Category Archives: #LAFilmFest

DON’T COME BACK FROM THE MOON Opens tonight!

Posted by Larry Gleeson

DON’T COME BACK FROM THE MOON

Directed by BRUCE THIERRY CHEUNG

**Winner – Special Jury Award in Directing, Los Angeles Film Festival**

**Winner- James Lyons Award for Best Editing, Woodstock Film Festival**

**Winner – Best Narrative Feature, Southampton Film Festival**

**Winner – Best Cinematography, Southampton Film Festival**

dont come back from the moon - image 5

DON’T COME BACK FROM THE MOON starring James Franco, Rashida Jones, Jeff Wahlberg, Robert Scott Crane, Jeremiah Noe and Cheyenne Haynes,  is a story of abandonment, when all the men in a remote California desert town walk away from their families, one by one. They leave their angry, frustrated sons and daughters behind – kids who act out, engage in acts of petty burglary and vandalism, and look for love and family connection in the aftermath of their abandonment, all the while trying to understand why their fathers have “gone to the moon,” leaving them to traverse the difficult path to adulthood alone.

dont come back from the moon - image 9

DON’T COME BACK FROM THE MOON Director, Bruce Thierry Cheung, makes his feature film debut from an adaptation of Dean Bakopoulos’ celebrated first novel, Please Don’t Come Back from the MoonCheung and Bakopoulos co-wrote the screenplay.

The film opens tonight in Los Angeles, New York, select theatres and VOD on January 18th.

Advertisements

LA FILM FESTIVAL MOVES TO FALL SEPTEMBER 20-28, 2018 AT ARCLIGHT CINEMAS

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Withoutabox is New Official Submission Service;

Entries Accepted Beginning January 1

LOS ANGELES (October 18, 2017) — Today Film Independent announced new dates for the LA Film Festival and a multi-year partnership with ArcLight Cinemas. The Festival, previously held in June, will now take place in late September starting in 2018. Submissions for the 24th edition of the Festival will open January 1, 2018, exclusively on Withoutabox, as part of a new multi-year collaboration.

“The secret to dramatically changing something is to change it,” said Jennifer Cochis, LA Film Festival Director. “My passion for this Festival is unwavering and the time for an evolution has come. Film Independent is so proud of the work we’ve done in showcasing new American and international cinema that embraces diversity, innovation and unique perspectives, but the fact is that summer is a challenging time for artist driven films, and fall is where we clearly belong. This shift in our dates is an important step in enacting my aim to further develop the LA Film Festival, I sincerely look forward to better serving filmmakers, film lovers, the city and the industry in the fall of 2018 and beyond.”

“We are proud to be the home of the LA Film Festival. The festival has been a staple for filmmakers and cinephiles in Los Angeles,” said Gretchen McCourt, Executive Vice President at ArcLight Cinemas. “LA is an entertainment mecca and has been home to ArcLight for over 15 years. It is partnerships like this that continue to make our programming unique. We couldn’t be more thrilled to be with them on this journey.”

“Great festivals need great partners, and we couldn’t be happier to be entering a multi-year collaboration with ArcLight Cinema and Withoutabox,” said Film Independent President Josh Welsh. “LA audiences know and love the ArcLight experience, and as our submissions continue to grow, Withoutabox is the ideal service for us to accept and evaluate submissions from filmmakers all over the world.”

Creators can submit their work to the LA Film Festival for consideration beginning on January 1, 2018 exclusively on Withoutabox.

ABOUT THE LA FILM FESTIVAL

The LA Film Festival is a key part of the exhibition arm of the nonprofit arts organization Film Independent. Showcasing new American and international cinema that embraces diversity, innovation and unique perspectives, the Festival produces one-of-a-kind events featuring critically acclaimed filmmakers, industry professionals and award-winning talent from Los Angeles and around the world. The Festival’s signature programs include Diversity Speaks, Women Who Lead Luncheon, Spirit of Independence Award, Coffee Talks and more. The Festival’s Future Filmmakers Showcase supports high school filmmakers with screenings of their work and community based film education opportunities. For sponsorship opportunities, please contact Albina Oks, Director of Corporate Sponsorship, aoks@filmindependent.org or 310.432.1252.

 

ABOUT FILM INDEPENDENT

Film Independent is the nonprofit arts organization that champions independent visual storytelling and supports a community of artists who embody diversity, innovation and uniqueness of vision. Film Independent helps filmmakers make their movies, builds an audience for their projects, and works to diversify the film industry. Film Independent’s Board of Directors, filmmakers, staff and constituents is comprised of an inclusive community of individuals across ability, age, ethnicity, gender, race and sexual orientation. Anyone passionate about film can become a Member, whether you are a filmmaker, industry professional or a film lover.

In addition to producing the Spirit Awards, Film Independent produces the LA Film Festival and Film Independent at LACMA Film Series, a year-round, weekly program that offers unique cinematic experiences for the Los Angeles creative community and the general public.

With over 250 annual screenings and events, Film Independent provides access to a network of like-minded artists who are driving creativity in the film industry. Film Independent’s Artist Development program offers free Labs for selected writers, directors, producers and documentary filmmakers and presents year- round networking opportunities. Project Involve is Film Independent’s signature program dedicated to fostering the careers of talented filmmakers from communities traditionally underrepresented in the film industry. For more information or to become a Member, visit filmindependent.org.

 

ABOUT ARCLIGHT CINEMAS

ArcLight Cinemas, created by Pacific Theatres, a privately owned, Los Angeles based company with 60 years of theatrical exhibition history throughout California, Hawaii and Washington is a premiere movie going destination with an unparalleled commitment to bringing a variety of rich cinematic content to all audiences.  The company brings to life an uninterrupted immersive movie-going experience with no distractions, and a promise to exhibit films the way moviemakers intend their movie to be watched.

