TOPANGA CANYON—On Saturday, March 5, at Topanga’s 62nd Awards Celebration, Urs Baur along with his wife and co-founder Sara Baur Harding announced that they would be developing the Topanga Film Institute. Although there had been talk of this in January, this was the first official announcement about going forward to create a place for learning and creativity.

At the ceremony, Urs recalled how Sara had once mentioned that “someone” should do a Film Festival in Topanga Canyon. It wasn’t until later that he realized that someone would be them.

This year the Topanga Film Festival will launch two platforms: one will target elders and another will target children 8 to 12 years old. The 2011 Festival will have two components. A low tech portion will focus on the fundamentals of storytelling and why it is important to continue telling stories. The high tech portion will focus on 3D tech and new paradigms of film distribution such as the Internet. Carey Campbell, executive producer and director of development, explained, “Kids are really amazing. (They) really light up and (are) really aware. So that is why it’s great to do something with kids.”

To learn more about the Topanga Film Festival, visit their website at