La Jolla Fashion Film Festival: A Learning and Networking Experience

“I Googled ‘fashion film festivals’ and found Berlin, this one [La Jolla Fashion Film Festival], and a few others. We didn’t get into this one, but I’m down to check out the competition and learn and try to see what I can put together this year to get in next year,” says LA based filmmaker, Jeff Kulig.

And there it is: the La Jolla Fashion Film Festival is more than a showcasing of fashion; it is a learning and networking experience for anyone interested in fashion and film. Fashion films are relatively new, any opportunity to learn and grow within the genre should be seized. Day two of LJFFF saw more opportunities for up and coming filmmakers, including a director’s panel where the audience connected with established filmmakers, and a presentation from Hollywood producer Adam Leipzig – a former Disney Executive known for buying the international rights to “March of the Penguins” at Sundance.

After the director’s panel, I had the opportunity to speak with the forward-thinking Kathryn Ferguson about the importance of fashion films and the festival’s place within La Jolla. Kathryn served as a juror for LJFFF and has worked with brands such as Selfridges and Cholë, and musicians such as Lady Gaga and Sinead O’Conner.

“It’s wonderful! The La Jolla Fashion Film Festival is definitely the main presence of fashion film on the west coast of America. New York’s got a few film festivals, but I don’t think any of them are as established as this.”

“It is most important for filmmakers to get to see their work, normally commissioned for the internet, to actually see it big scale and in HD on an amazing screen,” says Kathryn. “I think that’s hugely satisfying for any filmmaker to see their work as it’s meant to be shown.”

La Jolla Fashion Film Festival
Not only were filmmakers able to see their hard work put on the big screen – all entries that were screened at the festival were nominated for the International Fashion Film Awards. Award announcements were done ceremony style throughout Sunday night, woven in between more screenings of films.

Perhaps the most impressive film was Free People’s “Roshambo” featuring HBO Girls’ Christopher Abbott. The film swept the awards, taking Best Picture, Best Actress (Sheila Marquez), and Best Director (Guy Aroch and Jonathan Doe)!

“It was a super special project because it was very organic. Every single person who took part in it, contributed,” says Lauren Cohan, writer of “Roshambo” and Artistic Director for Free People.

Director Guy Aroch also felt a lot of love and teamwork were the driving forces behind the success of the film. Shy by nature, Guy humbly spoke of their wins: “At the end of the day I can be the name on here, but it’s about people like my agent, my co-directors, my DP, Lauren who wrote the whole story, and the ability to work with a lot of love and work with people who really care. It’s all about caring. It really is.”

This was model, Sheila Marquez’s, first experience in acting – and with this honor of Best Actress, it may not be her last! Watch the incredible chemistry between Sheila and Christopher in “Roshambo”, and you will see why love was the center theme of the film.

Complete list of winner can be found on LJFFF’s Facebook page.

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