Filmex

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Filmex was an annual Los Angeles film festival held in the 1970s and early 1980s. It was the predecessor of the American Film Institute's Los Angeles International Film Festival. After the final Filmex festival in 1983, the founders/organizers of the festival devoted their attentions to developing a new nonprofit cultural organization, the American Cinematheque, which they created to be a permanent year-round film festival in Los Angeles.

Filmex Timeline[edit]

1971[edit]

1972[edit]

1974[edit]

1975[edit]

  • The 14-day Festival opens with the premiere of Funny Lady and the Filmex Society Benefit Ball. Rosalind Russell and LA Mayor Tom Bradley opened the event. Those in attendance at the Plitt Century Plaza Theater premiere that evening included Roddy McDowall and Henry Winkler. Barbra Streisand did not attend the event. When Rosalind Russell exited the theater that night with her husband, she was heard to proclaim, "Well, that was fun, wasn't it!" She clearly disliked the movie, but was too much of a lady to say so. Peter Bonerz of the Bob Newhart Show was also present at the event. Yellow roses were in place on all tables during the post-screening dinner. Opening night attendees were given a copy of the "Funny Lady" soundtrack, which was the debut release from Arista Records. It was stamped with "For Promotion Only" in gold type.
  • Twenty-five nations participate in the Festival, and all five nominees for Best Foreign Language Film are shown.

1976[edit]

  • Alfred Hitchcock drives up in a Universal tour bus for the premiere of his Family Plot on Opening Night. At the gala ball at the Century Plaza Hotel following the screening, Hitchcock gives a speech in which he decries a line attributed to him that "actors are cattle." That evening, Hitchcock said, "What I probably said was, 'Actors should be treated like cattle.'";[4] He was feted by several celebrities before his speech, including James Stewart. Those who attended were given a clear plastic paperweight with Hitchcock's famous caricature on one side and the Family Plot poster on the other.
  • A Tribute to Cuban Cinema is held, which generates controversy.
  • A Cowboy Film Marathon is held, screening 48 films. George Stevens, Jr. speaks after a showing of his father's film Shane.
  • On December 18, 1976, Filmex holds the world premiere for Barbra Streisand's A Star Is Born at the Fox Village Theater in Westwood Village. The stars, including Streisand, are in attendance with a post-event party at Dillons, at the time a new disco in the Westwood area. Ryan O'Neal, Peter Bogdanovich, Marisa Berenson, Alan Carr, Chevy Chase and Funny Girl composer Jule Styne are among the guests. The theme was "A Night in White," with many of the guests garbed in white attire. Streisand, dressed in all black, entered the screening just before the lights went down protected by a "V" of guards who protected her path to her seat at the front of the theater. Gossip columnist Rona Barrett and her husband were in attendance in the back left of the theater. After the screening, guests walked several blocks in a roped off area to Dillons disco in Westwood. The top floor of Dillons was restricted to Streisand and her party. Tina Turner was turned away from gaining access, along with several other guests. Celebrity photographer Alan Light, then a teenager, took several photos of attendees in the lobby of the Westwood Village while standing on a table near the entrance. He and his mother were somehow able to gain access later in the evening to Streisand's upper level restricted area of Dillons.

1977[edit]

  • A 50-hour Movie Musical Marathon is held.
  • AFI debuts a special section called AFI Critics Choice.

1978[edit]

  • Filmex announces that in its first seven years, 48 films were acquired for distribution after Festival exposure.
  • Filmex '78 salutes Oscar's 50th anniversary with a 50-hour film marathon.

1979[edit]

1980[edit]

1981[edit]

  • Filmex '81, the 10th anniversary, is held at nine different locations around Hollywood in Los Angeles.
  • A Special Section called "Treasures from AFI" is presented.
  • The "Scared To Death" 50-hour Horror Film Marathon is held.
  • The founders/organizers of Filmex announce the creation of a new organization called The American Cinematheque with the declared aim that it will eventually build on the work of Filmex and provide year-round film programming of classic and new films from around the world.

1982[edit]

  • Natalie Wood is remembered with a Tribute, shortly after her death.

1983[edit]

  • Filmex founders/organizers Gary Essert and Gary Abrahams start the long haul to develop the American Cinematheque into a full-time organization that will maintain the Filmex spirit and philosophy and present films in the context of a year-round festival.

1986[edit]

1987[edit]

  • The American Cinematheque presents its first program in Los Angeles with the declared aim that it will continue the work of Filmex in the context of year-round film programming of classic and new films from around the world.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954)". InBaseline Online Film and Television Database. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 2011-01-27.
  2. ^ "The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)". InBaseline Online Film and Television Database. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 2011-01-27.
  3. ^ "Solaris (1972)". InBaseline Online Film and Television Database. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 2011-01-27.
  4. ^ Patrick McGilligan, pgs. 210-211, 277; American Movie Classics.
  5. ^ "Broken Blossoms (1919)". InBaseline Online Film and Television Database. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 2011-01-27.
  6. ^ "Around the World in 80 Days (1956)". InBaseline Online Film and Television Database. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 2011-01-27.