Wednesday, October 19, 2016


The 12th Annual LA Femme International Film Festival, that kicks off on October 20th in Beverly Hills, will have a healthy competition of films dealing with people in the Third Act of life, defying the odds and traditional expectations of the ever-growing senior population.

Ed "Doc" Ziegler works on his beehive in "The Bee Keeper"
Briana Gallo’s “The Bee Keeper” tells the story of Ed “Doc” Ziegler, a retired dentist living in a small town in New England. 35 years ago, he discovered apitherapy - the power of bees to heal - both physically and mentally. He now devotes his life to beekeeping and shares the curative powers of bee venom with his community. His neighbors and friends recount their own recovery stories and loving thoughts about this kind and humble man who, at the age of 97, is still tending to the needs of his ‘patients.’ (Oct. 21, 10:00 am)

Michael Arye Bender is Emilio in "The Window"
“The Window”, written and directed by Jill Pauletich-Ragan, is a valentine to the power of love that can be discovered no matter how old you are. The charming feature introduces us to Edith, a widow who watches the world from her dining room window every day all alone, until one morning she is surprised by Emilio, a dashing senior who finds unique ways to woo Edith and shake up her world.The film has had a successful festival run and competed in several prestigious film festivals including the Carmel International Film Festival, the Edmonton International Film Festival, Hollywood’s Dances With Films Festival and the Sacramento International Film Festival where it won he The Grand Jury Prize for “Best Short.” (Oct. 23, 10:00 am)

ATC pilot Iris Cummings Critchell
in "The Spirit of Iris"
On the documentary side, filmmaker Corrine Jayaweera’s “The Spirit of Iris” follows Iris Cummings Critchell, a trailblazing woman who swam in the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, and went on to be one of the earliest groups of women to ferry planes for the Air Transport Command in World War II. For the past 70 years, she has continued flying, teaching and inspiring young minds to be prepared for whatever life brings to them. At age 95 years young, Iris still swims daily, maintains a current pilot’s license and instructor rating, and has given many historical presentations about her adventures in aviation. (Oct. 20, 10:00 am)

Says Jayaweera, “Iris truly embodies the phrase ‘life favors the prepared mind’.  After hearing of her marvelous adventures and stories throughout the years, I felt her story needed to be shared.  It is a story of inspiration and preparation for life, yet, many people have never heard of her and that had to change!”

If you didn’t get your fill of old rockers at the recent Desert Trip aka “Old-Chella”, check out Cheryl Robson’s "Rock 'n' Roll Island", a colorful musical doc about England’s iconic blues and rock venue, The Eel Pie Island Hotel.

Rod Stewart (center) with bandmates Quiet Melon
are featured in "Rock 'n' Roll Island"
Produced and directed by Cheryl Robson and and Helen Walker, “Rock 'n' Roll Island” combines  archival footage and images, along with interviews with musicians Steve Hackett (Genesis), Mick Avory (Kinks), Top Topham (Yardbirds), Rod Stewart and vintage footage of The Rolling Stones, The Yardbirds, Long John Baldry, and The Pretty Things (Oct. 22, 2:00 pm)

All LA Femme screenings will be held at Laemmle’s Music Hall Theater, 9036 Wilshire Blvd. in Beverly Hills. For full schedule, tickets and more information please go to

-- Lisa Lyons