A broad international selection of films has been selected for the 2011 Los Angeles Film Festival, along with special tributes to Cuban and Mexican cinema and revival screenings of films ranging from "Boyz N the Hood" and "Das Boot" to "Stand By Me" and "Ferris Bueller's Day Off." The festival will take place for the second consecutive year at the L.A. Live complex in downtown Los Angeles.
Film Independent, the organization that presents the LAFF and the Film Indendent Spirit Awards, announced the first round of official US and international festival selections on Tuesday. Opening and closing night films, gala screenings, conversations, artists in residence and additional selections will be announced at later dates.
Many of the films announced on Tuesday come from outside the United States, and include Jan Hrebejk's "Kawasaki's Rose" (from the Czech Republic), Raul Ruiz's "Mysteries of Lisbon" (Portugal) and Alain Corneau's "Love Crime" (France).
"Last year we took a real international perspective, and we're seeing that again this year," festival director Rebecca Yeldham told TheWrap. "It's really reflective of the spectrum of films that we want to champion, which are being made all around the world."
But the selection, said the festival's artistic director David Ansen, also includes a surprisingly large number filmed in Southern California. "We were surprised to find how many very good American indies were shot in and around L.A, particularly East L.A.," he told TheWrap on Tuesday. "It's really presenting a different side of the city."
Ansen said the selection is also unusually strong on movies about sports, and on gay and lesbian-themed films.
The festival's Summer Showcase section includes indie and studio films that will be released this summer, among them Miranda July's "The Future," Vera Farmiga's directorial debut "Higher Ground," Robbie Pickering's "Natural Selection" and Disney's "Winnie the Pooh."
Documentaries include the Weinstein Company's festival favorite "The Bully Project" and "Page One: Inside the New York Times," which was well-received at Sundance.
Elia Kazan's 1960 drama "The Wild River" will also screen, while the John Anson Ford Ampitheatre will host outdoor screenings of three films, including the music documentary "Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest" and a collaboration between Guy Maddin and the long-running band Sparks, "The Seduction of Ingmar Bergman."
Revival screenings of "Boyz N the Hood" and "Das Boot," said associate programming director Doug Jones, came about when it became clear that the movies' directors, as well as stars like Cuba Gooding Jr., would be available to attend the festival. "When we found out that they would be able to come and talk about the films, that made them both no-brainers," he said.
Before the festival begins, Film Independent's longtime executive director Dawn Hudson will leave for her new position as the CEO of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; much of the planning and programming for this year's festival was done while the organization was also working to formulate a plan to replace Hudson. Yeldham said her upcoming departure did not significantly affect the planning for LAFF, since Hudson "is not intimately involved in the programming."
Films at last year's LAFF included the opening night attraction "The Kids Are All Right," which became an Oscar Best-Picture nominee; the Australian crime drama "Animal Kingdom," which won a Supporting Actress nomination for co-star Jacki Weaver; and the documentary "Waiting for 'Superman.'"
The festival begins on June 16, and continues through June 26.
From the LAFF press release, here is the complete lineup so far:
Narrative Competition (10):
The Narrative Competition is comprised of films made by talented emerging filmmakers that compete for the Filmmaker Award. The winner is determined by a panel of jurors, and films in this section are also eligible for the Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature.
The Bad Intentions, Rosario Garcia-Montero – Argentina/Germany/Peru – US PREMIERE
The Dynamiter" Matthew Gordon – NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE
Familiar Grounds, Stephane Lefleur – Canada – NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE
The Fatherless, Marie Kreutzer – Austria – NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE
How to Cheat, Amber Sealey – WORLD PREMIERE
Mamitas, Nicholas Ozeki – WORLD PREMIERE
An Ordinary Family, Mike Akel – WORLD PREMIERE
Please Do Not Disturb, Mohsen Abdolvahab – Iran – NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE
Sawdust City, David Nordstrom – WORLD PREMIERE
You Hurt My Feelings, Steve Collins – WORLD PREMIERE
Documentary Competition (9):
The Documentary Competition is comprised of films made by talented emerging filmmakers that compete for the Documentary Award. The winner is determined by a panel of jurors, and films in this section are also eligible for the Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature.
Cheonggyecheon Medley: Dream of Iron, Kelvin Kyung Kun Park – South Korea – US PREMIERE
Family Instinct, Andris Gauja – Latvia – US PREMIERE
Once I Was a Champion, Gerard Roxburgh – WORLD PREMIERE
Paraiso For Sale, Anayansi Prado – WORLD PREMIERE
Salaam Dunk, David Fine – Iraq/USA – WORLD PREMIERE
Somewhere Between, Linda Goldstein Knowlton – US PREMIERE
Unfinished Spaces, Alysa Nahimas, Ben Murray – WORLD PREMIERE
Unraveled, Marc H. Simon – WORLD PREMIERE
Wish Me Away, Bobbie Birleffi, Beverly Kopf – WORLD PREMIERE
International Showcase (18):
The International Showcase highlights innovative independent narrative and documentary features from outside of the United States. Films in this section are eligible for Audience Awards for Best International Feature, Best Narrative Feature, or Best Documentary Feature.
