The Anaheim International Film Festival announced that Academy Award-winner Mira Sorvino will be the recipient of its first Anaheim Film Honors Spotlight Award at the Anaheim International Film Festival’s Awards Night Celebration on Saturday, October 16. The announcement was made during the film festival’s Opening Night Gala at Anaheim GardenWalk Wednesday evening.

Actors Robbie Coltrane and Tony Plana and screenwriter David S. Ward were also announced to present the Anaheim Film Honors awards to director Jonathan Lynn, Hector Elizondo and Larry and Kristina Dodge. Anaheim philanthropist Bruno Serato will also be honored. Michael Corbett, a correspondent for the nationally syndicated newsmagazine Extra and host of the show’s signature Mansions and Millionaires franchise will host.

Mira Sorvino will be receiving the inaugural AIFF Spotlight Award, designed to honor a film artist’s performance or work in a single film that exhibits both an exceptional achievement onscreen, as well as a singular dedication to the project or film community as whole. Sorvino is being recognized for her performance and work on Jon Gunn’s LIKE DANDELION DUST, based on Karen Kingsbury’s popular novel.

A Special Screening of LIKE DANDELION DUST has been added to the AIFF schedule. The film will screen at UltraStar Cinemas at Anaheim GardenWalk on Saturday, October 15 at 4:00PM.

Known for a rare ability to shine equally in both comedy and drama, Sorvino has amassed an enviable list of notable films since her performances in Whit Stillman’s BARCELONA and Robert Redford’s QUIZ SHOW in 1995. One year later, Sorvino won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Woody Allen’s MIGHTY APHRODITE. Ted Demme’s ensemble classic BEAUTIFUL GIRLS (1996), her Emmy nominated portrayal of Marilyn Monroe in HBO’s “Norma Jean Marilyn” (1996), David Mirkin’s hit comedy ROMY AND MICHELE’S HIGH SCHOOL REUNION (1997) and Guillermo del Toro’s critically acclaimed genre film MIMIC (1997), pointed to Sorvino’s versatility. Other notable films include Spike Lee’s SUMMER OF SAM (1999), Tim Blake Nelson’s THE GREY ZONE (2001) and the Lifetime Film “Human Trafficking” (2005) which earned Sorvino a Golden Globe nomination. In addition to LIKE DANDELION DUST, recent films have included last year’s LENINGRAD, as well as this year’s release of MULTIPLE SARCASMS and THE PRESENCE.

“Mira Sorvino is an award-winning actress that has not simply built a career on an ability to move effortlessly from comedy to drama, studio films to indies, and everything in between, but she has also demonstrated a peerless integrity in her approach and support of her projects which has reached a pinnacle with LIKE DANDELION DUST,” said AIFF Executive Director Jo Moulton. “It’s more than admirable and makes her the perfect choice for our first Spotlight Award honoree.”

Lawrence and Kristina Dodge will be presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award for extraordinary cultural, philanthropic and humanitarian contributions to the arts and film education. The Dodges have made a major impact locally with their donation to Chapman University’s film school, which was renamed the Dodge College of Film and Media Arts in their honor. Lawrence Dodge is the founding chairman, CEO, director and majority stockholder of American Sterling Corporation and its subsidiaries. Kristina Dodge is Co-founder of American Sterling Productions, Ltd. a motion picture production company and the producer of Charles Burnett’s THE ANNIHILATION OF FISH (1999), a critically acclaimed drama starring Lynn Redgrave, James Earl Jones and Margot Kidder.

Anaheim philanthropist Bruno Serato will receive the AIFF Humanitarian Award for extraordinary contributions to the Anaheim/Orange County community. As owner of the acclaimed Anaheim White House, a landmark restaurant built in 1909 and considered the epitome of premier dining in Anaheim, Serato has hosted a number of prominent musicians, actors, politicians and athletes, including Madonna, Brad Pitt, Gwen Stefani, and baseball greats Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds and Derek Jeter. For over five years now, Serato has fed underprivileged children gourmet pasta every night, without fail. His culinary staff prepares about 100 pasta dinners nightly and delivers them to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Anaheim. Serato has recently been featured in People Magazine and CBS Evening News with Katie Couric for his efforts.

The AIFF Awards Night Celebration will take place Saturday, October 16 with an exclusive red carpet experience at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel Spa. Presented by Disneyland Resort, the awards gala will honor film industry icons with Lifetime and Career Achievement Awards for outstanding work and contributions to motion pictures. The dinner and awards presentation will be capped off with a VIP showing of “World of Color,” the new nighttime water spectacular at Disney California Adventure Park weaving water, color, fire and light into a kaleidoscope of fantasy and imagination.

Additional filmmaker panels to take place on Saturday, were announced, including:

Saturday, October 16

Kerry Barden has been casting for 18 years. He has cast over 200 films, television shows and plays and has offices in both New York and Los Angeles. Some of his film credits include BOYS DON’T CRY, GOOD WILL HUNTING, SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE, AMERICAN PSYCHO, I SHOT ANDY WARHOL, THE CIDER HOUSE RULES, UNFAITHFUL, MONSTER’S BALL, PINEAPPLE EXPRESS, THE VISITOR, WINTER’S BONE and the upcoming CONVICTION, WHAT’S WRONG WITH VIRGINIA, EVERY DAY, and WIN WIN. He is currently casting THE HELP with director Tate Taylor, MACHINE GUN PREACHER with Marc Forster, CONAN with Marcus Nispel and THE FIELDS with Ami Mann. He was nominated for Emmy Awards for SEX AND THE CITY and THE BRONX IS BURNING. He has also produced four films including the award- winning CONVERSATIONS WITH OTHER WOMEN starring Helena Bonham Carter and, Aaron Eckhart.

Moderator: Devin Scott

Saturday, October 16

This panel will provide an in-depth look at managing the three-ring circus of film production. Get the nitty-gritty realities of filmmaking from directors and producers in the industry. The discussion will survey the entire filmmaking process, from the idea to development of the idea, to writing the script, to finding the funds to make the script a reality, the casting process, gathering the crew, the actual shoot, the post-production process and the ever daunting task of marketing and selling the finished product. In short…learn from professionals how to make the most of what you have with very limited resources.

Moderator: John Wildman
Alejandro Adams (CANARY)
Jonathan Lynn (WILD TARGET)

The inaugural Anaheim International Film Festival runs Oct. 13-17, 2010 at UltraStar Cinemas at the Anaheim GardenWalk. Tickets are now on sale. To purchase, please visit or

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