2014 Los Angeles Film Festival


The Los Angeles Film Festival celebrates its 20th anniversary June 11-19 at L.A. LIVE in downtown Los Angeles, with a diverse slate of nearly 200 features, shorts and music videos from 40 countries.

Joining Film Independent’s diverse slate of nearly 200 features, shorts and music videos from 40 countries is the new special section – LA muse, featuring films inspired by and shot in Los Angeles.

Recommended: Writer-director Benedikt Erlingsson’s startling “Of Horses and Men”, Iceland’s official Oscar submission, celebrates an inventive cinema debut.

Erlungsson’s wry dramedy, set in an isolated smallholder community in rural Iceland, is the most original first film by an actor (“The Boss Of It All’) turned director since George Clooney’s bold “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind.”

Erlingsson’s harsh comedy is a rich mix of lusty wit, bone-dry humor, and rural dispatch. Passionate but without a scrap of sentimentality, it’s a horse story like no other, a paean to Iceland’s pure strain of horses. A series of interlocking vignettes, featuring a recurring small ensemble of locals, ironically essays the passionate connection between horse and rider in these parts.

Also Recommended: “Comet”, “10 Minutes”, “Someone To Love”, “Billy Mize and the Bakersfield Sound”, “The Great Museum”, “Joy of Man’s Desiring”, “The Kidnapping of Michel Houellebecq”, “The Liberator”, “Natural Sciences”, “Starred U “, “Stream of Love “The Overnighters”, “Jossy’s”, “Caterpiller”, “Sherlock Jr.” “Repo Man”>

LAFF presents a stellar group of docs this year:

Gabriel London’s “The Life and Mind of Mark DeFriest” is a moving jeremiad against America’s Correctional system and London couldn’t have wished foe a more fascinating protagonist.  Mark DeFiest served 36 years in various prisons for packing up his dead father’s tools before probate closed. Turned in by his step mother, the brilliant de Friest, schooled in escape techniques and a never give in military ethic by his OSS father, became notorious in Florida (considered the nation’s most brutal prison system) for engineering countless ingenious escapes from maximum security and solitary confinement. His refusal to play the game earned him a lifetime of counts against him, making parole seemingly impossible. London’s activist film, and DeFriest’s blithe sense of humor is a formidable tool, although DeFriest is still behind bars. Thought Cafe animation studio contributed graphic novel illustrations of some dramatic moments in DeFriest’s history. MUST SEE

N.C. Heikin’s “Sound of Redemption: The Frank Morgan Story” tribute to legendary alto sax legend Frank Morgan follows his early Child prodigy days, as son of Ink Spot guitarist Stanley Morgan ( also a pimp who “Turned Out Frank’s mother and kept her working while they were together. Morgan idolized Bird, was known as the ” New Bird” and, like many jazzmen of his generation in the early 50’s, began shooting junk because Bird did.

Morgan did over 30’s year’s time, preferring the easy life in prison, where he played in the Warden’s stellar big band “The San Quentin All Stars” (Morgan called it the best band he ever played in) to the drug addicted world outside. A master forger and bank robber, he kicked went straight and after 30 yeas recorded 10 astonishing albums. The centerpiece is a memorial concert in the San Quentin chapel featuring George Cables, Ron Carter, Mark Gross, Delfeayo Marsalis, Marvin “Smitty” Smith and Morgan protegee Grace Kelly. The soundtrack, re-recorded at Skywalker Is gorgeous and crisp.

“My Name Is Salt” Farida Pacha’s slow placed procedural is exquisite from start to finish. The Swiss-made, Indian-set documentary “My Name Is Salt’ follows a dogged family of desert salt-panners toiling ceaselessly in the saline desert over months with the most basic of tools. They teach us by observation, what the salt world is like for subsistence Indian workers, who return to their monsoon flooded salt pans every year, painstakingly rebuilding pumps, berms and salt pans, helping each other’s families harvest.

Lutz Konermann’s cinematography reminds one of Boudin and other French 19th century plein-air painters. As in Michelangelo Frammartino’s Calabrian pastoral “Le Quattro Volte”, we follow an entire cycle of salt harvest; Konermann’s stunningly composed frames contemplate the nature of work.

Chhanabhai and his family return every year to the Little desert of Kutch where they labor ceaselessly to produce the prized salt crystals.

The ground water in the salt marsh near the Great Rann of Kutch, Gujarat, India is ten times saltier than sea-water. Ironically this is the location of Gandhi’s Salt March, (the Salt Satyagraha), the non-violent protest against the British salt monopoly in colonial India which launched the wider Civil Disobedience Movement.

