It’s movie season! and the L.A. Film Fest is up and running and taking over Downtown L.A. The festival began Thursday, June 16 and will run through Sunday, June 26 at various locations including L.A. Live, Downtown Independent, REDCAT, and the Ford Amphitheatre. International and local attendees come in enthusiastic anticipation to see the best in film and this year was no exception. Over eighty screenings have been scheduled with many celebrities on-sight and though the festival is coming to a close, there is still much to see.
Film screenings may be the fun part of the festival but the more intimate events are the Poolside Chats, Coffee Talks, Festival Conversations, and Lunch Talks, which are a great opportunity for attendees to meet and interact with filmmakers and other seasoned industry professionals. Wednesday’s Lunch Talk with directors Mike Akel (An Ordinary Family), Linda Goldstein (Somewhere Between), and Marie Kreutzer (The Fatherless) was informative and pleasantly entertaining. The depiction of the family that each of these directors portrayed in their films with varying interpretations and perspectives were not only appreciated and respected but very much enjoyed. They shared their journey in writing, producing, and/or directing their films as well as answered questions on funding, film locations, and networking among other things. Overall, the Lunch Talk experience succeeded in creating a platform for audience members and aspiring directors and screenwriters to get their feet wet and dive into a one-on-one conversation with experienced directors. It was a great complimentary event to the festival.
And cut! Enough chit-chat. Of the many screenings available, Karate-Robo Zaborgar, The Innkeepers, and Salaam Dunk were the few that I was fortunate to catch. Karate-Robo Zaborgar (directed by Noboru Iguchi) was certainly an acquired viewing and not my cup of tea but there was enough “cheesiness” to keep the audience well fed and entertained. Director Ti West (The Innkeepers) skillfully intertwined humor and suspense in an unexpected way that was extremely fun… in a thrillingly scary way of course as only West can do. Salaam Dunk (directed by David Fine) is exactly its English, near phonetic equivalent – a slam dunk. This moving documentary highlighted the unifying power a mere basketball team can have on multi-sect girls in a country divided by war. The girls were candid and heartfelt and their coach was even more so inspiring. This one is a definite must-see!
If you think it’s too late to catch some phenomenal screenings, well, you’re right about missing most of them, but you’re wrong about missing all of them. An encore screening of Salaam Dunk will show at Regal Cinemas tonight, Friday, June 24, among other great screenings and don’t miss out on the free outdoor screening of Breakfast at Tiffany’s at the Nokia Plaza. A bulk of screenings will be shown all afternoon and evening on Saturday, June 25, and a few will be shown on Sunday, June 26, so there’s plenty to see and plenty of time to see them! The L.A. Film Fest showcases a remarkable and substantial choice in films. Any film buff would have to be dead not to be there. Seriously.
Purchase L.A. Film Fest tickets by phone (866-FILMFEST), online (LAFilmFest.com), or in person at the Coca-Cola Ticket Center (in the Festival Village at L.A. Live) or at the box office of each participating theater. Visit the official website for more information.
Article Written By: Marina Latu
*All Photos Courtesy of Marina Latu
*Article Photo Courtesy of L.A. Film Fest/Los Angeles Times and blog.makingof.com