Welcome to the Larry411.com Guest Columnists! April 27, 2013
In my travels to the best film festivals in…
The 21st Los Angeles Film Festival is just over five weeks away. The always-spectacular event, produced by Film Independent (the Spirit Awards folks), takes place June 10-18 at L.A. LiVE in downtown Los Angeles. Last week we posted the Festival's Opening and Closing Night Films, along with a number of pre-festival events, Galas, Master Classes, and several other sections. With today's announcements, including the U.S. Fiction, Documentary, and World Competition sections, the complete lineup for 2015 has now been revealed.
"Aligned with Film Independent’s mission, our curatorial focus at the Los Angeles Film Festival this year was to create a program of vibrant and diverse stories and storytellers who exhibit true and singular voices," said Associate Director of Programming Roya Rastegar. "We saw thousands of submissions and chose films with unique perspectives that take a risk in whatever story they tell. This year’s films range from micro-budgets to large-scale productions, by first-time directors and widely celebrated veterans. They each hold their own by projecting a distinct way of seeing the world."
Now in its sixth year at L.A. LIVE, the 2015 Festival includes 74 feature films, 60 shorts, and over 50 new media works representing 35 countries. New sections this year include the U.S. Fiction and World Fiction Competitions, along with Launch and the previously announced Buzz, Nightfall, and Zeitgeist programs.
The 53 Premieres in this year's six competition sections include 39 World, six International, four North American, and four U.S. Premieres. The U.S. Fiction, Documentary, and World Fiction Competition sections feature 26 of the World, International, and North American Premieres. There are 21 World Premieres in the Nightfall, Zeitgeist, and LA Muse competitions. Among the competition sections, nearly 40% of the directors are female and nearly 30% of the films are directed by people of color.
US FICTION COMPETITION - Original voices with distinct visions from emerging and established American independent filmmakers.
• 3rd Street Blackout, dir. Negin Farsad, Jeremy Redleaf, USA, World Premiere
• A Country Called Home, dir. Anna Axster, USA, World Premiere
• Bastards Y Diablos, dir. A.D. Freese, USA/Colombia, World Premiere
• The Girl in the Book, dir. Marya Cohn, USA, World Premiere
• How He Fell in Love, dir. Marc Meyers, USA, World Premiere
• It’s Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong, dir. Emily Ting, USA, World Premiere
• Mekko, dir. Sterlin Harjo, USA, World Premiere
• Out of My Hand, dir. Takeshi Fukunaga, USA/Liberia, N. American Premiere
• Puerto Ricans in Paris, dir. Ian Edelman, USA/France/Czech Republic, World Premiere
• Too Late, dir. Dennis Hauck, USA, World Premiere
DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION - Compelling, character-driven non-fiction films from the U.S. and around the world.
• A New High, dir. Samuel Miron, Stephen Scarpulla, USA, World Premiere
• The Babuskhas of Chernobyl, dir. Holly Morris, USA/Ukraine, World Premiere
• Be Here Now (The Andy Whitfield Story), dir. Lilibet Foster, USA/Australia, World Premiere
• Catching the Sun, dir. Shalini Kantayya, USA, World Premiere
• In a Perfect World, dir. Daphne McWilliams, USA, World Premiere
• Incorruptible, dir. Chai Vasarhelyi, Senegal/USA, International Premiere
• Love Between the Covers, dir. Laurie Kahn, USA, U.S. Premiere
• Maiko: Dancing Child, dir. Åse Svenheim Drivenes, Japan/Norway, World Premiere
• Missing People, dir. David Shapiro, USA, U.S. Premiere
• My Love, Don’t Cross That River, dir. Mo-Young Jin, South Korea, U.S. Premiere
• Oriented, dir. Jake Winternitz, UK/Palestine/Israel, International Premiere
• Treasure; From Tragedy to Trans Justice, Mapping a Detroit Story, dir. dream hampton, USA, World Premiere
WORLD FICTION COMPETITION - Unique fiction films from around the world from emerging and established filmmakers, especially curated for LA audiences.
• Atomic Heart, dir. Ali Ahmadzadeh, Iran, North American Premiere
• Ayanda and the Mechanic, dir. Sara Blecher, South Africa, World Premiere
• Elvira, Te Daria Mi Vida Pero La Estoy Usando (Elvira, I’d Give You My Life But I’m Using It), dir. Manolo Caro, Mexico, International Premiere
• Flocking (Flocken), dir. Baeta Gardeler, Sweden, North American Premiere
• Las Malas Lenguas (Sweet and Vicious), dir. Juan Paolo Arias, Colombia, World Premiere
• A Midsummer’s Fantasia, dir. Jang Kun-Jae, South Korea/Japan, U.S. Premiere
• Sin Alas (Without Wings), dir. Ben Chace, Cuba, International Premiere
• White Moss (Belyy Yagel), dir. Vladimir Tumaev, Russian Federation, International Premiere
SHORT FILMS - From over 3,000 submissions, the 60 short films selected represent 15 countries. 50% are directed by women. Short films are shown before features and as part of six short film programs. Shorts will compete for juried prizes for fiction and documentary shorts, as well as an Audience Award for Best Short Film.
FUTURE FILMMAKERS SHOWCASE: HIGH SCHOOL SHORTS - Featuring 27 films, the Los Angeles Film Festival’s Future Filmmaker Showcase brings to the big screen the best work by budding young filmmakers from across the country and the globe. In this diverse slate of films, incredibly accomplished high school students will present wild comedies, moving dramas, mesmerizing animation, introspective experimental films, and everything in between. Program funded by Lisa Argyros/Argyros Family Foundation, Loyola Marymount University's School of Film and Television and Time Warner Foundation.
