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Topanga Film Festival Returns for its 18th EditionOctober 19-22, 2023

Topanga Film Festival Returns for its 18th EditionOctober 19-22, 2023 

Attendees pose with State Senator Ben Allen after listening to his rousing talk about the importance of the arts in education and in bringing communities together. From left to right: Davis Han, Lauren Pizer Mains, Senator Ben Allen, Miranda Robin, Urs Baur and another happy, but as yet unidentified fundraiser attendee. Photo by Paula Stein

UNREEL. Keeping it Real in an Unreal World

Topanga is set once again to welcome luminaries, creators and film aficionados to the canyon as the 18th edition of the Topanga Film Festival transforms our town and takes center stage October 19th to the 22nd. Reflecting on its humble inception, it’s remarkable to remember that this world-class festival began in a quaint backyard in Topanga nearly two decades ago. A testament to the dedication, love, and unyielding efforts of its all-volunteer team of organizers and our supportive Topanga community, TFF has evolved, yet remains firmly rooted in its origins. With this year’s theme—UNREEL. Keeping it Real in an Unreal World, the festival will be inviting filmmakers, storytellers, activists, industry professionals, and technologists to gather, examine and discuss the state of the world through the lens of cinema. 

In times of dissonance, division and deception we often look to artists and storytellers to help us navigate and make sense of conflicting narratives, social inequities, and shifting truths. Through an exciting curation of  films, discussions, and workshops, TFF intends to explore the ever increasingly blurred line between fiction and reality, and the role of the filmmaker in a world of both deep uncertainty and limitless possibilities brought on by technology and evolving consciousness. 

The audience gathered around at the call from Emcee Adam Noble as he introduced Desaii “Chumash” Romero (Santa Ynez Chumash) for music and prayer, acknowleding the land of Tongva ancestors—Topanga—where the Festival will be held. Photo by Paula Stein

Coming off the heels of a successful fundraising event this past Saturday in the canyon, that included several live music acts, regenerative foods and elixirs, a guided group meditation facilitated through cutting-edge technology, and an inspiring address by our state senator Ben Allen on the importance of the arts for both the canyon and the world beyond, attendees were left with a sense of excitement and heightened anticipation for the main event to come in October. 

The great turnout to the fundraiser party not only reminded Topangans what it takes to put on an important art-focused community happening but has energized the spirit that the festival stands for—a shared passion for a better world through the transformative power of story.

For those who’ve been part of this voyage since its inception and for those just embarking—TFF invites you to the 18th edition of the Topanga Film Festival. Even with its successful kickoff, the fundraising and preparations for this iconic event that “keeps Topanga Topanga” has just begun. ~Urs Baur

There are many ways one can be involved, donate  and contribute. Please join us! 

Tickets & volunteer: 

Tax-deductible donations:

Enter your films (deadline September 1st): 

IG: @official_topangafilmfestival

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