Hollywood Film Fest unveils socially conscious CineCause lineup

Hollywood Film Fest unveils socially conscious CineCause lineup
Justin Arana's documentary, "My Name Is Water," will have its world premiere at the Hollywood Film Festival. (Justin Arana)

The rebooted Hollywood Film Festival, which gained a new owner and a socially conscious viewpoint earlier this year, has announced the selections for its first round of programming, the CineCause Spotlight.

The lineup includes Justin Arana's documentary "My Name Is Water," about a disillusioned college student confronting the global issue of a lack of access to fresh water; "Boy Meets Girl," Eric Schaeffer's romantic comedy exploring sexual orientation and gender identity; and "A World Not Ours," Mahdi Fleifel's portrait of three generations of exiles in a Palestinian refugee camp in south Lebanon.


The CineCause Spotlight serves as an extension of Jon Fitzgerald's philanthropic platform CineCause, which connects audiences with the causes behind social-issue films. Fitzgerald, 47, is a festival veteran who came aboard the HFF as executive director in 2013 and acquired the festival outright in March.

"The word 'Hollywood' is synonymous with celebrity and glamour," Fitzgerald said in a statement Wednesday. "But Hollywood is filled with people who care about global problems and who recognize the power of celebrity, cinema and storytelling and how this power can help create change."

Numerous films screening at HFF feature celebrity involvement. Sharon Stone produced "My Name Is Water"; Emma Thompson executive-produced "Sold," which stars Gillian Anderson and David Arquette; and Liam Neeson narrates "Love Thy Nature."

The Hollywood Film Festival is set to run Oct. 16-19. For more information, go to

The full CineCause Spotlight lineup:

• "Alive Inside," directed by Michael Rossato-Bennett

• "Becoming Bulletproof," directed by Michael Barnett

• "Boy Meets Girl," directed by Eric Schaeffer

• "#ChicagoGirl," directed by Joe Piscatella

• "Four Letters Apart," directed by Erlend E. Mo

• "Love Thy Nature," directed by Sylvie Rokab

• "Mala Mala," directed by Antonio Santini and Dan Sickles

• "My Name Is Water," directed by Justin Arana

• "Noble," directed by Stephen Bradley


• "Sequoia," directed by Andy Landen

• "Sins of Our Youth," directed by Gary Entin

• "SlingShot," directed by Paul Lazarus

• "Sold," directed by Jeffrey D. Brown

• "The Starfish Throwers," directed by Jesse Roesler

• "Una Vida," directed by Richie Adams

• "A World Not Ours," directed by Mahdi Fleifel

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