19th LA Harbor International Film Festival March 3 – 6

LA  Harbor International Film Festival (LAHIFF)
P.O. Box 5202 – San Pedro, CA 90733 ~ Telephone: (310) 519-0756 ~ www.laharborfilmfest.com
To create a cinematic bridge between the people of the region and the people of the world

Contact: Stephanie Mardesich, Festival Director (310) 519-0756 or stephaniemardesich@yahoo.com

Download PDF of Program

For Immediate Release

LA Harbor International Film Festival™
Sets Sail On 19th Voyage March 3-6
Official Poster & Banner Unveiled At Visit San Pedro February 2
Continues Commemoration of 90th Anniversary of Warner Grand Theatre

Education Outreach Program “Read the Book, See the Movie” Treasure Island / West Side Story.
Opening Night Celebrates Stars George Chakiris & Russ Tamblyn
Hollywood Nostalgia Tribute The Sound of Music in 35mm Audience Invited To Sing Along
DocSunday™ POLA Premiers NewFilmmakers LA Short Docs & Eddy’s Story
World Premiere Oral History Documentary
Stories Of Los Angeles Harbor Area: For Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow (The Movie Vol. II & III)

Veterans & Currently Serving In Military Complimentary Admission

February 2, 2022 – San Pedro (SP), California – Port of Los Angeles (POLA) – Programming and sponsors were announced, and official poster/banner unveiled, for the 19th annual LA Harbor International Film Festival (LAHIFF), at the Seafarin’ Reception & Press Launch, held at “Visit San Pedro” (VSP) visitor center in The Arcade Building, historic downtown SP. Observing City of Los Angeles current health guidelines a minimal number of invited guests including members of the media, festival sponsors and supporters, civic and business leaders attended the invitation only announcement.

LAHIFF takes place March 3-6 in the venerable Warner Grand Theatre (WGT) 478 W. 6th Street, historic downtown SP. The LAHIFF continues to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the opening of the vintage art deco WGT.

A facility of the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) the WGT has been the main venue for the LAHIFF since the first festival in 2004.
Festival Director Stephanie Mardesich expressed thanks to supporters and directed all to review announcement press release handed out at conclusion of the reception and subsequently dispatched through email and LAHIFF website. “We are delighted to continue to honor the 90th anniversary of the theatre that opened as the Warner Bros (WB). in 1931, because last year’s celebration was eclipsed by the closure of the theatre along with other DCA venues.”

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“We are forging on with the in person programs and ‘just in case’ providing links to view the films via internet and/or home entertainment centers. With the slated closure of the WGT in June for renovation it’s event more meaningful to be in the theatre seeing films as they’re meant to be seen, on the “big screen’, ” added Mardesich.

The official festival poster “The Music Of The Cinematic Bridge”, and street banner, were unveiled by Mardesich and Katherine Gray, director/founder of VSP. Key photo art for the iconic bridge image, by eminent photographer and LAHIFF board member Peter Read Miller (Sports Illustrated, NFL, Associated Press, Canon spokesman), was introduced in 2009. The first five years of the LAHIFF paintings were commissioned by prominent local artists Tom Phillips, Muriel Olguin, Violet Parkhurst, and Tony Podue to create their own version of the “Cinematic Bridge”, originated by Phillips, that has become the LAHIFF brand re-imagined each year. This year’s theme is inspired by opening night and Hollywood Nostalgia Tribute (HNT) films West Side Story (1961) and The Sound Of Music. Art direction by Alison Robertson of Wellington Signs, MJM Graphics festival printer., Alchemy poster printing sponsor. Framing by Distinctive Edge Framing & Gallery.

“The festival is grateful to have a long and loyal list of sponsors and supporters, especially Los Angeles County (LAC) Supervisor Janice Hahn (District 4), Contributing Sponsor, who as Los Angeles City Council member for District 15 advocated for the film festival since it was founded in 2003; and has continued as staunch supporter from her tenure in the harbor area including representative in U.S.A.Congress, and currently as she continues working vigorously for District 4 and all constituents of the LAC.”

LAHIFF kicks off Thursday, Program A, March 3 at 10:30 am with “Read the Book, See the Movie” (RBSM) Culmination Program featuring the classic novel Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson (RLS), and the Walt Disney Studios 1950 film in 35mm. Juxtaposed with the live program will be a real time Webinar set up for the free education outreach program. RBSM that promotes literacy and a more thoughtful way to view a film is the most successful motivating aspect of the LAHIFF. Nearly 18,000 free books have been distributed to students and community members since 2004. This year books were again provided by “publishing angel” Sponsor Penguin Random House Young Readers. Participating are: San Pedro’s Crestwood and Leland Street Elementary Schools, Dodson and Holy Trinity Middle Schools, Mary Star of the Sea and San Pedro John & Muriel Olguin Magnate (SPHS) high schools; and Wilmington’s Gulf Avenue Elementary School.