Though not mentioned in the film, the Agariya community, who produce 75 per cent of the India’s demand have been living here for six centuries, and continue to work without access to safe drinking water, health services, education or residential facilities. Salt producing is their way of life. Since 2007 the Forest service has been steadily evicting the traditional Agariya salt panners to create a Wild Ass Sanctuary.
Agariyas skin is burnt from continuous exposure to highly saturated salt. They develop abnormally thin legs which become so stiff that after death, they do not burn in the funeral pyre; they are buried separately to decompose.

(Winner, Grand Jury Prize, International Madrid Documentary Festival,Winner, Grand Jury Prize, Hong Kong International Film Festival, Winner, Best First Appearance, International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA)
Eliza Kubarska’s lyrical documentary “Walking Under Water” takes us under the waves to walk with the last compressor divers from the Badjao tribe in Mabul Island. 

Piotr Rosolowski’s remarkable underwater cinematography anchors this lyrical documentary about the Badjao tribe, oceanic nomads who have lived off the coast of Borneo living off the sea and are now struggling to preserve their traditions in the modern world. The last of the “compressor” free divers, the stateless Badjao use a small handmade boat known as a lepa-lepa, which many live in.

The sailing vessels (perahu lambo) can travel as far as Timor and Arafura seas. The ritual craft are believed to have a spirit. They fish with nets and lines and use hand made flippers, spear guns and snorkel equipment made from salvaged materials.

Expert free divers, they dive to improbable depths in search of pearls and sea cucumbers. They dive using dangerous compressors (air pumped down through a hose). Some intentionally rupture their eardrums at an early age to facilitate diving and hunting at sea.

Though not discussed in the meditative film, as the fish stocks began disappearing from over fishing and global warming, the Badjao  developed unsustainable practices, including homemade using bottles of cyanide to stun fish and deliver them alive to Chinese traders. The cynanide is destroying the local Coral reefs as well injuring fishermen.

Basically indentured workers they are paid in advance by international traders. If they don’t fish with cyanide, another community will.

Most have been forced on land by government programs (to save the reefs), living in stilted communities, Currently, there is a huge settlement of Filipino Bajau in Pulau Gaya, off the Sabah coast.

Nominally Islamic, the Ubian Bajau practice a syncretic folk hybrid, revering local sea spirits like Omboh Dilaut, the God of the Sea, or the spirits of trees.  Community spirit mediums are consulted at least once a year for a public séance and nightly trance dancing. In times of epidemics, the mediums are also called upon to remove illness-causing spirits from the community. They do this by setting a “spirit boat” adrift in the open sea beyond the village or anchorage.

Uncle Alexan takes his ten-year-old nephew Sari to sea to train him in the traditional life style. He teaches him the proper prayers to tame the local spirits as well as the art of compressor diving. Sari is tempted to work in a local resort but returns to his uncle’s teaching.

They spend weeks at sea, returning to the Sama–style piling village in the coastal shallows, where Alexan’s wife, trying to feed his kids,  waits for his catch, whiling away her time drinking and gamboling.

“Stray Dog”- Debra Granik’s surprisingly sweet portrait of Vietnam Vet, old biker Ron “Stray Dog” Hall, and his wife Alicia Soriano Hall, is a slice of life portrait of Missouri Biker vet, Most suffering from PTSD and grappling with remorse, they are active in the Vets movement and spend their time attending memorial services, counseling other Vets families and parents who lost warriors. Ron runs a mobile home park and is busy reuniting Alicia’s Mexican family, bringing her twin boys,  Jesus and Angel to the US<

“Out In The Night”-In the tradition of “The Central Park Five”, blair dorosh-walther’s startling activist documentary shines the light on an egregious case of injustice.

One night, a group of seven young African American lesbians, childhood friends from Brooklyn, went to Manhattan for a night out. Strolling in the gay-friendly West Village, a man makes advances on “the pretty one”. When he realizes she’s gay he verbally and physically assaulted her and her friends, screaming “I’ll fuck you straight.”

All five girls had gone to school with Sakia Gunn, a 19-year-old butch lesbian who was stabbed to death in Newark, N.J., in May 2003.

Slender Renata carried a kitchen knife at her older brother’s insistence and after the scuffle turned really serious (hair dragging, kicks, dreads torn out) she had occasion to use it in self defense. Male bystanders jumped into the melee to protect the young women. The police were called, and although the original police dispatch message minimized the incident, eventually the women were jailed charged with gang assault and attempted murder. Deemed a so-called “hate crime” against a straight man, the justice system and media “convicted” them before their day in court.

