First-time director Ryan Coogler's tough, naturalistic look at a real-life killing in Oakland has already landed jury and audience prizes at Sundance and won raves at Cannes.
Where better than the Los Angeles County Museum of Art to show a documentary about the huge boulder whose trip across Southern California drew people into the streets to look at an object of art-to-be?
"The Crash Reel"
Lucy Walker's doc about snowboarder Kevin Pearce goes well beyond its extreme-sports setting to explore the timely subject of traumatic brain injury in sports.
"In a World"
Actress turned writer-director Lake Bell takes a humorous look at the world of the stentorian-toned voiceover artists who narrate movie trailers, and a young woman who dares to aspire to that arena.
"Short Term 12"
A sensation at this year's SXSW, Destin Daniel Cretton's drama stars Brie Larson as a young woman from an abusive background working in a foster care facility.
"The Spectacular Now"
Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley deliver marveously understated performances in James Ponsoldt's high school story, which helped make the director a hot property in Hollywood with its Sundance debut.
"Mother, I Love You"
An entry in LAFF's narrative competition, this Latvian coming-of-age drama about a 12-year-old boy being raised by a single mother is described in the festival catalog as "a Latvian grandchild of 'The 400 Blows.'"
"American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs"
Director Grace Lee met civil-rights activist Grace Lee Boggs while making a previous movie about all the Asian-Americans named Grace Lee, and the 97-year-old writer and crusader is expected to attend LAFF screenings of the documentary about her life.
"My Stolen Revolution"
Director Nahid Persson Sarvestani fled Iran during the revolution more than 30 years ago, but returns there to track down her surviving friends and fellow activists for this film.
"The Act of Killing"
A terrifying and sometimes surreal documentary in which the gangsters who perpetrated state-sponsored slaughter in the 1960s cheerfully recreate their crimes as a movie musical, Joshua Oppenheimer's film is so remarkable that Werner Herzog and Errol Morris signed on as executive producers.
"The Moo Man"
As the title suggests, it's the story of a man (British farmer Stephen Hook) and his cows. Taken together with last year's IDA Awards nominee "Women With Cows," does that mean we're on the verge of a new genre, the Dairy Documentary?
Another of the low-budget horror movies that are keeping the much-maligned genre vital, Adam Wingard's story of a family fighting off masked killers was a bit hit at the Toronto Film Festival way back in 2011.
Restrictions on the role of women and the mingling of the sexes in Saudi Arabia are so strict that writer-director Haifaa al Mansour couldn't appear in public with her crew as she was making her film about a young girl trying to obtain a bicycle -- instead, she had to direct from inside a van.
"Inequality for All"
Economist Robert Reich lays out the destructive effects of income inequality, and LAFF has given the sobering doc a free public screening outdoors at California Plaza, in the shadow of downtown's skyscrapers.
"Nobody's Daughter Haewon"
Hong Sangsoo is one of the most celebrated auteurs in the vital South Korean filmmaking community, and this is the first of his films to center on a female protagnist, a woman trying to become an actress.