With Mammoth Film Festival 2023 less than days away, the festival continues to reveal incredible work being showcased in this year’s lineup, revealing their opening night premiere announcement and new exciting slate additions. This year is also a true buyers market, with previous festivals resulting in a variety of sales across all genres from features to episodic to documentaries. Mammoth Film Festival’s international status is also growing exponentially, with this year’s array of 80+ film projects representing 21 countries, founded by Tanner Beard and Tomik Mansoori. 

The Mammoth Film Festival is excited to announce its opening night film, Padre Pio, starring Shia LeBeouf, a film by Abel Ferrara, marking its North American festival premiere debut. The 1h44m drama follows Roman Catholic Saint Padre Pio in his early years. Co-stars include Asia Argento, Marco Leonardi, Christina Chiriac, and many more incredible Italian actors. The legendary director will be doing a post-film Q&A on Thursday, March 2nd to kick off the festival at Minaret Cinemas, in Mammoth Lakes, CA. The film was written by Maurizio Braucci and Abel Ferrara.

Shai LeBeouf in Padre Pio

Abel Ferrara, born in the Bronx, started making amateur films on Super 8 in his teens, before making his debut with violent exploitation films such as Driller Killer and Ms. 45. He developed a cult reputation following these projects, leading to larger budget studio films starring Christopher Walken, Harvey Keitel, Willem Dafoe, and many other iconic actors. Ferrara loves the grit of filmmaking, continuously shooting directly in the streets of Rome as Tommaso and Zeroes and Ones attest.”

The festival’s closing night film will officially be Dreamer, starring Diego Calva, Ari Lopez, Renata Vaca, Afredo Castro, Paulina Gaitan and Jason Patric, inspired by a true story from the Golden Globe-winning producers of Argentina 1985, and executive producer Yalitza Aparicio.

Another exciting announcement and world premiere to the features slate is the horror thriller Night Shift, starring Phoebe Tonkin, Lamorne Morris and Patrick Fischler, directed and written by Benjamin China and Paul China and produced by Maurice Fadida.

Phoebe Tonkin in Night Shift

Also newly added to the lineup is The Mental State, the Bryan Greenberg, Carly Pope, Alyssa Sutherland and Alison Thornton starring-feature drama, directed by James Camali. This will mark its 2023 festival debut, with the film having already built nice buzz.

Bryan Greenberg in The Mental State

The documentary, Citizen Athlete, leads with anticipation in the Actions Sports category, written by Ryan March, directed by Brandt Wille, and starring Olympians and pro athletes Elana Meyers, Hunter Church and Kaillie Humphries of the U.S. Olympic Women’s Bobsled Competition.

The documentary category is also highlighted by the world premiere of Michael Madsen’s American Badass: A Michael Madsen Retrospective, from director Dominique Milano, featuring Quentin Tarantino, John Travolta, Ron Perlman, Paul Sorvino, Mario Kassar, Angie Everhart, Donald Gladstein, William Baldwin, Chuck Zito, Mike Starr, Robert Forster, Daryl Hannah, Virginia Madsen, Charlie Sheen and many more.  

The festival will also showcase a sneak peak of Mammoth Media Institute’s first feature, the psycho thriller FLUXX, currently shooting, starring Shelley Henning and Shiloh Fernandez, written and directed by Brendan Murphy. This is a result of funding raised by The Institute to support independent filmmakers. Festival goers will be the first to see this project, which is still in production.

Short Films are stealing the show at this year’s festival. El Portafolio written and directed by Scottie Cameron, starring Albert Hammond Jr. (The Strokes), Alma Martinez and Juan Carlos Cantu;  The Last Bell with Mia Challis, Nancy Berggren, Amanda Melby, Akiko Morrison; Tree of Life with Markie Farnsley, Ashley Newbrough, Ryan Pinkston, Alex Oliver; Lucas Needs An Agent with Lucas Grabeel, Corbin Bleu, Katie Leclerc, Sherra Lasley, Sasha Clements; The Traveler with Herman Gambhir, Ana Marte;, and 10 Year with Dana Melanie, Michelle DeShon, Reina Hardesty, Brett Pierce; plus Better Daze starring Antje Utgaard and Kyle Stefanski, directed by Jon Carlo and produced by Kyle Stefanski and Antoine Robinson.