Dwayne Buckle, the perpetrator, was stabbed, spent five days in the hospital, and was never charged. By the way, the battling bystanders shown in the security footage, were never found.

Facing multiple hurdles of race, sex and gender issues, the women had the book thrown at them. The press had a field day labeling it a violent “ Lesbian Wolfpack” attack and “Gang of Killer Lesbians.”  A New York Times headline titled “Man Is Stabbed After Admiring a Stranger” inspired tyro filmmaker blair doroshwalther to get involved, first as an activist then as a filmmaker.

Director dorosh-walther and producer Giovanna Chesler (partners in life, work and activism) spent seven years gaining the trust of their subjects. The filmmakers interview the four who were convicted, and their family members, follows their appeals recording their eventual release.

The women had no prior arrests. Two were mothers of small children. Venice Brown (19), Terrain Dandridge (20), Patreese Johnson (20) and Renata Hill (24) received sentences ranging from three-and-a-half to 11 years in prison.

David Au’s first feature “Eat With Me” is a charming foodie-family rom-dram set in LA’s Chinatown. A surprising opening scene, both subtle and wrenching, sends married Emma (Sharon Omi) scurrying to stay with her son Elliot (Teddy Chen Culver). Gay Elliot has no talent for relationships, preferring casual hookups. He’s never come out to his family.
He’s shocked when Emma turns up, and like a good Chinese mother, begins cleaning and cooking.

She won’t discuss her midlife runner. She bonds with Elliotts unlikely neighbor, the gabby, bossy, hilarious Maureen (Nicole Sullivan-“MadTV”, “King Of Queens, “Cougar Town”)
Elliot’s been running the family business, trying to step into his grandfather’s shoes, but his uninspired menu is losing him customers, and he’s about to lose the family business, as Emma finds out. Aisen Bristow plays romantic Ian, Elliot’s first real boyfriend, Jamila Alina plays Jenny, Elliot’s right hand gal. George Takei, in a sweet turn as George Takei, rounds out the ingratiating cast. RECOMMENDED

Nathan Silver’s “Uncertain Terms” narrative feels like a documentary. Pregnant teen Nina (India Menuez) is dropped off by her family at a small home for unwed mothers. The kindly woman who owns and runs the homey center was an unwed mother herself, and tries to make the girls feel at home and positive.  Nina begins to find her place among the other girls. Robby, (David Dahlbom) the nephew of the center’s owner arrives to help with repairs. (He’s on the lam from his adulterous wife.) Friendship then romance blossom for the mature beyond her age Nina and the troubled Robby. A strong cast and good production values add to the film’s depth.

Dave Boyle’s Man From Reno”, an idiosyncratic neo-noir, is set in San Francisco. Richard Wong’s beautiful cinematography plus Ciara Butler’s art direction and Katy Porter’s production design create a hypnotic ambiance. An interesting cast recalls Wayne Wang’s seminal 1982 “Chan Is Missing”. Famous Japanese crime author Aki (Ayako Fujitani) goes missing during an international book tour, following the death of her best friend. In hiding in a luxury hotel where she finds herself embroiled in a local murder mystery.

Pepe Serna plays the small town local sheriff Paul Del Moral who’s in charge of the case. Kazuki Kitamura (“Kill Bill: Vol. 1 and 2”) plays the seductive Akira. A mixed tone (a noir laced with some “I Heart Huckabees” whimsy) and an overlong ending, are carried by the cast and exemplary production values.

Mike Ott’s “Lake Los Angeles” focuses on two strangers brought together in the barren Southern California desert. Abandoned after crossing the U.S. border, young Cecilia’s only salvation is her vivid imagination and Francisco, a lonely Cuban immigrant. He’s haunted by flashbacks of his family in Cuba and she sees vision of her mother in the desert.

Francisco (Roberto Sanchez (‘Little Rock”) a middle-aged Cuban exile working at a holding house for illegal immigrants crosses paths with Cecilia, a 10 year old Mexican girl who has crossed the border without her family.

Cecilia (Johanna Trujillo ‘Tryouts”) is one of many illegals held by their coyotes until the families across the border pay their travel fee. Cecilia’s mother, who couldn’t afford to come, sends her daughter to her father in the states.

