda Crew, Bryan Greenberg, Jamie Chung, Dylan Sprouse and Michael Madsen to name a few.
I had a fantastic experience. I was treated great. Can’t wait for next year. If you never been to Mammoth Lakes, it doesn’t even look or feel like California. It’s such a cool town, especially if you’re into skiing, snowboarding and such.
Check out the Mammoth Film Festival