Students read and discuss the book over several weeks and attend the Culmination Program at the WGT, enthused and excited. Since 2009, inspired by the RLS classic Kidnapped, they have been welcomed by an authentic bagpiper, and the recent past the LAC Mounted Enforcement Unit (sheriffs on horseback). Unfortunately that has changed for this year due to the many restrictions imposed because of virus concerns. Fun healthy snacks will be distributed to the schools to enjoy back on campus. After viewing the movie there is time for comments and conversation. RBSM sponsors include: Supervisor Hahn, The Popcorn Man, Mary Star of The Sea High School, 7-Eleven and Arlene (Dickey) and Myron Lockrem.

For the second year a real time “Webinar” is being set up by Sandy Martin-Alvarenga, SPHS teacher and coordinator. “Mrs. Alverenga has supported RBSM since its inception. We are so grateful she stepped up to augment our program so that the students who are not able to attend can participate,” praised Mardesich.

Opening Night Program B, Friday March 4, features the “real” West Side Story (1961) as a tribute to the Academy Award recipient for Best Supporting Actor George Chakiris, marking 60th anniversary of his award and recent publication of his book/memoir My West Side Story (Lyons Press; 2021; 222 pp.); and co-star Russ Tamblyn. They are invited to attend, subject to availability. Both were honored by LAHIFF in 2009 when the movie was the HNT. The immortal film garnered eleven Oscar nods, with 10 wins – a record number at the time – and is revered in the canon of movie greats for all time. The Chakiris book will be for sale and he will autograph copies if he is able to attend.

Program C, Saturday, March 5 at 4 pm the HNT, co-presented with San Pedro International Film Festival (SPIFFest), sponsored by Rancho LPG Holdings, is The Sound Of Music in 35mm. The audience is invited to sing along and come dressed as their favorite characters. LAHIFF always encourages festival attendees to support the Epicurean Sponsors Niko’s Pizzeria, Wienerschnitzel, San Pedro Brewing Company, Big Nick’s, Sacred Grounds, J. Trani’s Ristorante, Think Café, Rafaello’s Ristorante, Omelet & Waffle Shop, The Sandwich Saloon and Think Prime, and dine before or after programs.

Closing day March 6, known as “DocSunday” is devoted to non-fiction film with POLA premieres beginning with Program D participation for the tenth year by NewFilmmakers L.A. Short Documentary Project at 1 pm. Followed at 2:30 pm by Program E Eddy’s Story, inspiring account of 100 year old “toy genius” inventor Eddy Goldfarb, produced and directed by his daughter Academy Award nominated filmmaker Lyn Goldfarb. Closing Program F is the world premier of composite film of oral history project Stories Of Los Angeles Harbor Area: For Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow (SOLAHA) The Movie – Volumes II & III produced by Mardesich and Jack Baric who also directs. Conversation and Q&A with filmmakers after the screenings.

The WGT was dedicated on opening day by Jack Warner, one of the four Warner brothers, who proclaimed “you’ll enter the palace of your dreams” to the eager audience. It is one of the three Warner Bros. theatres built in the metropolitan L A. area (others were in Beverly Hills and Huntington Park) known as “the triplets” with distinguished architecture and décor; and the only one still functioning. It is considered a treasure of historic downtown SP, and the region. With 1500 seats the WGT typically offers a variety of concerts, musical plays, live performances including annual San Pedro City Ballet production of “The Nutcracker”, graduation ceremonies, weddings, and community events throughout the calendar year. It is is also a location for numerous commercial and theatrical film productions. On going restoration projects include the GVF “Save Your Seat” and “Love The Lobby” campaigns. As previously mentioned the WGT is scheduled to close for renovation work c. June 2022 for an undetermined length of time for the extended repairs and expansion funded by City of L.A.

“We are proud to continue our mission to screen 35mm films whenever possible with two ‘real’ movies this year. The WGT is one of the last venues locally , and entire USA, that has capability to project 35mm film. Its historical significance, and as a major venue for so many cultural and community events, is hugely important and meaningful to San Pedro and the region,” commented Mardesich.

The LAHIFF offers stimulating and entertaining programming that inspire the audience and respects the integrity of the silver screen. As Mardesich, an alumna of the University of Southern California film school, founded the LAHIFF in 2003 (with Jack Baric) contends “the film festival is a way to offer a collective experience augmenting the cultural landscape of and promoting all San Pedro and surrounding areas have to offer residents, visitors, and tourists.”

Additional LAHIFF supporters include Associate Sponsors Marathon Petroleum, Cal Marine Fisheries, SA Recycling, Community Fund of Boeing California; Sustaining Sponsors Los Angeles City Council District 15, ILWU Foremen’s Local #94, Joseph & Lee (Sher) Mardesich Family Trust; Rancho LPG Holdings; Elite Sponsor Spirit Cruises; Quality of Live Sponsor Clean San Pedro; Media Sponsors are PalosVerdesPulse.com, Random Lengths News, San Pedro Today Magazine and NewFilmmakers LA (social media). Festival advisor is Dr. Betsy McLane, Ph.D.