Francisco, himself undocumented, works for the gang who smuggles immigrants form Mexico and Central America. He feeds and hides them until they are ransomed by family members but the job is beginning to unnerve him.  He manages to bond with his mute child prisoner and is dubious about turning her over to his “partner” in crime.

Cecilia’s father is missing in action (perhaps dead as often happens to the undocumented) and her coyote Adria (Eloy Mendez “La cerca”) decides to keep her for nefarious reasons.  Sturdy Cecilia escapes and lives feral, looking for Francisco. Strong performances and beautiful cinematography by Mike Gioulakis, make up, in part, for the overlong film.

Kerem Sanga’s comic coming of age “The Young Kieslowski” features Ryan Malgarini as awkward virgin Brian Kieslowski. Poor Brian, the first time he has sex he gets his girl pregnant! With twins! In Sanga’s quirky script, temporarily Born Again Leslie Mallard (Haley Lu Richardson) is in charge.

Elliott Lester’s tense indie narrative feature “Nightingale”, the first script filmed from The Black List (the list of “best un-produced screenplays” that morphed into a reading service)
follows another vet deep into psychosis. The film recalls the 2012 Bakersfield Gutierrez murders; 27-year-old Abel Gutierrez, an Iraq War veteran killed his mother and 11-year-old sister in an murder suicide. 

Amanda Marsalis’ “Echo Park” follows twenty-something Sophie, who flees her fiancée and picture-perfect Beverly Hills life to see refuge in groovy Echo Park. She scandalizes unbelieving friends and family living “East Of La Brea”. She gets involved with smart, shy British Nigerian Alex (Anthony Okungbowa “Mother Of George”). She finds herself welcome among Alex’s friends Mateo (Maurice Compte) and his son Elias (Ricky Rico.). New friends and her diverse neighborhood start to seem more “family” than her old life. Gale Harold plays her too-perfect possessive fiancée Simon.

Directors Rania Attieh and Daniel Garcia’s “Recommended By Enrique”, based on a true story, is set in a timeless small Texas border town. An aspiring actress, played by Sarah Swinwood, arrives in town to play the lead in a low budget horror film. Cast online, she waits in vain for the director to arrive from LA. (He’s locked in endless budget meetings. (I suspect this is the part based on a true story.)

She checks into the shabby hotel with the rest of the crew. Her new age affirmations keep me professional spirits alive as she works with a novice cast and crew.

Lino Varela plays the mysterious cowboy, stuck in town waiting for a “meeting”. Carrying potted plants as a prop, he cases the house of the man he’s been sent to kill. he, too, checks into the hotel, waiting for his victim to return.

Writer- directors-stars Jennifer Prediger, Jess Weixler “Trouble Dolls” is another “whimsical” indie starring fey privileged girls refusing to come of age. (Think “Frances Ha”.)  In serious financial trouble in New York, aspiring actress Olivia (Jennifer Prediger) and odd ball artist Nicole (Jess Weixler) flee to LA on the family jet for a break from their problems.

Megan Mullally plays Nicole’s Lipstick-Les aunt Kimberly, producer of a famous Reality Talent Show. Will Forte appears as the out of control driver who picks up the hitchhiking pair. Jeffrey Tambor plays Nicole’s ex and landlord who evicts them from their illegal apartment.

Snowpiercer – South Korea/USA/France/Czech Republic (DIRECTOR/WRITER Bong Joon-Ho PRODUCER Park Chan-Wook CAST Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton, Song Kang-Ho, Ed Harris, Octavia Spencer, Jamie Bell, John Hurt) – Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton, Ed Harris and Octavia Spencer head an all-star cast in Bong Joon-ho’s wild, visionary post-apocalyptic thriller, where the frozen planet’s only survivors are thrown together on a train that endlessly circles the globe. North American Premiere
Jersey Boys – USA (DIRECTOR Clint Eastwood PRODUCERS Clint Eastwood, Graham King, Robert Lorenz WRITERS Marshall Brickman, Rick Elice CAST John Lloyd Young, Erich Bergen, Michael Lomenda, Vincent Piazza, Christopher Walken) – Clint Eastwood brings the Broadway musical sensation to the big screen, with John Lloyd Young reprising his Tony Award-winning portrayal of Frankie Valli, the legendary lead singer of The Four Seasons, and Christopher Walken as the mobster who owed him a debt. Premiere

Attendees will also have access to the festival’s many events, including free screenings, “Coffee Talks,” industry talks, Master Classes, Family Screenings and more.