ArcLight Cinemas operates seven theaters in California including Hollywood, Pasadena, Sherman Oaks, El Segundo, Santa Monica, Culver City and La Jolla, as well as theaters in Bethesda, Md., Chicago and Glenview, Ill., with a new location in Boston for 2019. ArcLight also owns and operates the historic Cinerama Dome and programs the TCL Chinese Theatre and IMAX in Hollywood. Pacific Theatres currently operates theaters in Los Angeles that include The Grove and The Americana at Brand in Glendale, Calif. Additional information about ArcLight Cinemas is available at http://www.arclightcinemas.com.

ABOUT WITHOUTABOX

Withoutabox (https://www.withoutabox.com) is the premier submission service for film festivals and filmmakers. Since 2001, Withoutabox has enabled nearly 3 million festival submissions to the leading film festivals in the world, and more than 150 of these titles went on to receive an Academy Award® nomination with dozens eventually winning an Oscar®. Withoutabox provides a powerful and convenient solution for festivals seeking a service to manage their film festival submissions. World renowned film festivals that rely on Withoutabox to exclusively manage their submissions include The Sundance Film Festival and The Toronto International Film Festival. Filmmakers using Withoutabox can easily submit their films to film festivals around the word and can automatically create a title page for their film on IMDb (the #1 movie website in the world), reaching more than 250 million unique monthly visitors worldwide. Withoutabox continues to evolve on behalf of its customers, including recent product enhancements such as: promo codes; a Fire TV Festival Judging App; HD online screeners; a redesigned filmmaker experience; and support for Vimeo links. To learn more about Withoutabox or to sign up, visit https://www.withoutabox.com. Withoutabox is owned and operated by IMDb.com, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) (http://www.amazon.com). IMDb also offers the membership-based service IMDbPro (http://www.imdbpro.com), the essential resource for entertainment industry professionals.

(Source: Press release provided by Ginsburg/Libby)

LA FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES WINNERS

Posted by Larry Gleeson

LA FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES WINNERS

AND THANKS ITS GENEROUS SPONSORS

LOS ANGELES (June 22, 2017) – Today the LA Film Festival, produced by Film Independent, announced the winners of the 2017 Festival at the Awards Reception presided over by Festival Director Jennifer Cochis and Film Independent President Josh Welsh. The Festival’s juried awards include the U.S. Fiction Award, U.S. Fiction Cinematography Award presented by Aputure, World Fiction Award, Documentary Award, LA Muse Awards, and Nightfall Award, as well as the Short Fiction Award and the Short Documentary Award. Audience awards are presented for Fiction Feature Film, Documentary Feature Film, Short Film and Web Series. Festival Guest Director Miguel Arteta (Chuck & Buck, The Good Girl, Beatriz at Dinner) was awarded the Spirit of Independence Award at the event for his work advancing the cause of independent film and championing creative freedom.  Film Independent President Josh Welsh also took the opportunity to thank the more than 60 generous sponsors, funders and media partners without whom the Festival would not be possible.

 

“This year the LA Film Festival stretched all across our city, from downtown to the beach,” said Festival Director Jennifer Cochis. “We’re so grateful to the film lovers who packed our theaters in support of our storytellers. Today we celebrate the winners of the LA Film Festival Awards!”

 

“Producing the LA Film Festival is a huge undertaking, with filmmakers from all across the globe, venues all across the city, and hundreds of volunteers helping us pull it off,” said Film Independent President Josh Welsh. “We truly could not do it without the extremely generous support of our many sponsors.”

 

The U.S. Fiction Award went to Elizabeth Rohrbaugh and Daniel Powell for Becks, which made its World Premiere at the Festival. The U.S. Fiction Cinematography Award presented by Aputure went to cinematographers Christian Sorensen Hansen and Pete Ohs for Everything Beautiful is Far Away, which made its World Premiere at the Festival. Jury Members: Duncan Birmingham, Riley Stearns and Emily Ting.

 

The World Fiction Award went to Diego Ros for The Night Guard (El Vigilante), which made its North American Premiere at the Festival. Jury Members: Caroline Graham, Lincoln Jones and Javier Fuentes-León.

 

The Documentary Award went to Amanda Kopp and Aaron Kopp for Liyana, which made its World Premiere at the Festival. Jury Members: Katherine Fairfax-Wright, Paul Federbush and Matt Holzman.

 

The LA Muse Awards were given to two films, one fiction and one documentary. The LA Muse Documentary Award went to Mark Hayes for Skid Row Marathon, which made its World Premiere at the Festival. The LA Muse Fiction Award went to Savannah Bloch for And Then There Was Eve, which made its World Premiere at the Festival.  Jury Members: Susan Burke, Juan Iglesias and Kimrie Lewis-Davis.

 

The Nightfall Award went to Amanda Evans for Serpent, which made its World Premiere at the Festival. Jury Members: Jimmy Tsai, Clarke Wolfe and Andrew Curry.

 

The Award for Short Fiction went to A Funeral for Lightning, directed by Emily Kai Bock. The Award for Short Documentary went to Black America Again, directed by Bradford Young. Jury Members: Kim Adelman, Jonni Cheatwood and Naomi Ladizinsky.

 

The Audience Award for Documentary Feature Film was given to Skid Row Marathon, directed by Mark Hayes.

 

The Audience Award for Fiction Feature Film went to The Keeping Hours, directed by Karen Moncrieff.

 

The Audience Award for Short Film went to Swim directed by Mari Walker.  The Audience Award for Web Series went to High & Mighty, directed by Carlos Lopez Estrada.

