The Los Angeles Film Festival attracts casual movie fans and cinephiles as well as industry hopefuls and professionals from all over the globe. Organized by a non-profit group called Film Independent, this annual festival is an opportunity for emerging filmmakers to showcase their work at a variety of L.A. hotspots from June 1 to June 9. This year looks to be an exciting one for film, with 56 feature films (42 that are world premieres), 58 short films, and numerous short TV pieces ready for debut.
Navigating Los Angeles can be intimidating even without a major festival happening. With that in mind, here is the latest on event schedules, highlights, venues, up-and-coming starts and filmmakers, and much more. We’ll also help you to navigate this film festival in Los Angeles so you don’t miss anything. Make sure you show up early, and buy your tickets in advance.
Depending on your plans, you have plenty of ticketing options. While you could purchase tickets individually, most festival attendees prefer to opt for the Film Pass, which provides general access for all regular screenings and events, access to the Festival Lounge for guests over the age of 21, an additional two vouchers for the lounge (for accompanying guests who bought their tickets individually), and discounts at participating Culver City businesses.
The basic Film Pass costs $350, and you have options for more inclusive tickets for $500, $1,000, and $2,500. If you’re going to buy individual tickets, regular events are $15 and special events are $25. Members of Film Independent can take advantage of some discounts and special offers, so you may want to look into that as well. Go to the Film Independent website for further ticketing information.
Most of the screenings and events will be taking place at two different ArcLight Cinemas locations. The Hollywood location will be the opening and closing night screening venue, and the Culver City location will be the festival headquarters and primary screening venue.
ArcLight Cinemas – Hollywood
6360 Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90028
ArcLight Cinemas – Culver City
9500 Culver Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232
There will also be screenings at the following venues:
- TCL Chinese Theatre
- The Theatre at The Ace Hotel
- Greenhouse at Platform LA
The films are split into categories, U.S. Fiction, Documentary, World Fiction, L.A. Muse, Nightfall, Shorts, Future Filmmaker Series, and Episodes. The festival will open with Ricardo de Montreuil’s Lowrider, a touching and gritty coming-of-age drama set in East Los Angeles’ car culture. This film stars Eva Longoria, Demián Bichir, Melissa Benoist, Theo Rossi, and Gabriel Chavarria, and is produced by Brian Grazer and Jason Blum.
There are quite a few documentary shorts to look forward to this year, including the following:
This documentary follows an artist who creates newborn-baby dolls that are as realistic as possible.
- Another Kind of Girl
Filmed by 17-year-old Khaldiya of Dara’a, Syria, this film follows three months of the lives of Syrian girls living in Jordan’s Za’atari refugee camp.
Directed and produced by Elizabeth Lo, Bisonhead follows a Ponderai Native American family as they travel from northern Montana to Yellowstone to participate in the controversial federal culling of wild bison.
- Flower of a Thousand Colors
This film follows a mother’s life struggling in a Bolivian mining camp.
This documentary takes a look at prom day in Pahokee, Florida, a rural industrial sugar town.
- Red Lake
This film examines current life for survivors of a horrific mass school shooting that took place in 2005 at the Red Lake Indian Reservation.
- Visiting Day
In this documentary, we follow a young woman and her daughter’s long trip to a federal prison’s family day that occurs three times every month.
- The Gatekeeper
The Gatekeeper follows a retired police detective who patrols the Tojinbo Cliffs, a place where suicides are prevalent in Japan.
Other documentaries that will be shown at the Los Angeles Film Festival include:
- Into Darkness
- My Aleppo
- Beneath the Embers
There are many feature films to look forward to at this year’s film festival in Los Angeles, including 46 world premieres. Here are some of the most promising:
- Paint It Black
Directed by Amber Tamblyn, Paint It Black is an independent film based on a book of the same name written by Janet Fitch, the author of White Oleander. This movie is set against the L.A. punk rock scene. This film is part of the competition lineup, and is highly anticipated by film and music fans alike.
Directed by Ari Issler and Ben Snyder and featuring Victor Almanzar, Shirley Rumierk, Elizabeth Rodriguez, David Zayas, Julia Stiles, and John Leguizamo, 11:55 is a fiction film about a U.S. marine who is forced to deal with the repercussions of a shameful tragedy that occurred in his past before it’s too late.
- Chee and T
Directed by Tanuj Chopra and featuring Sunkrish Bala, Dominic Rains, Asif Ali, Noureen DeWulf, Rebecca Hazlewood, Bernard White, Karan Soni, Scott Rogers, and Himanshu Suri, Chee and T is a comedy about two henchmen in the Silicon Valley who are forced to get their boss’s nephew ready for his engagement party by the end of the day.
- The View from Tall
Directed by Erica Weiss and Caitlin Parrish and featuring Amanda Drinkall, Michael Patrick Thornton, and Carolyn Braver, The View from Tall is a story about a high school senior’s connection with her disabled therapist.
Other feature films to watch for in the competition lineup include the following:
- GREEN / is / GOLD
- My First Kiss and the People Involved
- Blood Stripe
- 72 Hours: A Brooklyn Love Story?
Getting Around L.A.
If you’re new to the area, or if you’ve never been to the Los Angeles Film Festival before, the first rule to remember is to plan ahead. Don’t wait until the last minute to jump on a train or bus, because you’re probably going to end up disappointed. If you don’t have your own vehicle, rent one. Public transportation isn’t reliable enough, and it’s going to be especially congested on routes to and from the theaters. Plan for heavy traffic and waits for parking, and spend some time planning the best routes in advance.
Planning Your Trips
Most of the events will be taking place at either ArcLight Cinemas in Hollywood or Culver City. The ArcLight website recommends following Google Map’s directions so you can find the best route from your specific location. If you’re not able to find an ideal route using Google Maps, call the venue for directions. Since Los Angeles is a very large and spread out city, public transportation is not guaranteed to be walking distance from the venue, so consider having a vehicle that can get you there.
The ArcLight Hollywood location has entrances at Ivar Avenue and DeLongpre Avenue, and parking is available adjacent to the theater. Parking costs $3 per four hours (Visa and MasterCard are accepted), and the rates after four hours will be posted. To avoid lines at the end of the film, validate your parking upon arrival. The Culver City location validates parking for the Cardiff and Watseka parking lots, but keep in mind that the parking garages only accept cash.
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