Since 1995, the LA Film Festival–formerly the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival–has been showcasing the up-and-comers in independent, international, feature, documentary and short films.
It’s estimated that the festival attracts nearly 100,000 enthusiasts each year. This year the Film Fest will showcase over 200 movies, with artists from over 40 countries. To celebrate the 20th anniversary, the festival has a special “LA Muse” theme, celebrating the influence of the City of Angels on filmmakers.
The event takes place from June 11-19 at L.A. Live, the hub of the revitalized downtown core. In combination with scheduled showcases, Film Independent has organized extensive chats with the best in the biz to round out the experience from simply watching to fully immersing audiences in the culture of cinema. The “Women in Film” chat returns this year, featuring Marta Kauffman (Co-Creator of Friends), Debra Granik (Winter’s Bone Director) and more, taking place on June 14th at L.A. Live’s Regal Cinema. For those who like their Sunday brunch in unison with cinema, you’ll enjoy the Coffee Talks series taking place at the Luxe City Center Hotel, with discussion topics covering Actors, Composers, Directors and Screenwriters (coffee included!).
Marrying the L.A. Muse theme with the festival’s commitment to showcasing international films, works such as Mark Webber’s The Ever After, which explores the global influence of Hollywood culture and the American dream through the lens of an Australian writer and director, are scheduled throughout the festival. Respected screenwriter Gren Wells makes her directorial debut with The Road Within, a story about an LA teens suffering from Tourette’s, who’s consequently shipped off to a clinic to recover away from his high-profile family. And the ever-popular free outdoor screenings also stay true to the theme–Luis Valdez La Bamba and Buster Keaton’s Cops are on the billet this year.
Set to conclude the festival on a high note is Clint Eastwood’s film adaptation of the Tony Award winning musical Jersey Boys, with household name Christopher Walken playing the part of Angelo ‘Gyp’ DeCarlo. Eastwood’s Jersey Boys will be the cherry on top of a jam-packed schedule of must-see up and comers, including Love is Strange, a film deconstructing mature love through two 50-something recently married men, starring household name John Lithgow as Ben. And the much-anticipated opening sci-fi film Snowpiercer has film lovers excited too–a South Korean post-apocalyptic tale directed by Boon Joon-Ho centring on the trials and tribulations of society amid a global warming disaster.
And if you have a free hour on your schedule here or there, you’re in luck, as DTLA boasts some of the city’s best eateries and cocktail bars. Try happy hour on the sun-drenched rooftop at The Standard, or a quick bite with accompanying city views at Perch.
Tickets for the festival are available for purchase either online or at the L.A. Live ticket office. If you don’t want to miss a single scene, you can purchase an All Access Pass which offers concierge services and entry to the exclusive festival parties as well. If that’s not your scene, the Film Lover package includes tickets to 10 screenings of your choice and access to the festival lounge. See the ticketing breakdown and full schedule on the official website.
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