 

Announced earlier were the winners of The Danny Elfman Project: Rabbit and Rogue competition:

13, Justine Quinones

The Bridge, Matt Eckholm

Dandelion, Catherine Fauteux

A Day for Manuel, JB Minerva

Gamelan, Cornelia Nicolăeasa

A Glory Sewn, Travis Dixon

Lakesong, Douglas Gibbens & Konstantina Mantelos

Natural Promotion, Sean Oliver

Urge, Pieter Coudyzer

 

Elfman offered free licenses of his Rabbit and Rogue album to filmmakers on indi.com as the catalyst and soundtracks to their short films.  The winning films screened at the Festival. The jury was comprised of Gus Van Sant, McG, Rob Minkoff, Sam Taylor-Johnson, Paul Haggis and Suzanne Todd.

 

The LA Film Festival kicked off on Wednesday, June 14 with the World Premiere of Colin Trevorrow’s The Book of Henry and will close later today with the LA Premiere of Matt Spicer’s Ingrid Goes West. Special Screenings included Sofia Coppola’s The Beguiled, Ric Roman Waugh’s Shot Caller, Dave McCary’s Brigsby Bear and featured conversations with Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein of Portlandia, Ava DuVernay, Amanda Marsalis, DeMane Davis, Kat Candler and Cheryl Dunye of Queen Sugar to list but a few of the events this year. The Festival also celebrated producer Nina Yang Bongiovi (Roxanne Roxanne, Songs My Brothers Taught Me, Fruitvale Station, Dope) at the Women Who Lead Luncheon.

 

The Festival’s five competitions featured 37 World Premieres, 2 International Premieres and 9 North American Premieres. Across the competition categories 42% of the films are directed by women and 40% are directed by people of color.

 

Awards were given out in the following categories:

 

U.S. Fiction Award
Winner: Becks, directed by Elizabeth Rohrbaugh and Daniel Powell

Screenwriter: Elizabeth Rohrbaugh, Daniel Powell, Rebecca Drysdale

Producer: Alex Bach, Elizabeth Rohrbaugh, Daniel Powell
Cast: Lena Hall, Mena Suvari, Christine Lahti, Dan Fogler, Rebecca Drysdale, Hayley Kiyoko, Michael Zegen

Film Description: After a crushing breakup, an aimless singer-songwriter moves in with her ultra-Catholic mother and strikes up an unexpected friendship with the wife of an old nemesis. World Premiere

 

U.S. Fiction Cinematography Award presented by Aputure

Winner: Everything Beautiful is Far Away, cinematography by Christian Sorensen Hansen and Pete Ohs
Directors: Pete Ohs and Andrea Sisson

Country: USA

Screenwriter: Pete Ohs

Producer: Saul Germaine, Andrea Sisson, Pete Ohs
Cast: Julia Garner, Joseph Cross, C.S. Lee

Film Description: This arthouse science fiction fable is set on an isolated desert planet, where a man who is looking for parts to repair his robotic companion teams up with a young woman who is searching for an imaginary lake. World Premiere

 

Aputure is a company that believes creators should never have to compromise their vision because of a budget. Offering professional-grade equipment affordable to filmmakers everywhere, Aputure sells in over 100 countries offering filmmakers and photographers LED lights, monitors, microphones and lens adapters. In partnering with the LA Film Festival to present the Aputure Cinematography Award, they are awarding $4,000 in lighting equipment to the winning film’s director of photography.

 

 

The U.S. Fiction Jury awarded the following special mentions:

 

Special Mention for Breakout Performance: Auden Thornton of Beauty Mark

Country: USA

Director: Harris Doran

Screenwriter: Harris Doran

Producer: Harris Doran, Penny Edmiston, Gill Holland, Kiley Lane Parker, Bridget Berger, Corey Moosa

Cast: Auden Thornton, Catherine Curtin, Laura Bell Bundy, Jeff Kober, Madison Iseman, Deirdre Lovejoy

Film Description: Inspired by true events, when a poverty-stricken young mother and her three-year-old son are evicted, she turns to the only person she knows with any money – the man who abused her as a child. World Premiere

 

Special Mention for Directing: Bruce Thierry Cheung of Don’t Come Back from the Moon

Country: USA

Screenwriter: Bruce Thierry Cheung, Dean Bakopoulos

Producer: Jay Davis, Lauren Hoekstra

Cast: Jeffrey Wahlberg, Zackary Arthur, Alyssa Elle Steinacker, Cheyenne Haynes, James Franco, Rashida Jones

Film Description: The men of a small town on the edge of nowhere mysteriously disappear, one by one, leaving women and children behind to fend for themselves in a desolate and dreamlike world. World Premiere

 

****

World Fiction Award
Winner: The Night Guard (El Vigilante), directed by Diego Ros
Country: Mexico

Screenwriter: Diego Ros

Producer: Diego Ros
Cast: Leonardo Alonso, Ari Gallegos, Lilia Mendoza, Héctor Holten

Film Description: A security guard at a construction site learns about a crime that took place the night before and becomes entangled in a series of mysterious events that unravel over the course of a single night. North American Premiere

 

The World Fiction Jury awarded the following special mention:

 

Special Mention for Excellence in Storytelling: On the Beach at Night Alone (Bamui Hae-Byun-Eoseo Honja), directed by Hong Sangsoo

Country: South Korea

Screenwriter: Hong Sangsoo

Producer: Hong Sangsoo

Cast: Kim Minhee, Seo Younghwa, Kwon Haehyo, Jung Jaeyoung, Song Seonmi, Moon Sungkeun, Ahn Jaehong, Park Yeaju, Karl Feder, Mark Peranson, Bettina Steinbrügge