108, Renate Costa – Spain/Paraguay
Christopher and His Kind, Geoffrey Sax – United Kingdom – NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE
Come Rain, Come Shine, Lee Yoon-ki – South Korea – NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE
Curling, Denis Côté – Canada
The Destiny of Lesser Animals, Deron Albright – Ghana/USA
Elite Squad 2: The Enemy Within, Jose Padilha – Brazil (New Video)
Eternity, Sivaroj Kongsakul – Thailand
Family Portrait in Black and White, Julia Ivanova – Canada
Kawasaki’s Rose, Jan Hrebejk – Czech Republic (Menemsha Films)
Love Crime, Alain Corneau – France (IFC Films)
Medianeras, Gustavo Taretto – Argentina/Germany/Spain (IFC Films) – NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE
Mysteries of Lisbon, Raúl Ruiz – Portugal (Music Box Films)
Ocaso, Theo Court – Chile – NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE
Position Among the Stars, Leonard Retel Helmrich – Netherlands
The Salesman, Sébastien Pilote – Canada
Self Made, Gillian Wearing – England
Senna, Asif Kapadia – England (PDA)
Tomboy, Céline Sciamma – France (Rocket Releasing) – NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE
Summer Showcase (18):
The Summer Showcase section offers an advance look at this summer’s most talked about independent film releases from the festival circuit. Films in this section are eligible for Audience Awards for Best International Feature, Best Narrative Feature, or Best Documentary Feature.
Another Earth, Mike Cahill (Fox Searchlight)
Elevate, Anne Buford
The Future, Miranda July (Roadside Attractions)
The Guard, John Michael McDonagh – Ireland (Sony Pictures Classics)
Higher Ground, Vera Farmiga (Sony Pictures Classics)
Leave It on the Floor, Sheldon Larry – WORLD PREMIERE
Letters From the Big Man, Christopher Munch
L!fe Happens, Kat Coiro – WORLD PREMIERE
Natural Selection, Robbie Pickering
Page One: Inside the New York Times, Andrew Rossi (Magnolia Pictures/Participant Media)
The Pruitt-lgoe Myth, Chad Freidrichs
Renée, Eric Drath (ESPN Films)
Sex Crimes Unit, Lisa F Jackson (HBO Films)
Skateistan: Four Wheels and a Board in Kabul, Kai Sehr
Terri, Azazel Jacobs (ATO)
Tyrannosaur, Paddy Considine – England (Strand Releasing)
Where Soldiers Come From, Heather Courtney
Winnie the Pooh, Stephen J Anderson, Don Hall (Disney)
Outdoor Screenings at the Ford Amphitheatre (3):
These official Los Angeles Film Festival selections, sponsored by Brand X, are included as part of the 2011 Ford Amphitheatre Summer Season; a multi-disciplinary arts series produced by the Los Angeles County Arts Commission in cooperation with Los Angeles County-based arts organizations. Films in this section are eligible for Audience Awards for Best International Feature, Best Narrative Feature, or Best Documentary Feature.
Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest, Michael Rapaport
Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame, Tsui Hark – Hong Kong
The Seduction of Ingmar Bergman, Guy Maddin and Ron & Russel Mael, aka Sparks – WORLD MUSICAL PREMIERE
International Spotlight – Cuba (4):
This year, our International Spotlight focuses on Cuba, whose films rarely find distribution in the U.S. We’re proud to showcase the best of the new and recent Cuban cinema. Sponsored by the Department of Cultural Affairs and UCLA Latin American Institute.
Habana Eva, Fina Torres – Cuba/France/Venezuela
Operation Peter Pan: Flying Back to Cuba, Estela Bravo – Cuba
Suite Habana (2003), Fernando Pérez – Cuba
Ticket to Paradise, Gerardo Chijona Valdes – Cuba
Documenting Mexico (2):
Inspired by the efforts of the Ambulante Film Festival, a traveling film event designed to promote a documentary culture across Mexico, we are pleased to highlight two outstanding documentaries from Mexico’s vibrant documentary filmmaking culture. Sponsored by HOY.
The Night Watchman, Natalia Almada – Mexico
The Tiniest Place, Tatiana Huezo – Mexico
Community Screenings (7):
These films will be presented free to the public. Films in this section are eligible for Audience Awards for Best Narrative Feature or Best Documentary Feature.
The Bully Project, Lee Hirsch (The Weinstein Company)
Choose Your Own Movie – vote at LAFilmFest.com for this free outdoor screening
Crime After Crime, Yoav Potash – Grand Performances Screening
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986), John Hughes – 25th Anniversary Screening
Hot Coffee, Susan Saladoff (HBO Films)
On the Ice, Andrew Okpeaha MacLean – Project:Involve Screening
Project Nim, James Marsh – United Kingdom (Roadside Attractions)
Stand By Me (1986), Rob Reiner – 25th Anniversary Screening
The Beyond (5):
The Beyond offers films that dare to be different. Films in this section are eligible for Audience Awards for Best International Feature, Best Narrative Feature, or Best Documentary Feature.
Entrance, Dallas Hallam, Patrick Horvath
Haunters, Kim Min-suk – South Korea – NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE
The Innkeepers, Ti West
Karate Robo Zarborger, Iguchi Noboru – Japan – NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE
The Yellow Sea, Na Hong-jin – South Korea
Boyz n the Hood (1991), John Singleton – 20th Anniversary Digitally Re-Mastered Screening with a Cast & Crew Reunion
Das Boot (1981), Wolfgang Peterson – Germany – 30th Anniversary Digitally Re-Mastered Screening
The Film Foundation Screening Program (1):
Wild River (1960), Elia Kazan
Short Films (41):
Shorts are shown before features and as part of five short film programs. With their diverse and complex content, these films shine brilliantly. Most short films, domestic and international, will compete for prizes in Narrative, Documentary, and Animation/Experimental categories. The winner is determined by a panel of jurors. An Audience Award for Best Short Film is also presented.
Future Filmmakers Showcase: High School Shorts (33):
These two programs of shorts are made by high school students from around the country, featuring work by the next generation of filmmakers.
Music Videos (48):
The Music Video Showcase consists of three programs. Our two Eclectic Mix programs are a visual mix tape of this year’s best independent music videos, with a few innovative major label artists thrown in for good measure. Music videos will compete for an Audience Award.