FESTIVAL CONVERSATIONS- (All Festival Conversations $20.00)
Black List Live!: A Staged Reading
(2014, 120 mins)
Join us for this one night only reading of Stephany Folsom’s 2013 Black List script 1969: “A Space Odyssey, or How Kubrick Learned to Stop Worrying and Land on the Moon” about a White House public affairs assistant who convinces Stanley Kubrick to fake the moon landing, just in case something goes wrong during that one small step.  Starring : Jared Harris (“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”, “Sherlock Holmes 2”, “Mad Men”) as Stanley Kubrick; Kathryn Hahn (“Bad Words”, “Parks and Recreation”) as Barbara Penn; Thomas Sadoski (“The Newsroom”) as Julian Scheer and Shannon Woodward (“Raising Hope”) as Kara Downs More cast announcements to come!

Sat, Jun 14th 8:00pm
The Los Angeles Theatre
Tickets are available via EventBrite. Please cut and paste the following into your browser https://1969aspaceodyssey.eventbrite.com
Doors open at 7:00pm (cash bar). Show begins at 8:00pm.

Funny or Die’s Make ‘Em LAFF Showcase
(120 mins)
Funny Or Die is joining forces with the Festival this year to host a mash-up comedy extravaganza celebrating diverse, unique and authentic voices in the comedy world. Featuring comedians such as Kumail Nanjiani, Cameron Esposito, Baron Vaughn and Jerrod Carmichael. Hosted by Hasan Minhaj.

Select videos from the Make em LAFF competition will screen as part of the showcase. A jury comprised of Hannibal Buress, Kumail Nanjiani, Chris Henchy, Issa Rae and Elvis Mitchell, has selected the winner who will be announced live at the event. The winner will have their next video produced by Funny Or Die and receive a talent hold deal with a cash prize presented by FOX Audience Strategy.
Sat, Jun 14th 8:00pm GRAMMY Museum

Love Letters to Los Angeles: Michael Connelly
(90 mins)
Through the intricate investigations of detective Hieronymus Bosch, writer and author Michael Connelly has consistently painted a stark view of Los Angeles, equal parts chaos and splendor.
As we celebrate our city on the 20th anniversary of the Los Angeles Film Festival, we salute Connelly and invite him to take us on a ride through the streets of L.A. to discover the many shades of this ever-changing city that he has so lovingly portrayed in his novels. Connelly will discuss his writing as well as his film inspirations and his upcoming television series Bosch, which was shot in L.A., of course.
Moderated by Kenneth Turan, Film Critic, the Los Angeles Times. Host: Los Angeles Review of Books
Mon, Jun 16th 8:00pm, Regal Cinema L.A. Live- Theater 11

Funny Talk: A Conversation with Key and Peele
(90 mins)
A special comedic journey with Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, the stars of the hit comedy sketch show, Key and Peele. The Peabody Award winning duo, who are included in Time Magazines list of the 100 Most Influential People of 2014, will discuss the roots of their comedic philosophy, their experiences growing up biracial, and present clips from some of their favorite sketches that have influenced their irreverent style. Moderated by Elvis Mitchell, Curator, Film Independent at LACMA
Sun, Jun 15th 9:00pm, Regal Cinema L.A. Live- Theater 11

Powered by The tix/SYS Box Office Management System and synercom/edi
UN Free and Equal Global Film Series Launch: Out In The Night
(2014, 74 mins)
The United Nations has recently created the Free and Equal campaign to fight homophobia and transphobia at a global scale. As apart of this campaign, the UN and Film Independent have curated a collection of films and documentaries to be screened around the world. Join us as we launch this initiative with a special screening of Out In the Night and a conversation with the filmmakers and UN representatives to discuss these issues and the power of film to combat violence and discrimination.

Taking us beyond the sensational ‘Attack of the Killer Lesbians’ headlines, blair dorosh-walther’s provocative documentary pulls back the curtain on a tragic miscarriage of justice.

In New York City’s West Village in 2006, four gay African-American women were brutally assaulted by a stranger whose unwanted sexual advances they’d just spurned. In defending themselves, they also unwittingly left themselves vulnerable to draconian prison sentences that wrested them from their supportive New Jersey families. dorosh-walther returns to the scene of their alleged crime, using security footage to condemn the deplorable conduct of unscrupulous reporters and callous police officers. With a deep compassion for its subjects tempering its outrage over the indignities they’ve suffered, the film poses a troubling question: How would have this unfolded had it been four straight white women instead?

