“Twilight Saga: Eclipse” and “Despicable Me” premiere, “The Kids Are All Right” and “Cyrus” screen
"The Twilight Saga: Eclipse," the animated "Despicable Me" and the well-received independent films "The Kids Are All Right" and "Cyrus" are among the selections at the 2010 Los Angeles Film Festival, which takes place in downtown Los Angeles from June 17 through June 27.
The festival lineup, announced on Tuesday, is long on indie films, but with a strong commercial component via the world premieres of "Eclipse" and "Despicable Me."
The latter film is the closing night attraction, a LAFF slot that typical goes to a big-studio production.
The festival’s opening-night film is director Lisa Cholodenko’s "The Kids Are All Right" (right), a Focus Features indie that stars Annette Bening and Julianne Moore and has picked up raves on the festival circuit. "It really is the best of American indie filmmaking," LAFF artistic director David Ansen told theWrap.
"We’ve tried to embrace the full spectrum of cinema," said festival director Rebecca Yeldham. "Some of the films are born out of the studio system, and some are born out of somebody’s kitchen. Some hail from Denmark and Australia, and some are homegrown in our backyard. The idea is just to get people excited about movies, and about a spectrum of movies."
Added Ansen, "There’s something for the cineastes, something for people who like horror movies, and some wonderful retrospectives and rediscoveries. We were trying to make a festival that’s going to appeal to all Angelenos."
The invitation-only screening of "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" will mark that eagerly-awaited film’s world premiere, and will be a change-of-pace that Ansen refers to as "festival adjacent." Tickets will not be available to the public, except to LAFF’s premium passholders.
"It was an incredible opportunity," adds Yeldham. "It’s their world premiere, but one that we can offer to our passholders if they’re passionate about seeing the film before anybody else."
The festival, produced by the non-profit Film Independent, will be centered at the L.A. Live complex, which includes a Regal Theaters multiplex. For the past few years it has been located in the Westwood neighborhood, though in previous years it had also been based in Hollywood and West Hollywood.
The festival will showcase more than 200 films, including narrative features, documentaries, shorts and music videos, representing work from more than 40 countries.
The lineup of directors with new work includes Jay and Mark Duplass, Davis Guggenheim, Claire Denis and D.A. Pennebaker. Retrospective screenings include Walter Hill’s "The Driver," Robert Culp’s "Hickey and Boggs," Luchino Visconti’s restored "The Leopard" and four little-seen films by the late Argentinian director Leopoldo Torre Nilsson, who Ansen calls "the first breakthrough South American film director.
This year’s slate marks the first to be overseen by former Newsweek film critic Ansen, who was appointed artistic director of LAFF last November.
Ansen became the second one-time critic to assist in programming a major Los Angeles-based film festival: former Variety critic Bob Koheler was a programmer at last fall’s AFI Fest.
LAFF is an outgrowth of the Los Angeles International Film Festival, an L.A. festival that began in 1995. It was taken over by Film Independent in 2001.
The festival is a qualifying festival for the Academy Awards’ live-action and animated shorts categories, and for all categories of the Spirit Awards.
Passes go on sale on May 10, and individual tickets on June 1.
Additional screenings in the artist-in-residence and guest-director programs have yet to be announced.
For more information, visit the festival website.
The full lineup:
Opening Night Film:
• The Kids Are All Right, Lisa Cholodenko (Focus Features)
Closing Night Film:
• Despicable Me, Chris Renaud, Pierre Coffin (Universal Pictures) – WORLD PREMIERE
Bonus By Invitation Screening:
• The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, David Slade (Summit Entertainment) – WORLD PREMIERE
Gala Screenings (5):
• Animal Kingdom, David Michod – Australia (Sony Pictures Classics)
• Cyrus, Jay & Mark Duplass (Fox Searchlight)
• Mahler on the Couch, Percy & Felix Adlon – WORLD PREMIERE
• Revolución, Mariana Chenillo, Fernando Eimbcke, Amat Escalante, Gael García Bernal, Rodrigo García, Diego Luna, Gerardo Naranjo, Rodrigo Piá, Carlos Reygadas & Patricia Riggen – Mexico – NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE
• Waiting for Superman, Davis Guggenheim (Paramount Vantage)
Narrative Competition (9): 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.