Film Description: Younghee is an actress who is stressed by a relationship with a married man in Korea. On the beach she wonders: Is he missing me, like I miss him? North American Premiere

 

****

Documentary Award

Winner: Liyana, directed by Amanda Kopp and Aaron Kopp
Country: Swaziland / USA / Qatar

Producer: Amanda Kopp, Aaron Kopp, Sakheni Dlamini, Daniel Junge, Davis Coombe
Featuring: Gcina Mhlophe

Film Description: The epic tale of a young Swazi girl on a dangerous quest to save her twin brothers is brought to life with captivating animation from the imaginations of five talented orphan children in Swaziland. World Premiere

 

****

LA Muse Fiction Award
Winner: And Then There Was Eve, directed by Savannah Bloch

Screenwriter: Savannah Bloch, Colette Freedman

Producer: Jen Prince, Jhennifer Webberley
Cast:  Tania Nolan, Rachel Crowl, Mary Holland, Karan Soni, Anne Gee Byrd, John Kassir

Film Description: After the sudden disappearance of her husband, a woman enlists the help of his coworker to fill in the missing pieces. World Premiere

 

LA Muse Documentary Award
Winner: Skid Row Marathon, directed by Mark Hayes

Screenwriter: Mark Hayes

Producer: Gabriele Hayes, Doug Blush
Cast: Judge Craig Mitchell, Ben Shirley, Rafael Cabrera, Rebecca Hayes, David Askew

Film Description: On LA’s Skid Row, a criminal court judge organizes a running club comprised of homeless, recovering and paroled men and women who seek to rediscover their sense of self-worth and dignity. World Premiere

 

The LA Muse Jury awarded the following special mentions:

 

Special Mention for Acting: John Carroll Lynch of Anything

Country: USA

Director: Timothy McNeil

Screenwriter: Timothy McNeil

Producer: Louise Runge, Ofrit Peres, Micah Hauptman

Cast: John Carroll Lynch, Matt Bomer, Maura Tierney, Margot Bingham, Micah Hauptman

Film Description: After the death of his wife, a man moves from Mississippi to a run-down Hollywood apartment, where he meets someone new. World Premiere

 

Special Mention for Excellence in Storytelling: The Classic, directed by Billy McMillin

Country: USA

Screenwriter: Billy McMillin

Producer: Christopher Leggett, Rafael Marmor, Timm Oberwelland, Billy McMillin

Cast: Mario Ramirez, Joseph Silva, Sammy Hernandez, Stevie Williams, Javier Cid, Lorenzo Hernandez, Alfred Robledo

Film Description: Two predominantly Latino high schools square off annually in one of the oldest and most heated football rivalries in the country: the East LA Classic. It doesn’t get more American than this. World Premiere

 

****

Nightfall Award
Winner: Serpent, directed by Amanda Evans

Screenwriter: Amanda Evans

Producer: Greig Buckle
Cast: Sarah Dumont, Tom Ainsley

Film Description: When a young couple take a getaway aimed at reviving their romance, they find themselves trapped in a tent with a venomous snake and a backlog of secrets, and realize that only one of them can make it out alive. World Premiere

 

The Nightfall Jury awarded the following special mention:

 

Special Mention for Acting: Kate Nhung of The Housemaid

Country: USA/Vietnam

Director: Derek Nguyen

Screenwriter: Derek Nguyen

Producer: Timothy Linh Bui

Cast: Nhung Kate, Jean-Michel Richaud, Kim Xuan, Rosie Fellner, Phi Phung, Kien An

Film Description: After an orphaned Vietnamese girl is hired to be a housemaid at a haunted rubber plantation in 1953 French Indochina, she unexpectedly falls in love with the French landowner and awakens the vengeful ghost of his dead wife. North American Premiere

 

****

Award for Short Film
Winner: A Funeral for Lightning, directed by Emily Kai Bock. USA/Canada.
Film Description: Seven months pregnant and stuck in a sleepy corner of Tennessee, a young woman begins to question the promises made by her charismatic husband.

 

The Shorts Jury awarded the following special mentions:

 

Special Mention for Excellence in Storytelling: Balloonfest, directed by Nathan Truesdell. USA

Film Description: Cleveland attempts to overcome its nickname, “The Mistake by the Lake,” by launching a bunch of balloons.

 

****

Award for Documentary Short

Winner: Black America Again, directed by Bradford Young. USA
Film Description: Inspired by Common’s Black America Again, this portrait is a celebration of the beauty, strength, perseverance and spirit of the black community in these troubling times.

****

 

Audience Award for Fiction Feature Film

Winner: The Keeping Hours, directed by Karen Moncrieff
Producers: Jason Blum, John Miranda
Cast: Lee Pace, Carrie Coon, Sander Thomas, Amy Smart, Ana Ortiz, Ray Baker

Film Description: Years after the death of their son and their subsequent estrangement, a couple reunites under supernatural circumstances. World Premiere.

 

This award is given to the fiction feature audiences liked most as voted by a tabulated rating system. Select fiction feature-length films screening in the following sections were eligible for the Audience Award for Best Fiction Feature: U.S. Fiction, World Fiction, LA Muse, Nightfall and Premieres.

 

****

Audience Award for Documentary Feature Film
Winner: Skid Row Marathon, directed by Mark Hayes

Producers: Gabriele Hayes, Doug Blush

Featuring: Judge Craig Mitchell, Ben Shirley, Rafael Cabrera, Rebecca Hayes, David Askew

Film Description: On LA’s Skid Row, a criminal court judge organizes a running club comprised of homeless, recovering and paroled men and women who seek to rediscover their sense of self-worth and dignity. World Premiere

 

This award is given to the documentary feature audiences liked most as voted by a tabulated rating system. Select documentary feature-length films screening in the following sections were eligible for the Audience Award for Documentary Feature: Documentary LA Muse and Premieres.

