The stars of Idyllwild Film Festival sit down to chat

Photos by Kyle Selby / The Valley Chronicle
Top left to right: Festival director Stephen Savage, executive producer Trinity Houston and celebrity chairman Wolfgang Bodison. Bottom: Actresses and co-hosts Erika Christensen and Violet Spataro with Captain Leonard Purvis of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.

■ By Kyle Selby / Reporter

The 2018 Idyllwild International Festival of Cinema concluded with its awards ceremony Sunday, March 11.
However, in the days preceding the event, I sat down with several of the filmmakers and actors to discuss their impressions of Idyllwild and their processes behind the camera. Check it out.
Actress Erika Christensen (“Traffic,” “Parenthood,” “Ten Days in the Valley”) was invited to the festival to co-host the awards show. She told me she was having a great time.
Erika: What I love about film festivals a lot of the time is just that you’re meeting people that love film,which is cool.It’s also a cool part of working in the industry because you don’t really fall into it. Most of the people that are there have really pursued it, and are excited to be there, and are grateful to be there, and love film.
I also met with filmmaker/festival director Stephen Savage and Trinity Houston, festival executive producer, who managed to set some time aside from their busy schedules to talk about the trade.
TVC: What would you encourage for aspiring filmmakers just getting started?
Stephen: Go make a movie. The best “film school” is being on set, making a movie. Screwing up A LOT is what makes you a filmmaker. That’s how you learn, and you pick up the lingo along the way.
Trinity: The best way to learn it is to just start doing it.
Violet Spataro, Savage’s seven-year-old niece you might recognize from the Ellen Show, was in town promoting her Live Love Foundation, as a bilateral retinoblastoma survivor.
TVC: What do you love about your foundation?
Violet: I just love giving toys to kids, I mean, it makes them happy. I just love it.
(Visit for more information).
Finally, the following writers/directors spoke during a seminar about their respective films and how they brought them to life from the ground up.
Jeff Fry (“Krieg”): The first thing I did was throw the idea of money out the window. Everyone is so concentrated what the budget is, and in. Truth, I approached this film with the idea that if your heart is in the project, the money will follow.
Zack Brown (“Hard Surfaces”): The first thing, is that I told myself that I was always going to be the least experienced person around. I hired the best people that I could to surround me. Never accept no for an answer.
Derek Talib (“Dark Iris”): What you have to do is find people that will believe in you and the vision you’re putting out there. If you don’t believe in it, nobody else is going to. If you don’t care, they’re not going to care.

For more information about the Idyllwild International Festival of Cinema, visit

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *