By Rich Henrich

The second annual AMFM Fest presented by Film 4 Change, the City of Cathedral City and UltraStar Mary Pickford Theater makes its return to Cathedral City town square once again with art, music, film and more. This year’s festival will open Thursday Nov. 13th with a play starring screen legend Ed Asner and film director Mark Rydell (Cowboys, On Golden Pond) who will also present their short film Good Men. Opening night reception will be in the Mary Pickford Theater with an exhibit of art by Santa Fe artists Grant Kosh and Raymond Schwarz followed by an after party at Trilussa Ristorante.

Friday day will feature a shorts program in the afternoon followed by a screening of Cowboys with director Mark Rydell and a special screening of Evergreen Christmas, starring Robert Loggia (Scarface), Booboo Stewart (Twilight), Naomi Judd and Greer Grammer. The film, is produced by local resident, Kim Waltrip, of Kim and Jim Productions and celebrates the wonder of friends, family and community. Another local filmmaker, Brad Mercer will screen his short film Sushi Anyone? before the 50’s styled PG-13 horror film 1959 which features Eric Roberts. CV Weekly will present the rock doc Rye Coalition featuring Dave Grohl and Jesse Hughes.

David Macias, AMFM Fest Co-Director of Music, will present a fantastic line up of local talent including his band Machin’ along with Giselle Woo & The Night Owls, Gene Evaro Jr. & The Family and the Pedestrians. Saturday’s line up, created by co-director Brad Mercer will feature local acts Alyce Bowie, Bo & The Bluesdrivers, Chris Daniels Project and headliner Ry Bradley. Titled Kilt will bring their famous beer garden and food trucks will be onsite over the weekend for delicious flavor and culinary creativity to feed to the hungry festival crowd.

Saturday will feature a panel presented by Palm Springs Women in Film followed by the award-winning immigration documentary 120 Days with director Ted Roach in attendance. Actor Luke Edwards (The Wizard, Little Big League) will screen Little Treasures a film he produced. A powerful and emotional story May I Be Frank, will screen followed by a Q & A. Woody Harrelson says “…Frank and the boys demonstrate what community can look like if we take a stand for a purpose larger then ourselves.” And Jason Mraz says “This film is a triumph…where the hero defeats the villain within himself AND gets the girl in the end.” The evening of film heats up with Roxie a raucous film about two guys in their 60’s living life like they’re in their heyday again. Local producer and AMFM Fest, Director, Stephanie Bell, will screen her sci-fi film Inverse with Josh Wingate (World War Z, General Hospital,) in attendance. The highlight of the night, no pun intended will be another local filmmaker, Christian Sesma’s The Night Crew with Jason Mewes (Jay and Silent Bob), Bokeem Woodbine (Ray, Riddick), Luke Goss(Hell Boy 2, Death Race)and the one and only Danny Trejo. CV Weekly will also present the Quiet Riot doc Well Now You’re Here, There’s No Way Back.

Sunday starts with two educational panels on the arts followed by an intriguing documentary One Little Pill by Claudia Christian (Babylon 5) on how Finland treats alcoholism. In honor of the 60th Anniversary of the once banned drama Salt of the Earth, one of the most important films for the labor movement ever captured on celluloid, will screen at 2 pm with Bill Jarrico, the son of the late producer. Ending on a warm fuzzy family friendly note, the festival will close with a screening of Popovich, an intriguing and heart-warming story about a man who saves animals from shelters and trains them to be circus acts, will screen for all to enjoy. The Closing Night party will be at Schmidy’s Tavern starting at 9pm to celebrate the arts.

This year, AMFM Fest and CVEP have partnered to raise money for arts-based scholarships in the Coachella Valley. Currently, a match for $15,000 has been pledged. Please come out and support the event and help future artists in need of scholarships.

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