 

****

Audience Award for Short Film
Winner: Swim, directed by Mari Walker

Country: USA
Film Description: As summer draws to a close, a young trans girl finds freedom in a secret midnight swim.

 

This award is given to the short film audiences liked most as voted by a tabulated rating system. Short films screening in the Shorts Programs or before feature films in the Festival were eligible for the Audience Award for Short Film.

 

****

Audience Award for Web-series
Winner: High & Mighty, directed by Carlos Lopez Estrada

Country: USA

Description: Perpetually stoned, drunk, and unemployed, Chelo Chavez is an unlikely superhero.

 

This award is given to the web-series audiences liked most as voted by a tabulated rating system.

 

In closing out the 2017 edition, the Festival also thanks the many sponsors whose support makes the program possible including Presenting Media Sponsor the Los Angeles Times and Host Venue the ArcLight Cinemas. Platinum Sponsors are Alfa Romeo, American Airlines, EFilm | Company 3, HBO and Marker’s Mark. Supporter Level Sponsors are Classic Party Rentals, Directors Guild of America, Dolby, Focus Features, Kona Productions, Showtime Documentary Films and Smartsource Rentals.

 

Generous support has also been provided by Affiliate Level Sponsors ATK Audiotek,  designer8*, The Culver Studios, IFC, Konsonant Music, Kraft-Engel Management, Ovation TV, SAGindie, Snapsound and Twentieth Century Fox Film. Other sponsors include BMI, ESPN Films, Image Nation Abu Dhabi, Ketchum, Twin Cities Film Fest,  USA Network and Writers Guild of America, West.

 

Additional support is provided by Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Time Warner Foundation, Lisa Argyros/Argyros Family Foundation, Jason Delane Lee and Yvonne Huff Lee | Lagralane Group, UCLA Latin American Institute, Korean Cultural Center of Los Angeles, Employees Community Fund of Boeing California and the Members of Film Independent’s annual giving group, Arts Circle.

 

The Festival also thanks official industry resource IMDbPro, official card Citi, official beer Golden Road Brewing and official water, Essentia Water.

 

Alfa Romeo

Since its foundation in Milan, Italy, in 1910, Alfa Romeo continues to design and craft some of the most stunning and premium vehicles in automotive history, all while building on a racing heritage that includes some of the most talented and storied drivers and victories. www.alfaromeousa.com

 

American Airlines

American is committed to the community in Los Angeles through local partnerships and community projects and, as the preferred airline of the entertainment industry, has formed an advisory council of influencers from leading entertainment corporations to shape future decisions. American offers up to 225 flights per day from LAX to 70 destinations worldwide.

 

EFILM | CO3

Post facilities EFilm | Company 3, part of Deluxe’s creative group of companies, are known for creative color artistry, pioneering technology and global reach. Recent features include blockbusters Beauty & the Beast and Wonder Woman and indies such as The Bachelors, The Book of Henry, A Crooked Somebody and Out of State.

 

HBO

Home Box Office, Inc. is the premium television programming subsidiary of Time Warner Inc. and the world’s most successful pay TV service, providing the two television services – HBO® and Cinemax® – to approximately 134 million subscribers worldwide.  The services offer the popular subscription video-on-demand products HBO On Demand® and Cinemax On Demand®, as well as HBO GO® and MAX GO®, HD feeds and multiplex channels. HBO NOW®, the network’s internet-only premium streaming service, provides audiences with instant access to HBO’s acclaimed programming in the U.S. Internationally, HBO branded television networks, along with the subscription video-on-demand products HBO On Demand and HBO GO, bring HBO services to over 60 countries.  HBO and Cinemax programming is sold into over 150 countries worldwide.

 

Maker’s Mark

Maker’s Mark® is one of the finest Kentucky Bourbons with a soft, smooth flavor stemming from the use of red winter wheat. Today, Maker’s Mark® makes its bourbon the same way its founder, Bill Samuels, Sr., did over 60 years ago, in small batches by craftsmen who hand-dip each bottle.

 

Essentia Water

We’re here to put a flag in the ground and tell the world that a better you starts with a better water. Supercharged ionized alkaline water, Essentia delivers peak rehydration performance. It’s about drinking up more of life and doing all the things that make you extraordinary. #EssentiaNation

 

Golden Road

Founded in 2011 by beer enthusiast Meg Gill, Golden Road Brewing has since become Los Angeles’ largest craft brewer and is available throughout major markets in the US. Golden Road offers a wide variety of beers created by combining old world brewing standards with California lifestyle inspired innovation and ingredients.

Thank you to WireImage, the Official Photographer of the LA Film Festival. Please visit wireimage.com, the official source for photos.

Additional thanks to media partners Backstage, Deadline Hollywood, The Hollywood Reporter, KCRW 89.9FM, KPFK 90.7FM, LA Metro, LA Weekly, Los Angeles Confidential, Martin Outdoor Media, MovieMaker Magazine, OUTFRONT Media, Time Out Los Angeles, Univision/KLVE, Variety, Variety 411, WireImage and TheWrap.