LAUNCH - Independent storytelling crafted through digital media, including music videos, web series, podcasts, interactive games and digital activism shorts.
Making Cool Sh*t: The Music Videos of OK Go (10) - Equally comfortable with filmmaking and songwriting through with visual art and rock concerts, OK Go have bridged art forms that used to be considered distinct. This showcase of their music videos will be followed by an extended talk with frontman and director Damian Kulash.
Episodes: Indie Series from the Web (13) - A showcase of independently crafted web series, celebrating rising show creators whose work is innovative and unfiltered.
Movies For Your Ears: Making Picture-less Films (1) - Creator Jonathan Mitchell explores his podcast The Truth, which showcases crafted, colorful and diverse works of short fiction that are at once cinematic and musical.
Interactive Storytelling: IndieCade Gaming Favorites (9) - Innovation and artistry in interactive media is showcased through a collection of rich, diverse, and culturally significant games on custom gaming PCs provided by Dell Computers.
#BlackLifeBlackProtest (5) - Bridging content creations and social justice issues, this curated selection of socially relevant short films precedes a public dialogue among noted artists, activists and educators.
JASH Presents: An Evening of Buh Comedy - An intimate evening with comedy luminaries screening unreleased videos of their creation along with favorite inspiring videos of their choice. Hosted by Dead Kevin, guests include Doug Lussenhop, Henry Phillips, and more.
Funny or Die’s Make ‘em LAFF Showcase - A live comedy showcase of today’s most diverse and original independent comedic voices, featuring comedians such as Beth Stelling, Solomon Georgio, and Chris Garcia, with additional performers to be announced.
The following four sections were previously announced. Three new titles have also been added to the Buzz section.
BUZZ -- LA premieres of celebrated titles from festivals around the world.
JUST ADDED: Brand: A Second Coming, dir. Ondi Timoner, UK/USA
Jimmy’s Hall, dir. Ken Loach, UK/Ireland/France
The Vanished Elephant, dir. Javier Fuentes León, Peru/Colombia/Spain
Chuck Norris vs Communism, dir. Illinca Calugareanu, UK/Romania/Germany
The Dark Horse, dir.James Napier Robertson,New Zealand
Diary of a Teenage Girl, dir. Marielle Heller, USA
In Football We Trust, dir. Tony Vainuku, USA/American Samoa
Infinitely Polar Bear, dir. Maya Forbes, USA
Manson Family Vacation, dir. J. Davis, USA
The Overnight, dir. Patrick Brice, USA
People, Places, Things, dir. James C. Strouse, USA
Victoria, dir. Sebastian Schipper, Germany
Sweet Micky for President, dir. Ben Patterson, Haiti/USA
ZEITGEIST -- A competitive section of six curated films that embody key trends. 2015 captures hard knock, coming of age stories.
Band of Robbers, dir. Aaron Nee & Adam Nee, USA, World Premiere
A Girl Like Grace, dir. Ty Hodges, USA, World Premiere
In the Treetops, dir. Matthew Brown, USA, World Premiere
Manifest Destiny, dir. Michael Dwyer, Kaitlin McLaughlin, USA, World Premiere
Stealing Cars, dir. Bradley Kaplan, USA, World Premiere
What Lola Wants, dir. Rupert Glasson, USA, World Premiere
NIGHTFALL -- From the bizarre to the horrifying, these are films to watch after dark. Films premiering for the first time in the U.S. are nominated for the Nightfall Award.
Caught, dir. Maggie Kiley, USA, World Premiere
The Confines, dir. Eytan Rockaway, USA, World Premiere
Crumbs, dir. Miguel Llansó, Spain/Ethiopia/Finland, North American Premiere
Crush the Skull, dir. Viet Nguyen, USA, World Premiere
Dude Bro Party Massacre III, dir. Tomm Jacobsen, Michael Rousselet, Jon Salmon, USA, World Premiere
Plan Sexenal, dir. Santiago Cendejas, Mexico, North American Premiere
Ratter, dir. Branden Kramer, USA, LA Premiere
Shut In, dir. Adam Schindler, USA, World Premiere
LA MUSE -- Films made by talented emerging filmmakers that are set, shot or inspired by Los Angeles.
Aram, Aram, dir. Christopher Chambers, USA, World Premiere
A Beautiful Now, dir. Daniela Amavia, USA, World Premiere
Can You Dig This, dir. Delila Vallot, USA, World Premiere
Day Out of Days, dir. Zoe R. Cassavetes, USA, World Premiere
The Drew: No Excuse, Just Produce, dir. Baron Davis, Chad Gordon, USA, World Premiere
The Escort, dir. Will Slocombe, USA, World Premiere
Flock of Dudes, dir. Bob Castrone, USA, World Premiere
French Dirty, dir. Wade Allain-Marcus & Jesse Allain-Marcus, USA, World Premiere
No Más Bebés, dir. Renee Tajima-Peña, USA, World Premiere
Weepah Way for Now, dir. Stephen Ringer, USA, World Premiere
Passes are on sale now to the general public, with discounted prices for Film Independent members. Festival passes provide access to screenings and events (even after they sell out) along with a series of networking receptions and entry to the Festival Lounge, where Festival pass holders can interact with filmmakers and professionals in the film community. General admission tickets to individual films go on sale May 14 for Film Independent members and May 19 to the general public. You can also contact the Ticket Office for passes, tickets and event information by phone at 866.FILM.FEST (866.345.6337). For more details visit lafilmfest.com, follow @LAFilmFest, and find them on Facebook at facebook.com/LAFilmFest. Use the official event hashtag #LAFilmFest
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In my travels to the best film festivals in…