Actor Lou Diamond Philips and director Laurence Foldes cut the ribbon Friday morning to officially start the festival.
Foldes said, "Here in Grand Junction using the historic Avalon Theater as our base we have an incredible movie palace that goes back to the early days of cinema." City councilwoman Linda Todd praised the festival saying it will help expand local film opportunities. "How exciting for grand junction and how exciting for us from the council that we can partner with the Cinema at the Avalon in helping the cultural and economic development of the arts as part of our community."
Lou Diamond Philips returned from the Toronto Film Fest to help kick off the Independence Film Fest. Many of his films will be featured throughout the event.
Philips says, "I've been really fortunate to had made a number of films that are very different and yet have all found different, you know, success, you can't compare La Bamba to say Young Guns...but to see some of them still around and to be pleasing people after so many years is nice."