(Source: Press release provided by Gladys Santos, Ginsburg/Libby)
*Featured photo from You Get Me, directed by Brent Bonacorso

Newtown – Confronting the Sandy Hook Massacre

Newtown  is a moving new documentary detailing the trauma and tribulations of families and community members dealing with emotions and life after the massacre of 20 children ages 6-7 years old and six adult staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut by 20 year-old Adam Lanza. Lanza had murdered his own mother before driving to Sandy Hook and opening fire with an XM-15 military style M4 carbine rifle. Lanza fired 154 rounds with multiple magazine changes from high capacity 30-round magazines to 15-round magazines. The rounds reverberated over the school’s PA system.

Newtown was directed by Kim A. Snyder. Snyder is a New York based filmmaker known for I Remember Me, One Bridge To The Next and Welcome To Shelbyville. 

The film opens in a slow-motion sequence of a parade with children in cheer-leading uniforms riding in convertibles in what could be any middle-lass suburb and provides a rather visceral idyllic sentiment of a happy childhood. In a rather seamless fashion, the film cuts to live footage from what appears to be a police vehicle’s on-board camera while a voice over from a 911 call is heard. Immediately, the mood of the film changes. Something has happened. Black and white aerial footage of the school and surrounding area, including a nearby evacuation location, a volunteer fire fighting house culminating in live news coverage of the massacre is shown as details are slowly revealed.

Snyder effectively incorporates the interview into her narrative throughout weaving testimonies into the film’s narrative interspersed with sweeping scenes of the natural beauty of the area. The Sandy Hook School Nurse, Sally Cox, described her feelings hearing the shots being fired wondering when they would stop. A Connecticut State Trooper refused to discuss the graphic details of what he saw at the crime scene focusing on the emotional impact instead. And this theme drives the film.

Snyder artfully uses text overlays with Newtown neighbors communicating with each other during the immediate aftermath. The first text reveals safety for one child and then the news of a child, Daniel Barden, who died. An emotional medium close up framed interview of Daniel’s father, Mark,  as he laments not knowing his son’s final moments takes the film’s emotionality to a deeper level. Additional interviews of the Barden’s close neighbor recounting the Friday “after school pizza parties” and the bonding between the two families keep the emotional roller coaster going. An adept point-of-view tracking shot of the community’s pastor as he solemnly makes his way to the church altar to prepare for the upcoming funeral masses opens up a massive void that no one  has wanted to talk about. The feeling there is no way to prevent this from happening again surfaces.

Snyder reaches back and adds more archival footage of Congressional hearings with testimony from Newtown’s Dr. William Begg, Emergency Room Services Director. Dr. Begg  testifies to the impact assault bullets have on little bodies and the survivability when the bodies have been riddled with anywhere from three to eleven assault rounds. Another clip shows President of the United States, Barack Obama, praising the Connecticut’s sweeping new gun law legislation as he urges Congress to follow suit.

“The number 12/14 has become a defining moment for many members of the community,” reveals a Sandy Hook Elementary School teacher. Here Snyder inserts stunning cinematography starting with a ray of light shimmering through autumnal leaves. Quickly apples are revealed and soon a hand and footage of a family apple-picking event foreshadow the Barden’s decision to conceive another child.

As time passes questions are being asked on how can the community honor these children and what can be done to help as the community searches for answers. The grieving process has begun following the massive trauma and shock they have experienced.

As the film moves toward its conclusion, a community event including a challenging obstacle course draws the survivors together as they attempt to overcome the difficulties imposed. As participants struggle to make the finishing line cheers and support are given. Another powerful metaphor Snyder wields with grace and finesse. And again, she reaches back into her tool kit and uses text overlays as the community shares their grief online as they move forward after 12/14/12.

Admittedly, Newtown is an emotionally draining film. Snyder’s direction slowly draws out the emotional strings while infusing hope and a call to action of “we are all in this together.” http://newtownfilm.com/. Indeed.

eje02wbx

LA FILM FESTIVAL UNVEILS 2016 COMPETITION LINEUP‏

LOS ANGELES (April 26, 2016)— Today the LA Film Festival, produced by Film Independent, the non-profit arts organization that also produces the Film Independent Spirit Awards, unveiled the official U.S. Fiction, Documentary, World Fiction, Nightfall and LA Muse sections. The 2016 LA Film Festival will screen a diverse slate of feature films, shorts and web series, along with programs such as the Filmmaker Retreat, Coffee Talks and Master Classes. The Festival runs June 1-9, 2016 at the ArcLight Cinemas.

“Our Programming team, led by Roya Rastegar and Jennifer Cochis, killed it,” said Festival Director, Stephanie Allain. “The competition lineup of 42 world premieres echoes Film Independent’s mission to celebrate diversity and showcases a multitude of innovative, fresh voices. We can’t wait to share these films with audiences and industry alike, and, following years which saw films like Meet the Patels, Code Black, Nightingale, The Drew, Out of My Hand and French Dirty acquired out of the Festival, are confident that 2016 will mark our best Festival yet.”

“Discovering storytellers is our raison d’être,” said Roya Rastegar, Director of Programming. “We invest a great deal to learn about filmmaking communities across the globe. We look for films with conviction in perspective, style and voice.”

“Curating films for LA audiences is so special because Angelenos have a uniquely homegrown love of cinema,” added Creative Director, Jennifer Cochis. “It’s with true film lovers in mind that we program: from political theater to musical theater, we’re highlighting storytelling in all its forms.”

la-film-festival-logo-2016The 2016 LA Film Festival, which will have its headquarters at the ArcLight Culver City, announces a diverse slate of 56 feature films, 58 short films and 13 short episodic works representing 28 countries. Previously announced, the Opening Night Film is the World Premiere of Ricardo De Montreuil’s Lowriders, sponsored by Jaeger-LeCoultre. This year’s Guest Director is Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station, Creed) and Ava DuVernay (Selma, Middle of Nowhere) and Array Releasing will receive the Spirit of Independence Award. More special screenings and programs will be announced in the coming weeks.

