Friday, May 15, 2009

The Seventh Python strikes again! Film about Neil Innes delivers a crowd-pleasing, laugh-filled opening to the Pacific Palisades Film Festival

The Seventh Python, the nonfiction musical comedy picture about Monty Python cohort, Rutles mastermind and Bonzo Dog Neil Innes opened the Pacific Palisades Film Festival in Pacific Palisades, California last night, once again leaving audiences wiping their eyes, cheering and thanking producers for introducing them to the everyman musical genius philosopher and joker.

Director Burt Kearns and producer Brett Hudson with comedy acting star Stuart Pankin

This being Pacific Palisades, home to stars and movie industry heavyweights including Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg, Ben Affleck, Kate Hudson and Steve Guttenberg, the screening at the Pierson Playhouse just off Sunset Boulevard was not only filled to capacity ,but filled with celebrities; among them actors Stuart Pankin and Vernon Wells, Bloodline producer René Barnett, filmmaker Roger Nygard (whose latest documentary, The Nature of Existence, screens at the festival tonight), roller derby announcer Danny Wolf, Sam Peters, Hollywood private eye Danno Hanks and Seventh star John Altman, the film composer, conductor and "George Martin of The Rutles."

Bob Sharka introduces the Pacific Palisades Film Festival & The Seventh Python

Festival director Bob Sharka showed off his comedic skills as he introduced the film and later called out director Burt Kearns and producer Brett Hudson. Sharka, founder of the Palisades Friends of Film group which sponsors the festival, spoke later of plans to raise awareness and support to expand the Friends of Film program through the year.

Kearns & Hudson at the Friends of Film party

After the screening, the group headed off to a Friends of Film party at a private home, where Kearns and Hudson received huzzahs from likes of Robert Loggia, Seymour Cassel and Stacy Keach, who was honored with a lifetime achievement award.

The view from the projection booth-- Chris Carter of Breakfast with The Beatles interviews Neil Innes in a scene from The Seventh Python

Next stop for The Seventh Python: The Wilmette Theatre outside Chicago on June 9th, for a special comedy event that includes a screening and live performance by Neil Innes himself.

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