I went to an event I look forward to every year last night, the Shriekfest Film Festival Opening Night Party. My friend, the lovely and oh so talented actress Denise Gossett created the festival.
She started the festival in early 2001 when starred in the horror film “Chain Of Souls” and was searching for ways to get the word out. She soon discovered there really weren’t any film festivals focusing on horror and wisely came up with the idea to start a horror film festival.
“I told my sister-in-law Kimberlee my “silly” idea. She loved it! And even though we had no idea what we were doing, we immediately got to work, said Denise.
“I always say naivete will take you far and we are proof. We thought doing this festival would be fun and perhaps we’d be able to make some money to put towards making our own films. Little did we know how popular this “little” festival would become! After a few years Kimberlee ended up moving back to her home town in Michigan to raise her son. Her brother, my husband, Todd Beeson stepped in and 3 years ago I finally “let” him retire,” she added.
They are currently in their 15th year and submissions have gone through the roof and entries now come from every country!
“I just want to say how truly grateful I am for all of the supportive filmmakers, screenwriters, and fans. Thank you for keeping us around,” she said.
Denise moved to Los Angeles from Orlando, FL. Denise has been in the entertainment business for more than 20 years primarily as an actress. She can be seen in the latest Tom Hiddleston movie “I Saw the Light”, with Morris Chestnut in “When the Bough Breaks” in the Mel Gibson movie “Get the Gringo”, “The Last Ride” with Dennis Hopper and on such tv shows as “The Office”, “The New Adventures of Old Christine”, “Samantha Who?”, “Veronica Mars”, “Fashion House”, “Believers Among Us”, “Superboy”, “Guilty Or Innocent”, “The Life of Tonya Harding”, “What Should You Do?”, a recurring role on “Zoey 101”, “Drake & Josh”, “Born on a Bad Day”, and many more! Denise has also had lead roles in many feature films. She can also be seen in the SciFi film “Decaying Orbit” and the horror films “La Llorona”, “Carnies”, “The Mutilation Man”, “Fright Club”, and in the upcoming “The Cellar Door 2: Preymate.”
On June 18, 2015, grant and award-winning journalist, talented actress and voiceover artist, Vida Ghaffari, received a special honor for her career achievements by the West Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce at Delphi Greek Restaurant.
Roozbeh Farahanipour, the Chamber’s President and the owner/operator of popular Delphi Greek restaurant, which is located at 1383 Westwood Boulevard, bestowed this honor upon HPC’s own Vida, who is quite the roving reporter and working actress and voiceover artist extraordinaire! This multi-talented artist received a Certificate of Appreciation on behalf of the City of Los Angeles for all her hard work and dedication to the city, which was signed by 5th District Councilmember Paul Koretz. In addition to the Chamber holding this event in her honor, she also received an honorary membership to the Chamber. “I was truly honored by Roozbeh and the Chamber to receive this incredible commendation, especially as it’s one of the largest and oldest Chambers in Southern California. There is a real sense of community here and the Chamber does such a great job in fostering that community. I’ve covered their events for a while and it’s a great thing to see as a journalist in such a vast metropolis like Los Angeles,” said Vida.
“When it comes time to honor one of their own, the West Los Angeles City Of Commerce picked the perfect choice. Hollywood stars, as well as, many of LA’s top creative and business icons came out to support and celebrate the amazing, Vida Ghaffari. The Delphi Greek Restaurant in Westwood was literally “standing room only” with those of us who were there to show our love and appreciation for Vida…actress, writer, journalist, and someone who is very community-minded,” said acclaimed actress Suze Lanier-Bramlett.
In addition to distinguished Chamber members and government officials, numerous acclaimed celebrities friends of Vida’s appeared to support her event such as legendary Oscar winner Margaret O’Brien (Meet Me in St.. Louis, Little Women), President of the Southern California Motion Picture Council and actor Randal Malone (Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Dahmer vs. Gacy),legendary character actor James Hong (Kung Fu Panda 3, Mulan), Kate Linder (The Young and The Restless), Reatha Grey (Off Their Rockers, legendary Iranian actress Apick Youssefian (The Keeper: The Legend of Omar Khayyam, Cry of the Village), lifetime member of the Actors Studio Ford Austin (Pearl Harbor, Another World ), Suze Lanier-Bramlett (The Hills Have Eyes, Area 51), Anthony Azizi (Septembers of Shiraz, American Odyssey), and Film Composer David Raiklen (Mia, A Dancer’s Journey, Space Command Redemption). Because of Vida’s long standing relationship with the fashion community, designers such as Shekhar Rahate, Julia Clancey, Rita Mezrahi of Claires Collections, and up-and-coming designer Yuki Yim attended to show their support. This star-studded event also had a regal air with royalty such as HH Prince Maximillian Ferdinand Von Anhalt of Germany, HH Prince Mario-Max Schaumburg Lippe, Nachod of Germany, and HRH Qajar Persian Princess Mandana FarmanFarmaian in attendance. Other VIPs that atteneded were city officials, along with well regarded international, national and local media.
In addition to being a very successful and prolific journalist, Vida is best known for her appearances on the television comedies, Mind of Mencia and The Mindy Project. She will soon be seen in the films Pond Scum, Natural Born Filmmakers, Seeking Valentina and Strangers in a Book, which will screen at popular film festivals such as the FANtastic Film Festival and the Action on Film Festival. She is also about to host an exclusive launch event for her own blog about entertainment and fashion, www.soveryvida.com.