LA Harbor International Film Festival Takes Center Stage in March

Next weekend, March 3-6, San Pedro will once again provide a number of grand showings when it hosts the 13th annual LA Harbor International Film Festival (LAHIFF) at the historic Warner Grand Theatre.

“The LAHIFF showcases film and video that reflects the harbor and all that it embraces – shipping and commerce, fishing, sailing, water sports, sea life and the area’s rich ethnic and cultural influences – to create a cinematic bridge between the people of the region and the people of the world,” said Stephanie Mardesich, director and founder of LAHIFF. “It really is a fabulous event that celebrates the art of film, in tradition of old Hollywood, with an eye to the current cinema.”

The festival is open to the public with a sampling below of the different films and events:

Thursday, March 3

Festivities begin on Thursday with the free education outreach program “Read the book, See the Movie” (RBSM) Culmination Program. Thousands of books have been distributed to students and community members since 2004. This year’s selection is The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain. After reading the book, students gather at the Warner Grand Theatre to watch the film version of the book.

Friday, March 4, 8 p.m.

In association with The Big Read L.A. (TBRLA) selection Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, the film version Fahrenheit 451 (Universal, 1966, 112 min; directed by Francois Truffaut) will be shown in 35mm at 8 p.m. Preceding the movie, readers are invited to participate in a discussion of the book in the lobby of the Warner Grand at 7 p.m. Admission to the screening is free for those who have read, are reading or will read the book.

Saturday, March 5, 1 p.m.

New Filmmakers LA (NFMLA) “On Location Program” Showcase of Short Films (19 films, one to five minutes in length) will kick off Saturday, highlighting neighborhoods of LA County. Founded in 2007, NFMLA has established itself as a significant gathering advocate for independent cinema with over 20,000 constituents in the Los Angeles community, screening over 750 films from over 48 countries. In addition to fostering the advancement of new filmmakers and its members, NFMLA’s objective is to promote the economic, educational, social, and cultural advancement of filmmaking, arts and culture in the community. 

Saturday, March 5, 7 p.m.

The evening of March 5, the Hollywood Nostalgia Tribute (HNT) features CAN-CAN (20tth Century Fox, 1960, 131 min.; directed by Walter Lang). The Academy Award, Golden Globe, DGA and WGA -nominated film adaptation of the  acclaimed Broadway musical stars Shirley MacLaine, Frank Sinatra, Louis Jourdan, and Maurice Chevalier; and introduced famed dancer Juliet Prowse. General admission for the film program is $10; no discounts.

Sunday, March 6, 1 p.m.

“DocSunday” is presented by new Associate Sponsor the Tensor Foundation. Devoted to the documentary genre, the films are all POLA premieres beginning with filmmakers and others participating in “conversation and Q&A” after the screenings. The opening program at 1 p.m. is  Marsha Hunt’s Sweet Adversity, the story of  actress/activist  Marsha Hunt (now 98 years old) who was living the “American Dream” when her career was eclipsed, along with many industry professionals, and unfairly “blacklisted” during the Communist “Red” Scare. She ultimately triumphed over adversity, continuing to work on stage and television, becoming one of Hollywood’s first celebrity activists. 

“This culturally rich event will encourage residents of Los Angeles County and beyond to discover and appreciate everything San Pedro has to offer,” said LA County Supervisor Don Knabe. “I am happy to continue supporting such a valued and creative endeavor that will inspire the audience to appreciate the art of cinema and also encourage local filmmakers.”

General admission for the festival programs is $10; $8 with discount for affiliations (with LAMM, GVF, SPAA and Hollywood Heritage) seniors and students. Opening night tickets are $10; no discounts for the Hollywood Nostalgia Tribute. Free Admission for U.S. Veterans and those currently serving in military forces will be available on a first-come, first-seated basis. Film program tickets can be purchased at, or (800) 838-3006; and at the box office (cash only) during the festival dates one hour before program times.