Additional in-Kind Sponsors include: Los Angeles Maritime Museum (LAMM), Hollywood Heritage, Inc. (HH), Polish Film Festival L.A, Grand Vision Foundation (GVF), San Pedro Bay Historical Society (SPBHS), fINdings Art Center & Gallery; Courier Sponsor 247 Delivers; Website sponsor is Clear Steps; Volunteer support from Fred Brown Recovery Services. ). Other LAHIFF board members include community liaison Andrea (Rukavina) Hegybeli; businesswoman Nancy (McCutchan) Nottingham, and Northern California (Bay Area) rep Carla Contestable, R.N.

“Being a sponsor of the LAHIFF demonstrates community awareness and appreciation of our mission,” proffered Mardesich. “The commitment to support culture and education is vital as partnerships between business and individuals is fundamental to perpetuate the humanity, creativity, and traits we value as citizens; and its significance can never be underestimated. We also thank community collaborators for helping us to promote the program schedule.”

A 501(c)3 non-profit organization, with no paid employees, contributions are tax-deductible to the extent the law allows. Over the past 18 years LAHIFF has continued to grow and gain support. In 2013 the Coastal SP Neighborhood Council presented LAHIFF with a special Proclamation for ten years of outstanding contribution to culture and education leadership. Volunteer hours can also be accrued for school or community service. Donations to the LAHIFF are welcome. Sponsorship opportunities are available at various benefit levels.

“The LA Harbor International Film Festival is a local tradition, and I am grateful that it is going to be able to return to the beautiful Warner Grand Theater for its 19th year,” stated Supervisor Hahn. “The festival has something for everyone to enjoy, whether you are looking forward to revisiting a Hollywood classic or learning from a thoughtful documentary.”

Tickets at Box Office day of programs, open one hour prior to program time, cash only. General Admission $10; discount admission $8 for seniors, students, and “affiliations” including LAMM, GVF, HH, and SPBHS. All veterans and those currently serving in military receive complimentary admission.

Media relations, information, and “Sponsorship Opportunities” contact: Stephanie Mardesich, Festival Director at stephaniemardesich@yahoo.com or telephone (310) 519-0756. See www.laharborfilmfest.com for updates on programming.
# # #   (2/2022

List of films and links to view

March 3 Prog. A RBSM – 10:30 am “real time Webinar” 10:30 a.m. TREASURE ISLAND https://bit.ly/RTBSTM2022

“Zoom” access: 869 4231 1869, no password

Link to view: https://www.amazon.com/Treasure-Island-Basil-Sidney/dp/B003QSFW9C/ref=tmm_aiv_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr

March 4 Prog. B – Opening Night West Side Story (1961) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0110877/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

March 5 Prog. C – The Sound Of Music https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0059742/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1


March 6 Prog. D – New Filmmakers L.A. Short Documentary Project (no fee)  March 3-6 only: www.NFMLA.org/LAHIFF2022

March 6 Prog. E – Eddy’s Story (no fee) March 3-6 only: https://vimeo.com/453116634

March 6 Prog. F – Stories Of Los Angeles Harbor Area: For Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow (SOLAHA) “The Movie – Volumes II & III”

From March 6  see at website: www.storieslaharborarea.com

More about:

Complete LAHIFF 2021 – 2022 Sponsor List

  • Contributing Sponsor  ~ Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn, District 4
  • Associate Sponsors  ~  Cal Marine International ~ Marathon Petroleum Corporation Los Angeles Refinery~ SA Recycling  ~ Employees Community Fund of Boeing California
  • Sustaining Sponsors ~ City of Los Angeles Council District 15 ~ ILWU Foremen’s Union Local #94 ~ Joseph & Lee  Mardesich Family Trust ~ Rancho LPG Holdings
  • Education Outreach Program “Read the Book, See the Movie” ~ Penguin-Random House Young Readers ~ The Popcorn Man ~ Mary Star of the Sea High School ~ 7-Eleven ~ Arlene (Dickey) & Myron Lockrem
  • Quality of Life Sponsor  ~ Clean San Pedro 
  • Elite Sponsor ~ Spirit Cruises
  • Media Sponsors  ~ PalosVerdesPulse.com ~ Random Lengths News ~ San Pedro Today ~ NewFilmmakers LA (social media)
  • Print & Art Sponsors ~ Wellington Signs ~ Distinctive Edge Framing & Gallery ~  MJM Graphics ~ Alchemy
  • Promotion & In-Kind Sponsors & Volunteers ~ Los  Angeles Maritime Museum ~ City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) ~  Visit San Pedro~ Hollywood Heritage, Inc. ~ San Pedro Art Association ~ Grand Vision Foundation ~ fINdings Art Center & Gallery ~ Polish Film Festival L.A.
  • Courier Sponsor ~ 247 Delivers
  • Website Sponsor ~ ClearSteps (Alyssa Marks, Designer/Manager)

Epicurean Sponsors

(websites /contact tel. listed for “outdoor dining/ordering to go/ curbside pick up”)



LA Harbor International Film FestivalLA Harbor International Film Festival (LAHIFF™)

19th Annual LAHIFF
March 3 – 6, 2022

“To create a cinematic bridge between the people of the region and the people of the world”