Silicon Beach Film Fest returns with 160 creative indie flicks

Ed Moy’s “Middleton Madness” follows a housewife obsessed with the Duchess of Cambridge

Venice Beach resident Mable Stark rose to fame and fortune in the 1920s through an unlikely career: she was the first-ever female tiger trainer. While Stark survived several near-deadly maulings, her story has almost vanished from history. Now, however, a new documentary called “Mabel, Mabel, Tiger Trainer” from director Leslie Zemeckis tells the story of Stark’s audacious life and will have its Los Angeles premiere at the third annual Silicon Beach Film Festival.

Screening over 160 short and feature-length films over six days at the Cinemark 18 and XD theaters at HHLA (formerly the Howard Hughes Center), the Silicon Beach Film Festival is focused on bringing the tech community together to celebrate independent film.

“Our mantra,” says festival co-director Peter Greene, “is to show independent film in the way that we believe people should see films. There’s nothing like watching a film in a dark room in a nice theater with excellent projection and fantastic sound in a communal atmosphere. And that’s what this festival is about.”

Another festival highlight is director Colin McIvor’s feature film “Zoo,” about a group of misfit teenagers who rally to save a baby elephant at an Irish zoo during the German air raids in 1941.

A sure to be crowd-pleasing short documentary called “Middleton Madness,” directed by local filmmaker Ed Moy, screens at noon on Tuesday. It’s about an American housewife, Julie Chan Lin, whose obsession with Kate Middleton leads her to follow her own dreams in a very surprising way.

Rush Street in Culver City will host the festival’s opening night party and feature a panel of industry experts discussing filmmaking hacks for working with small budgets. The closing night awards party and reception will be held at the Custom Hotel in Westchester.

— Shanee Edwards

Films screen between 11 a.m. and midnight from April 24 to 29. Visit for a complete schedule.