The Festival’s five competitions feature 42 World Premieres. Across the five feature competition categories, 43% of the films are directed by women and 38% of the films are directed by people of color.

This year, LA Film Festival Director Stephanie Allain is joined by Creative Director Jennifer Cochis, Director of Programming Roya Rastegar and Managing Director Ralph Rivera. Film Independent Curator Elvis Mitchell continues to oversee signature programs and LACMA events.

Passes are currently on sale to Film Independent Members and the general public. In addition to access to screenings and events (even after they sell out), Festival passes provide access to networking receptions and the Festival Lounge, where pass holders interact with Festival filmmakers and professionals in the film community. General admission tickets to individual films go on sale to Film Independent Members beginning Thursday, May 5 and to the general public beginning Tuesday, May 10. Contact the Ticket Office for passes, tickets and event information by calling 866.FILM.FEST (866.345.6337) or visit lafilmfestival.com.

US Fiction Competition (12)

Original voices with distinct visions from emerging and established American independent filmmakers.

11:55, dir. Ari Issler, Ben Snyder, USA, World Premiere

72 Hours, dir. Raafi Rivero, USA, World Premiere

Blood Stripe, dir. Remy Auberjonois, USA, World Premiere

Chee and T, dir. Tanuj Chopra, USA, World Premiere

Destined, dir. Qasim Basir, USA, World Premiere

Dreamstates, dir. Anisia Uzeyman, USA, World Premiere

GREEN / is / GOLD, dir. Ryon Baxter, USA, World Premiere

My First Kiss and the People Involved, dir. Luigi Campi, USA, World Premiere

Paint it Black, dir. Amber Tamblyn, USA, World Premiere

Tracktown, dir. Jeremy Teicher, Alexi Pappas, USA, World Premiere

The View from Tall, dir. Erica Weiss, Caitlin Parrish, USA, World Premiere

Woven, dir. Salome Mulugeta, Nagwa Ibrahim, USA, World Premiere

Documentary Competition (12) Sponsored by Loyola Marymount University School of Film and Television.

Compelling, character-driven non-fiction films from the U.S. and around the world.

 

Company Town, dir. Natalie Kottke, Erica Sardarian, USA, World Premiere

Denial, dir. Derek Hallquist, USA, World Premiere

Dr. Feelgood, dir. Eve Marson, USA, World Premiere

Dying Laughing, dir. Lloyd Stanton, Paul Toogood, USA/UK, World Premiere

The House on Coco Road, dir. Damani Baker, Grenada/USA, World Premiere

Jackson, dir. Maisie Crow, USA, World Premiere

The Last Gold, dir. Brian T. Brown, Germany/USA, World Premiere

Looking at the Stars, dir. Alexandre Peralta, Brazil/Nicaragua/USA, World Premiere

Olympic Pride, American Prejudice, dir. Deborah Riley Draper, USA, World Premiere

Out of Iraq, dir.  Eva Orner, Chris McKim, Canada/Iraq/Lebanon/USA, World Premiere

Political Animals, dir. Jonah Markowitz, Tracy Wares, USA, World Premiere

They Call us Monsters, dir. Ben Lear, USA, World Premiere

 

World Fiction Competition (6)

Unique fiction films from around the world from emerging and established filmmakers, especially curated for LA audiences.

 

Heis (chronicles), dir. Anaïs Volpé, France, World Premiere

Like Cotton Twines, dir. Leila Djansi, Ghana/USA, World Premiere

London Town, dir. Derrick Borte, UK, World Premiere

Lupe Under the Sun, dir. Rodrigo Reyes, Mexico/USA, World Premiere

A Moving Image, dir. Shola Amoo, UK, World Premiere

Play the Devil, dir. Maria Govan, Trinidad/Bahamas/USA, World Premiere

LA Muse (6)

Fiction and documentary films that capture the spirit of L.A.

Actors of Sound, dir. Lalo Molina, Argentina/Finland/Germany/India/Ireland/USA, World Premiere

Girl Flu., dir. Dorie Barton, USA, World Premiere

Manchild: The Schea Cotton Story, dir. Eric “Ptah” Herbert, USA, World Premiere

Namour, dir. Heidi Saman, USA, World Premiere

No Light and No Land Anywhere, dir. Amber Sealey, USA, World Premiere

Sensitivity Training, dir. Melissa Finell, USA, World Premiere

Nightfall (6)

From the bizarre to the horrifying, these are films to watch after dark.

 

Abattoir, dir. Darren Lynn Bousman, USA, World Premiere

Beyond the Gates, dir. Jackson Stewart, USA, World Premiere

Don’t Hang Up, dir. Alexis Wajsbrot, Damien Macé, UK, World Premiere

Mercy, dir. Chris Sparling, USA, World Premiere

Officer Downe, dir. M. Shawn Crahan, USA, World Premiere

Villisca, dir. Tony Valenzuela, USA, World Premiere

Short Films (58): From over 2,500 submissions, the short films selected represent 15 countries and 64% are directed by women. Short films are shown before features and as part of seven 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 (33): The LA Film Festival’s Future Filmmaker Showcase brings to the big screen the best films made 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 sponsored by Loyola Marymount University School of Film and Television and Time Warner Foundation.

Episodes: Indie Series from the Web (13)

A showcase of independently crafted web series, celebrating rising creators whose work and subjects are innovative and unfiltered.

