The Legendary Beverly Hills Film Festival® Is Back and Better Than Ever

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Photo Credit: Hideki Minoru / Caption: 2019 BHFF Legends Award Recipient and iconic producer Mike Medavoy with BHFF Jury member Kelly LeBrock and director Peter Medak (“The Ghost of Peter Sellers”), who went home with both the Golden Palm Award (best film in all categories) and the Special Jury Award for Best Documentary.

The history of film festivals can be traced back to the early 20th century when the Venice Film Festival was founded in 1932. Since then, film festivals have become a global phenomenon, providing a platform for enthusiasts and filmmakers to showcase their work, and bring attention to new and innovative films.

The International Beverly Hills Film Festival®, founded in 2001, is one of the most notable festivals in the heart of the entertainment industry, attracting tens of thousands of attendees each year.

The city of Beverly Hills has a long and storied history in the film industry, having been home to many movie studios and celebrities over the years.

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The 23rd Annual International Beverly Hills Film Festival (BHFF) is proud to announce that it’s back as a live in-person event, and it’s bigger and better than ever.

BHFF founder and president Nino Simone says, “We are thrilled to get back to the original format and create an immersive experience that fully embodies the spirit of the festival.”

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Caption: Nino Simone is the founder and president of the Beverly Hills Film Festival. (Photo Courtesy of The International Beverly Hills Film Festival®)

After a couple of years of virtual editions, due to the pandemic, the producers are  ready to roll out the red carpet and welcome movie lovers from around the world.

The star-studded event is set to take place from April 19th to 23rd, 2023, with a fantastic lineup of 150 competition films. With 15 opening night premieres and an impressive list of World, International,  North American, West Coast and Los Angeles premieres, the festival is guaranteed to be a feast for the eyes and the soul.

The event is renowned as a hub where movie buffs and industry insiders alike come together to celebrate the art of cinema.

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Kicking off with the Opening Night Red Carpet Gala event at the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres, the festival will showcase the world premiere of “Mercy,” directed by Tony Dean Smith and starring Leah Gibson, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, and Jon Voight. This action-packed thriller, set for release on May 19th from Paramount Global Content Distribution, is sure to keep audiences on the edge of their seats.

Festival president Nino Simone is thrilled to return to an in-person format, stating, “We can’t wait to gather in-person once again. We are thrilled to get back to the original format and create an immersive experience that fully embodies the spirit of the festival. We look forward to reconnecting the festival-goers and filmmakers in the heart of the entertainment industry to celebrate the art of film together.”

For five days, attendees will be treated to a whirlwind of red carpet premieres, networking events, panel discussions, and after-parties. The annual Closing Awards Ceremony and Gala—set to be held at the landmark Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel—will provide a fitting conclusion to this spectacular event.

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The Opening Night films boast an eclectic mix of features, documentaries, and shorts, ensuring that there’s something for everyone. Titles such as “Death on the Border,” “Blowin’ Smoke,” “Dorothy Arzner: Pioneer, Queer, Feminist” and “Alex Lewis Mountain” promise to captivate audiences with their compelling stories and strong performances.

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The festival will also host the world premiere of the short documentary “Good Boy,” directed by Russell Chadwick and produced by Edward Zwick. This heartwarming film features interviews with Sean Penn, Robert Duvall, and Brad Pitt, offering an intimate look into the life of Doug Seus and his bond with “Bart the Bear,” one of the wildest animals in the world.

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“Swipe NYC,” directed by Sue Zarco Kramer, is a dramedy short set in Brooklyn that delves into the world of middle-aged online dating. The film stars Lisa Edelstein, Richard Schiff, and Bridget Moynahan, among others, and serves as a metaphor for self-discovery and empowerment.

Other notable premieres include “Quarter to Three,” directed by Isa Totah, which is inspired by legendary performer Ben Vereen’s life, and “Daedalus,” directed by Katerina Munis, which tells the story of a young refugee’s desperate attempt to escape a detainment camp.

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Awards at the BHFF include the Golden Palm Award (best film in all categories), Best Feature, Best Documentary, Best Short Film, Best Director of Photography, Best Editor, and the Golden Palm Screenplay Competition Award. Audience Choice Awards span across categories such as Best Director, Best Male Performance, Best Female Performance, Best Producer, Best Screenplay, and Best Animation.

Founded in 2001 by filmmaker, producer and philanthropist Nino Simone, the BHFF aims to bridge the gap between premiere independent cinema and Hollywood, providing a platform for non-studio films to reach the entertainment industry. Tickets for the event range from $20.00 per screening to $550.00 for a Platinum Pass, ensuring that there’s an option for every budget.

Mark your calendars for April 19th through 23rd, because BHFF is live and in-person once again.

For the full schedule and to purchase tickets, visit

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