By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood October 7, 2013 at 7:35AM
The first annual La Costa Film Festival, set at the lush Omni La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad, California, gets underway on October 24 with an Opening Night Gala under the stars followed by three days of international narrative and documentary features and shorts as well as a sports-themed competition. The selection from festival founders, Mike and Ruby Callihan and Festival Producer and Head Programmer Nancy Collet will screen at La Costa's Cinepolis Theaters and the Ruby G. Schulman Theater at the Carlsbad Dove Library.
The juried sports competition includes the fest opener, the golfing documentary "The Short Game," executive produced by Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel, which follows eight of the best seven-year-old golfers in the world as they train for and compete in the World Championships of Junior Golf. The film won audience awards at the SXSW and Maui Film Festivals. Also in the competition is Lucy Walker's fest hit "The Crash Reel," about snowboarder Kevin Pearce and the 2010 traumatic brain injury that prevented him from competing in the Olympics; "Maidentrip," which follows Laura Dekker, the youngest person to ever sail around the world alone; "McConkey," which focuses on Shane McConkey, the pioneer of free-skiing and ski-base jumping; and "North of the Sun," about two young surfers who seek to catch the perfect wave in a remote, arctic island in Northern Norway.
Shorts in competition include: "Slomo," "The Red Pill," "Crooked Lines," and "Magnesium." The jury will be announced in the coming weeks.
The Fest will close with another open air gala for "At Middleton," starring Andy Garcia, Vera Farmiga, and Taissa Farmiga in the story of two wildly different parents who meet while taking their kids on a college tour.
La Costa will also screen such narrative classics as 1989's "Field of Dreams" outdoors, and has booked some fest circuit hits: true breast cancer saga "Decoding Annie Parker," starring Helen Hunt and Samantha Morton, winner of the Best Actress award at the recent Seattle International Film Festival; "Stand Clear of the Closing Doors," winner of a Special Jury Prize at the Tribeca Film Festival; French dramedy "Just a Sigh," which premiered at Tribeca; and Belgian bluegrass drama "Broken Circle Breakdown," which won the Panorama Audience Award at the Berlin Film Festival, as well as Best Actress and Best Screenplay awards at Tribeca.
The Documentary Showcase includes an intimate portrait of Alzheimer’s, "The Genius of Marian," which premiered at Tribeca; "Walking the Camino," about walking the ancient 500-mile pilgrimage across Northern Spain known as “The Camino de Santiago"; and winner of the Grand Jury Prize at SXSW, "William and the Windmill," which follows a young Malawian who rescued his family from famine by building a power-generating windmill from scrap parts.
Two films will screen as part of the festival’s Surf Spotlight: "Isolated" and "H2indo." The festival’s family film will be "Khumba," an animated comedy from South Africa, which recently premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, featuring the voices of Steve Buscemi and Laurence Fishburne.