20 Seconds to Live, dir. Ben Rock, USA

Brothers, dir. Emmett Jack Lundberg, USA

Caring, dir. Maggie Kiley, USA

Fridays, dir. Anna Kerrigan, USA

The Ghost and the Negro, dir. Sylvester Folks, USA

Her Story, dir. Sydney Freeland, USA

Instababy, dir. Rosie Haber, USA

Literally So Busy, dir. Jerad Sloan, USA

Little Things, dir. Lex Halaby, Mila Shah, USA

Outside Comedy: Beth Stelling, dir. Thomas Wood, USA

Quirky Female Protagonist, dir. Yulin Kuang, USA

Shangri-LA, dir. Drew Rosas, USA

Time Out with Yes Please!, dir. Kholi Hicks, USA

(Source: Film Independent press release)

#LAFilmFest set for June 1-9, 2016 @ArcLightCinemas

The 22nd edition of the LA Film Festival will take place June 1 – June 9, 2016 at ArcLight Cinemas. The LA Film Festival’s mission is to showcase diversity, innovation and uniqueness of vision in independent American and international cinema.

“We are thrilled to open with Lowriders, a culturally vibrant film that explores familial relationships within a second-generation Mexican family in East LA. Made by filmmakers of color, Lowriders embodies our mission of shining the light on unique voices,” said Festival Director Stephanie Allain. “Spirit Award winner Ryan Coogler honors us as Guest Director – we had Fruitvale Station at the Festival in 2013 and are so happy to have him back this year as our Guest Director.”

 

“We can’t imagine a more fitting recipient of the Spirit of Independence Award than Ava DuVernay and her distribution company Array Releasing,” said Film Independent President Josh Welsh. “In addition to being a brilliant filmmaker, Ava is a passionate, forward-thinking distributor, helping unique and diverse voices find their audiences. Array bought Takeshi Fukunaga’s Out of My Hand at last year’s Festival, a film that we celebrated at this year’s Film Independent Spirit Awards.”
Lowriders

Lowriders (Photo credit: Justin Lubin)

Set against the vibrant backdrop of East LA’s near-spiritual car culture, Lowriders follows the story of Danny, a talented young street artist caught between the lowrider world inhabited by his old-school father and ex-con brother, and the adrenaline-fueled outlet that defines his self-expression.

 

“It is such an honor that the LA Film Festival has chosen Lowriders to open this year’s Festival,” said producer Brian Grazer. “From their humble beginnings to their modern-day status as works of extraordinary art, these aren’t simply cars…they hold the imagination of the people and culture that create them. Danny’s coming-of-age story is one of a son, a brother and a visionary, and we cannot wait to share Ricardo’s film with the world.”

 

“We are always looking to partner with filmmakers who are incredibly passionate about their projects,” said producer Jason Blum. “When Brian brought the idea for Lowriders to Blumhouse, we got excited by the opportunity to work with Imagine and Ricardo on this powerful story, which is a unique look at two generations at a crossroads. The LA Film Festival is a wonderful event, and we look forward to being a part of this year’s unique lineup.”

 

Pictured left to right: Ava DuVernay (Photo courtesy of GlamourUK); Ryan Coogler (Photo courtesy of LA Film Festival)

Guest Director Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station, Creed) will attend the 15th annual Filmmaker Retreat. A signature program of the Festival, the Filmmaker Retreat brings together all the feature directors in this year’s Festival along with seasoned filmmakers and Film Independent Board Members who attend as honored artists. The Filmmaker Retreat is an opportunity to build community among the Festival’s filmmakers before the Festival kicks off on June 1. Past Guest Directors of the Festival include Rodrigo García, Lisa Cholodenko, David O. Russell, Mira Nair, Kathryn Bigelow, George Lucas, William Friedkin, 
Sydney Pollack, Guillermo Del Toro and Alfonso Cuarón.

 

Writer/director/producer/distributor Ava DuVernay (Middle of Nowhere, Selma) and her colleagues at Array Releasing will be awarded the Spirit of Independence Award. The Spirit of Independence Award is given to individuals who advance the cause of independent film, champion creative freedom or make a significant contribution to the preservation and proliferation of independent voices. Array Releasing is an LA-based film collective dedicated to the amplification of images by people of color and women. The collective’s film releases to date include: 2015 LA Film Festival winners Out of my Hand and Ayanda, Ashes and Embers, Mississippi Damned, Middle of Nowhere, Kinyarwanda, Restless City, Vanishing Pearls, Big Words, Better Mus’ Come and I Will Follow.

 

“In 2013 we launched a series of LA Film Festival posters designed to celebrate LA artists. Native Angelena Carolyn Castaño joins the ranks of acclaimed artists Ed Ruscha and the late Noah Davis as the 2016 poster artist,” said Mary Sweeney, Film Independent Board Chair. “Castaño’s work reflects and celebrates her deep roots and experiences in the powerful Latina culture of Los Angeles. Film Independent and the LA Film Festival support and celebrate the diversity of unique artistic voices.”

 

Carolyn Castaño’s work in painting, drawing, video and mixed-media installations has been exhibited both nationally and internationally, most recently at the 56th International La Bienniale di Venezia, LACMA’s Fútbol: The Beautiful Game, the Pasadena Museum of California Art and at the Museo de Arte Contemporaneo Rufino Tamayo in Mexico City. Her site-specific installation at the Los Angeles International Airport will be unveiled in June 2016. Castano earned a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and her MFA from UCLA.

 

Festival passes are on sale to Film Independent Members starting today, April 5. Passes go on sale to the general public on Tuesday, April 12. The full line-up will be announced on Tuesday, April 26. Individual tickets go on sale to Members on Tuesday, May 5 and to the general public on Tuesday, May 10. Please visit lafilmfestival.com for more information.

 

(Source: Press release courtesy of LA Film Festival)