The Spirit of Independence Award: Sony Pictures Classics
plays with Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
(2014, 45 mins) Mon, Jun 16th 7:30pm
Regal Cinema L.A. Live- Theater 9

Since they founded Sony Pictures Classics over 20 years ago, Tom Bernard and Michael Barker have set the gold standard for independent film distribution, earning the loyalty of such masters as Pedro Almodóvar, Woody Allen and Michael Haneke. From “Howards End”, “Orlando”, “All About My Mother” and “The Lives of Others” to “Amour”, “A Separation” and “Midnight in Paris”, Barker and Bernard have altered and enriched the cinematic landscape many times over. In recognition of everything they have done, we are honored to present them with this year’s Spirit of Independence Award.

To celebrate, they will sit down with festival Artistic Director David Ansen to discuss their careers and the movies that inspire them. Then they will be joined by James Schamus and other surprise guests to discuss and introduce a screening of their game-changing mega-hit, Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

ESPN Films’ Nine for IX Series: Short Takes on the Power of Women Athelets (2014, 75 mins) Tue, Jun 17th 4:00pm
Regal Cinema L.A. Live- Theater 11 FREE

ESPN Films’ Nine for IX series shines the spotlight on the challenges and triumphs of strong women athletes, and reveals the power of the short format to tell pointed, meaningful stories. No longer merely the younger siblings of feature-length films, shorts and serials require a keen eye for what’s dramatic and cinematic. Join us for a special screening of the latest Nine for IX series followed by a conversation with some of the women behind the lens.

The series features Brittney Griner: Life Size by Melissa Johnson, Uncharted Waters by Tina Cerbone, Play A Round With Me by Jessica Wolfson, and Rowdy Ronda Rousey by the Mundo Sisters. Moderated by Roya Rastegar, Guest Curator, LA Muse

Sunday at the festival means Coffee Talk time! four sessions featuring some of today’s most fascinating film figures discussing their craft in a fun and informal atmosphere. And coffee for everyone! ALL TALKS  $13.00 at the door.

Coffee Talks: Directors (60 min) Sun, Jun 15th 11:00am
Luxe City Center Hotel
Panelists include:
Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris (“Little Miss Sunshine”, “Ruby Sparks”), Kimberly Peirce (“Boys Don’t Cry”, Carrie), Debra Granik (“Stray Dog”, “Winter’s Bone”) other panelists TBA

Coffee Talks: Actors (60 min) Sun, Jun 15th 1:00pm
Luxe City Center Hotel
Panelists include:
Demian Bichir (“The Heat”, “A Better Life”),Alfred Molina (“An Education”, “Spider-Man 2”), Olivia Munn (The Newsroom, Magic Mike) other panelists TBA
Sponsored by SAGindie

Coffee Talks: Composers (60 min) Sun, Jun 15th 3:00pm
Luxe City Center Hotel
Panelists include:
Mark Isham (“42”, “A River Runs Through It”), John Ottman (“X-Men: Days of Future Past”, “The Usual Suspects”),Aaron Zigman (“The Other Woman”, “Sex and the City”) The panel is moderated by Doreen Ringer Ross (BMI)
Sponsored by BMI

Coffee Talks: Screenwriters (60 min) Sun, Jun 15th 5:00pm
Luxe City Center Hotel
Panelists include:
Max Borenstein (“Godzilla”, “Seventh Son”), Susannah Grant (“The Soloist”, “Erin Brockovich”), Ed Solomon (“men In Black”, “Now You See Me”,” Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure”)
Moderated by Craig Mazin (“The Hangover Part III”, “Identity Thief”).

On Saturday June 14 there are three FREE Diversity industry Conversations at LA’s famed Conga Room

Diversity: A Singleton Perspective Sat, Jun 14th 1:00pm
(2014, 60 min)
A conversation with Oscar nominated filmmaker/producer John Singleton (“Boyz N The Hood”, “Shaft”, “Four Brothers”, “2 Fast 2 Furious”) on his career and the state of film today. John Singleton is a seminal Los Angeles-based filmmaker who has been able to forge his own path to success while maintaining a strong personal voice. As he gets ready to embark on the production of the long anticipated TUPAC, he joins us to share how he has navigated the terrain of directing studio films while continuing to develop (as a director, financier, and producer) unique and provocative films. How have the challenges changed throughout his twenty-year career? How has he kept the flame going, and how does he give back and work with new filmmakers? Find out during this in-depth conversation with Film Independent’s very own Elvis Mitchell.
Supported by Yvonne Huff and Jason Delane

