We had the good fortune of connecting with Kelley & Nicole Fries and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kelley & Nicole, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
We started the Calabasas Film Festival to prove the importance of being a woman leader in today’s competitive world. Nearly 60% of films screened at CFF are produced or directed by women.
CFF provide actors, directors, producers, writers and students a platform to share and celebrate their unique stories. Movies today reveal our society in ways that allow for exploration of our divisions as well as joyful discovery of our commonalities.
Over the past seven years, with the support of the City, the community and all of their generous sponsors, we are showing that CFF is a signature event for the entire region and have seen explosive growth year over year.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
The Calabasas Film Festival is a non-profit organization established to support the awareness and exposure of the cinematic arts in our city and surrounding communities. Each year we continue to push the limits of excellence for all who attend, by showcasing a mix of award-winning features, documentaries, and shorts. In addition to our screenings, we specialize in bringing together the artists and the community to talk about the films, which we have found are best enjoyed along with exquisite wines and cuisine.
CFF is also dedicated to honoring the future of our industry by empowering young filmmakers with a platform for outreach through student screenings and events. We gift the winners over $30,000 in prizes, including film editing, equipment rentals, animation software, various educational products, scholarships and youth film camp training.
We are proud to be founded and run by women. Not every day do you get to work alongside your best friend and sister and enjoy every moment.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Whether you’re staying a day or the week of the Calabasas Film Festival, here are some of our favorite things to do.
First, check into The Anza Hotel, located right in the center of town. The rooms are extra large and the staff is wonderful. Once you have settled in make the short walk over to The Commons and join us for Opening Night cocktails & appetizers at Le Pain Quotidien. Mix and mingle with filmmakers, talent and Calabasas residents and talk all things film.
Its time for the opening night movie! Quickly head over to the Edwards Grand Palace and don’t forget to walk the red carpet where paparazzi will be screaming your name and taking pictures. Get your popcorn and drinks and enjoy the movie.
Once the movie is over, the night continues at the after party located at Pedalers Fork restaurant right in downtown Calabasas.
Get a good nights sleep because there’s more networking cocktail parties, films and after parties at various other Calabasas hot spots for the rest of the week!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Shoutout to all of our amazing sponsors and volunteers over the years! The festival wouldn’t be possible without them. Special shoutout to our Lead Sponsors AmaWaterways and The City of Calabasas!