Countdown Underway To Debut Of Coronado Island Film Festival - Coronado Eagle & Journal | Coronado News | Coronado Island News: Coronado City News

Countdown Underway To Debut Of Coronado Island Film Festival

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Posted: Friday, September 11, 2015 3:06 pm

As you are reading this article, the first-ever session of the Coronado Island Film Festival (CIFF) is just a scant 128 days away. Scheduled to debut Martin Luther King Holiday Weekend, specifically January 15-18, 2016, the festival will feature approximately 60 films shown across five viewing locations in Coronado.

I sat down recently with Festival Executive Director and Founder Doug St. Denis and the multi-hyphenate Director of Pass Sales, Box Office and Customer Service Angie Litzinger. Our first topic was the Summer Reception Fundraiser held at the Hansen Mansion Aug. 7, which featured renowned film critic Leonard Maltin, who is serving as the CIFF’s honorary jury president. St. Denis termed the event a success and added, “It was wonderful and the money is still rolling in. I received an e-mail today asking where they could send a check. It was wonderful and our best fundraiser yet. We’re starting our push now for sponsors.”

On the chance that you would like to be involved with the CIFF as a sponsor, there are sponsorship availabilities ranging from $5,000 to $35,000. Contact CIFF President and CEO Mary Sikes at 844-323-CIFF for sponsor benefits and additional information.

One of the festival’s critical positions is filled by Litzinger, who is unfailingly polite, perhaps reflective of her upbringing in the Midwest; Waterloo, Il, to be exact. She went on to graduate from Cal State San Marcos with a degree in social sciences and from there onto the box office business. “I love film and love going to the movies,” Litzinger said. “I see almost everything out there. My Dad was a lover of all films and passed the baton to me. As my kids got a little older, I volunteered for the San Diego Film Festival and now for the Coronado Film Festival.”

Litzinger, who has been on staff for about six weeks, described the challenges she faces in making the festival’s passes available and convenient for the buying public. “Because this is the inaugural festival, we are doing everything from the ground up and starting from scratch. We’re building everything as we go. Basically I am setting the entire pass sales process on the Eventbrite ticketing platform. With our system, you can print a ticket or save the pass book to your Android phone. The process should be easy for the consumer to use. We are only selling passes and that will allow someone to get into several events.”

Another important element to the CIFF’s success is an attractive and functional website. Fortunately the festival commissioned local resident Jacques Spitzer (CHS ’04) and his Raindrop Marketing firm to update the side found at The revamped site went active last week and is the best and most convenient place to purchase festival passes.

The CIFF recently released their four-tiered pass structure which includes the VIP Crown City Pass, the Ocean View Pass, the Bayside Pass, and the Nado Pass. From now through Oct. 15, the VIP Crown City Pass costs $795 and include invitations to five festival-related parties and receptions, plus four special events. This pass level also includes admission to unlimited screenings, priority entry, access to the VIP Crown City Hospitality Lounge, valet parking where available and a CIFF goodie bag. One of the events included in the pass is admission to the one-man musical “A Twist of Lemmon,” performed by Jack Lemmon’s son Chris Lemmon.

The Ocean View pass costs $595 until Oct. 15 and includes access to 25 screenings, panels, workshops and special events. The Bayside pass costs $295 until Oct. 15 and includes 15 screenings, panels or workshops. The Nado pass costs $95 and provides 10 screenings, panels or workshops and includes a closing night bonfire and movie to be shown at the Hotel Del’s Beach Monday, January 18. The early-bird price structure is good through Oct. 15. If passes remain available in these categories, prices will increase Oct. 16 and then again Dec. 1.

St. Denis listed the five locations where the movies will be shown and they include: the main screen at the Village Theatre, plus one of the small screening rooms; the Coronado School of the Arts Theatre; the Coronado High School’s Black Box Theatre; and the Winn Room of the Coronado Public Library. St. Denis said, “The Winn Room is our most intimate site and it seats 125 people. And of course it has a Steinway piano. Chris Lemmon will have his show there, which lasts 85 minutes and there will be two performances.”

An event with this many moving parts and locations requires a quantity of volunteers to run smoothly. It is relevant information that the CIFF is a 501-C-3 non-profit organization. To garner interest in the community, the CIFF will hold a ‘Volunteer Pep Rally’ Saturday, Oct. 10 for all current and interested volunteers. Holly Nappen will host the event at her home at 1033 Adella Avenue. Sofia Flood is the director of volunteers for the event and she can be reached through the website, which has a button designated for ‘Volunteers’ at the top of the home page.

Of particular need are volunteers for the following categories: theatre technical support; social media, including Facebook and Twitter; venue managers; event managers; writers for the website; a couple of strong people with a pick-up truck who can move items around town; part time office support; and an assistant pass director to work with Litzinger.

Other general needs include transportation; host check-in; merchandise; flower arranging/venue décor preparation; hospitality lounge volunteers; celebrity assistance and more. Basically if you have a skill set in any area, the CIFF needs your assistance for the weekend.

As we ended the interview neither St. Denis nor Litzinger seemed to be poised over the corporate panic button. Both are continuing to work hard to make the CIFF bigger and more glamourous, while insuring the festival functions smoothly. And remember, it all starts just 128 days from now.

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