Diversity Speaks: Cine-Sounds (60 min)  Sat, Jun 14th 2:30pm
This music video showcase highlights innovative filmmakers and artist of color who are pushing the boundaries of storytelling through their collaborations.
Panelists include: Tyler The Creator, Luis Perez, with additional panelists TBA
Supported by Yvonne Huff and Jason Delane
Diversity Speaks: Leveling The Playing Field (75 min) Sat, Jun 14th 4:00pm
A group of this years Festival Filmmakers and Film Independent Fellows, alumni of our signature diversity program, Project Involve, and
Producing/Directing/Screenwriting Labs
share their experiences launching their films and careers with the support of Film Independent and other like-minded media arts organizations that offer resources for emerging filmmakers. These programs have made an impact in many filmmakers careers, leading to a more leveled playing field for entering the industry. Moderated by Josh Welsh
Supported by Yvonne Huff and Jason Delane

Dolby Institute’s The Sound of Your Story: A Case Study of Comet  (90 min)
Sun, Jun 15th 11:00am  $13.00
Regal Cinema L.A. Live- Theater 10
The soundtrack is essential to the emotional reality of a film. The Dolby Institute invites you to join us for a case study of this year’s festival film Comet, with director Sam Esmail and his sound team. The panel will reveal the power of sound taking us through the process of designing and creating the exquisite soundtrack for the film.
Panelists include writer/director Sam Esmail and sound designer Steven Iba.
Moderated by Glenn Kiser, Director of the Dolby Institute.

Talk Score to Me: Filmmakers on Collaborating with Composers (2014, 100 min)
Thu, Jun 12th 4:30pm-Regal Cinema L.A. Live- Theater 8 FREE
Come and learn how ASCAP Composers and Project Involve Fellows joined forces in the ASCAP/Project Involve Composers Workshop to give you a total SLE (Sensory Load Experience). Join the Fellows, directors Yaa Boaa Aning, Nicholas Bouier, Rosie Haber, Christina Sun Kim, Lulu Wang and ASCAP composers Roy Bemelmans, Erick del Aguila, Anastasia Devana, Amie Doherty, and Lucas Lechowski for the screening of the 2014 Project Involve Short Films and a discussion on their collaboration. Moderated by Emmy and Grammy awards nominated composer Ron Jones

Film Independent’s Project Involve is supported by lead funder Time Warner Foundation. Funders include NEA Art Works, City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, Hollywood Foreign Press Association, HBO, Sony Pictures and Fox Audience Strategy. Sponsored by ASCAP

Music in Film at The GRAMMY
“The Shoe” (2014, 120 mins) Featuring Jena Malone and Lem Jay Ignacio: Come be part of a unique and moving musical afternoon starting with actress Jena Malone and composer Lem Jay Ignacio’s improvisational music project,”The Shoe”. Their second album, I’m Okay, released June 3 by There Was an Old Woman Records and by Community Music, founded by Alex Ebert of Edward Sharpe, the Magnetic Zeros and Bryan Ling of New Community Management.

Craig Wedren and Special Guests
Join artist, composer, singer and creative explorer Craig Wedren from avant-punk band Shudder To Think. A composer for “School of Rock”, “Role Models”, “Afternoon Delight”, and “Wanderlust”, Craig lives at the intersection of film and music. With special guests to be announced.

MASTER CLASSES  (All Master Classes $20.00)
Costume Builds Character: Costume Design with Arianne Phillips and James Mangold
As any director or actor would attest, the costume designer is their greatest ally in bringing to life a character and a specific time period. This year, the Los Angeles Film Festival celebrates the contributions of costume designers to the art of cinema, with a special Master Class by esteemed costume designer, fashion editor and stylist Arianne Phillips, who has garnered two Oscar nominations for her work in “Hedwig and the Angry Inch”, “Madonna” “W.E.” and James Mangold’s ” Walk the Line”. Ms. Phillips will be joined by director James Mangold to discuss their long-time collaboration to bring to life memorable characters in films such as “Walk the Line”, “Girl Interrupted” and “3:10 to Yuma”. Moderated by Elvis Mitchell, Curator, Film Independent at LACMA. Sun, Jun 15th 7:00pm GRAMMY Museum