These films join the already announced stellar opening slate with highly anticipated films such as the crime drama The Engineer, based on a factual Israeli story directed by Danny A. Abeckaser, starring Abeckaser and Emile Hirsch, alongside Robert Davi, Omer Hazan, Angel Bonanni, and Kyle Stefanski; Joel David Moore’s Some Other Woman which he directed starring Amanda Crew, Ashley Greene and Tom Felton; the Peter Facinelli starring and directed film On Fire; Rise from Maritte Lee Go and producer Maurice Fadida starring Jimmy Akingbola, Joy Sunday, Peter Mensah, Sasha Morfaw, Sufe Bradshaw and Chike Okonkwo; with MammothFF’s First Time Filmmaker Spotlight is set to highlight actors turned directors Luke Roberts and Justin Matthews who will premiere The Duel, starring Dylan Sprouse, Hart Denton and Patrick Warburton.

This year, Mammoth Film Festival is being presented by Wild7Films, a Los Angeles based film and television production company driven to make elevated content with streamlined budgets, for a focused production model. They take on a wide array of stories through a collective of hand-picked Hollywood talent. Founded by Kyle Stefanski, Mike Hermosa, Ryan Moore and Gustavo Nascimento. Wild7 provides content creation services from concept to execution, encompassing financing, production, post-production and delivery to distribution. Key highlights include involvement in the feature films I Love Us from director Danny A. Abeckaser and starring Abeckaser, Katie Cassidy, Harlow Jane, Jasper Polish, Robert Davi, and the upcoming The Gemini Lounge from Abeckaser, starring Emile Hirsch alongside Abeckaser, Lucy Hale, Ashley Greene, Jake Cannavalle, and Robert Davi. They also are behind the award-winning Manny Paquiao documentary.

Sierra Nevada Resort will also serve as a 2023 Mammoth Film Festival partner, debuting a completely redone property. Occupying a historic 1967 building that was once a preferred getaway for Hollywood elite, the newly reimagined Sierra Nevada Resort will welcome festival guests to a western classic reborn as a modern mountain retreat in the heart of Mammoth Lakes, California. A gallery wall pays homage to the original resort’s early Hollywood patronage with black-and-white photographs of former guests including John Wayne, Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra. Opened in 1967 by legendary real estate developer and former Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss, Sierra Nevada Resort has been a beloved fixture on Old Mammoth Road and a go-to for travelers spending time in the mountain town, overnighting en route to Yosemite National Park or beyond in the Sierra Nevada. A favorite getaway among Hollywood stars, the original resort hosted big names back in the day, too, like the Rat Pack and Jerry Lewis, among others. A baby grand piano once owned by Clark Gable, which sat in the lobby for years and was featured in the 1944 movie To Have and Have Not, is still there, along with the original hand-carved wooden bar

The festival could not happen without its sponsors and supporters, with the 2023 partners inclusive of Wild7Films, Sierra Nevada Resort, Saldo Wines, El Cristiano Ultra Premium Tequila, Advanced Air, Peak IV Hydration & Therapy, Reign Energy, Honey Drop beverages, TAVI Apparel, The Westin Monache Resort, RAK The Planet, E-Tech Rentals, White Claw and PATH Water, as well as global photo agency and photo marketplace, Shutterstock and VisitMammoth.com.

Mammoth Media Institute’s Celebrity Charity Bowling Tournament 2023 also makes its long-awaited return with an already star studded roster of teams. In the past, this charity event which benefits the 501(c)3 Mammoth Media Institute has hosted everyone from Tony Hawk, Dennis Rodman, Rebel Wilson, Tom Welling, Nina Dobrev and Josh Duhamel in these knock down, drag out, epic bowling matches. We encourage festival attendees and local cinephiles to come witness exciting celebrity names that will light up the lanes this year on Sunday, March 5th at Mammoth Bowl. This will be the headlining event on March 5th, following the festival’s final night feature premiere screenings, with the final shorts block and awards luncheon to take place March 6th. All award nominees will be announced during the festival and winners of the competition will be announced at the inaugural Awards Luncheon, presented by Saldo.

For more information, the full 2023 lineup and continued festival updates please visit: mammothfilmfestival.org and download the fest’s IOS App to follow along for scheduling updates and real time festival news. 

@MammothFilmFestival #MammothFF

Photos: Courtesy of Mammoth Film Festival.