Music in Film: A Sound Journey with Atticus Ross
An evening with Oscar winning composer and electronic musician Atticus Ross who will debut a stylized electronic soundscape with Claudia Sarne, Leopold Ross and Kirk Hellie. He’ll also talk about moving into film composing and discuss his work scoring the films of David Fincher with long-time collaborator Trent Reznor, including the Oscar winning “The Social Network,” “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”, and the forthcoming “Gone Girl”, as well as other adventures in making music for film with directors such as Michael Mann and the Hughes Brothers. Moderated by Elvis Mitchell, Curator, Film Independent at LACMA
Fri, Jun 13th 8:00pm GRAMMY Museum

Imagining L.A.: Production Design with K.K. Barrett and Jeannine Oppewall
Two of the most acclaimed production designers who have re-invented Los Angeles through their work in memorable Los Angeles-based films, Jeannine Oppewall (“L.A. Confidential”) and K.K. Barrett (“HER”), pull the curtain on their process to give us a glimpse into their craft. Step by step, hear and see how they created distinct images of Los Angeles for the screen, thus projecting iconic visions of our city into the world.
Moderated by Mary Sweeney, producer/editor, Mulholland Drive.
Host: A Hundred Years   Sat, Jun 14th 2:00p-Regal Cinema L.A. Live- Theater 9

“Earth To Echo”  USA, 2014, 90 min)
In Relativity’s PG summer family adventure movie, Tuck, Munch and Alex are a trio of inseparable friends whose lives are about to change. Their neighborhood is being destroyed by a highway construction project that is forcing their families to move away. But just two days before they must part ways, the boys begin receiving a strange series of signals on their phones. Convinced something bigger is going on, they team up with another school friend, Emma, and set out to look for the source of their phone signals.  What they discover is something beyond their wildest imaginations: a small alien who has become stranded on Earth.  In need of their help, the four friends come together to protect the alien and help him find his way home.  This journey, full of wonder and adventure, is their story, and their secret.

Gravity Falls Live!
This unique opportunity to hear behind-the-scenes stories about the acclaimed Disney Television Animation series Gravity Falls features actors Jason Ritter and Kristen Schaal and creator/executive producer Alex Hirsch. They’ll also perform a live reading of a scene from the show and give us a sneak peek of season two. Following the table reading, Ritter, Schaal and Hirsch will conduct a Q&A with the audience.

“Gravity Falls” follows the adventures of twins Dipper (Ritter) and Mabel Pines (Schaal), who spend the summer with their great uncle, Grunkle Stan (Hirsch). They think it’s just another usual summer until mysterious events start to take place. Season two of Gravity Falls premieres this summer on Disney Channel.

Panelists include: Jason Ritter (Parenthood), Kristen Schaal (The Daily Show with Jon Stewart) and Alex Hirsch. Moderated by Doug Jones, Associate Director of Programming, Los Angeles Film Festival

The Festival’s signature programs include the Filmmaker Retreat, Music in Film Nights at the GRAMMY Museum, Celebrating Women Filmmakers, Master Classes, Spirit of Independence Award, and Poolside Chats.

The Festival also screens short films created by high school students and includes a unique section devoted to music videos. Select films receive Jury Awards for Best Narrative Feature; Best Documentary Feature; Outstanding Performance in the Narrative Competition; Best Narrative Short Film; Best Documentary Short Film; and Best Animated/Experimental Short Film. Additionally, Audience Awards are given for Best Narrative Feature, Best Documentary Feature, Best International Feature, Best Music Video, and Best Short Film.

The Los Angeles Film Festival, or LA Film Fest, is produced by Film Independent, a 501(c)(3) non-profit arts organization dedicated to promoting and supporting independent films and filmmakers that embody diversity, innovation and uniqueness of vision. In addition to the Festival, Film Independent’s marquee events include the popular Film Independent at LACMA series, and the annual Film Independent Spirit Awards, Film Independent Forum and Directors Close-Up.

FOR Complete Line Up, TICKETS AND MORE INFORMATION GO TO http://www.lafilmfest.com/


About Author

Robin Menken

Robin Menken Robin Menken lives in Los Angeles. She was the Artistic Director of the Second City Workshops, taught at UC Berkeley, USC, Barcelona\'s Ateneu and the Esalin Institute. She was Roberto Rossellini\'s assistant, and worked with Yevgeny Vevteshenku, Glauber Rocha and Eugene Ionesco. She sold numerous screenplays and wrote the OBIE winning The FTA SHow (touring with Jane Fonda, Donald Sutherland and Ben Vereen.) She was a programming consultant and Special Events co-ordinator for numerous film festivals, including the SF, Rio, Havana and N.Y Film Festivals. Her first news outlet was the historic East Village Other.

Leave A Reply