• Dog Sweat, Hossein Keshavarz – Iran – WORLD PREMIERE
• A Family, Pernille Fischer Christensen – Denmark – NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE
• Hello Lonesome, Adam Reid – WORLD PREMIERE
• The New Year, Brett Haley
• Of Love and Other Demons, Hilda Hidalgo – Costa Rica/Colombia – NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE
• Orly, Angela Schanelec – Germany/France – NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE
• Parade, Isao Yukisada – Japan – NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE
• Upstate, Katherine Nolfi, Andrew Luis – WORLD PREMIERE
• The Wolf Knife, Laurel Nakadate – 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.
• Camera, Camera, Malcolm Murray – WORLD PREMIERE
• Circo, Aaron Schock – USA/Mexico – WORLD PREMIERE
• One Lucky Elephant, Lisa Leeman – WORLD PREMIERE
• Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone, Lev Anderson, Chris Metzler – WORLD PREMIERE
• Farewell, Ditteke Mensink – Netherlands – US PREMIERE
• Life with Murder, John Kastner – Canada – US PREMIERE
• Make Believe, J. Clay Tweel – WORLD PREMIERE
• Vlast, Cathryn Collins
• Where Are You Taking Me?, Kimi Takesue – NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE
International Showcase (20): 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.
• 1428, Du Hai-bin – China
• Army of Crime, Robert Guédiguian – France (Kino)
• Bibliotheque Pascal, Szabolcs Hajdu – Germany/Hungary/England – NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE
• Café Noir, Jung Sung-il – South Korea – NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE
• Disco & Atomic War, Jaak Kilmi, Kiur Aarma – Estonia/Finland
• Down Terrace, Ben Wheatley – England (Magnolia Pictures)
• Eastern Plays, Kamen Kalev – Bulgaria
• Eyes Wide Open, Haim Tabakman – Israel/Germany/France (New American Vision)
• Family Tree, Olivier Ducastel, Jacques Martineau – France
• Golden Slumber, Yoshihiro Nakamura – Japan – NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE
• Judge, Liu Jie – China
• La Pivellina, Rainer Frimmel, Tizza Covi – Austria/Italy
• Lebanon, Samuel Maoz – Israel (Sony Pictures Classics)
• The Peddler, Eduardo de la Serna, Lucas Marcheggiano, Adriana Yurcovich – Argentina
• R, Tobias Lindholm, Michael Noer – Denmark
• The Red Chapel, Mads Brugger – Denmark
• Secrets of the Tribe, José Padilha – England/Brazil
• Space Tourists, Christian Frei – Switzerland
• Street Days, Levan Koguashvili – Georgia
• Woman on Fire Looks For Water, Woo Ming Jin – Malaysia/South Korea
Summer Screenings (12): The Summer Screenings 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.
• Ain’t In It for My Health: A Film About Levon Helm, Jacob Hatley
• Cane Toads: The Conquest, Mark Lewis – Australia/US
• Cold Weather, Aaron Katz
• Four Lions, Christopher Morris – England
• Kings of Pastry, D.A. Pennebaker, Chris Hegedus (First Run Features)
• Marwencol, Jeff Malmberg
• Monsters, Gareth Edwards (Magnolia Pictures)
• Night Catches Us, Tanya Hamilton (Magnolia Pictures)
• The Tillman Story, Amir Bar-Lev (The Weinstein Company)
• Tiny Furniture, Lena Dunham (IFC Films)
• Welcome to the Rileys, Jake Scott (Apparition, Destination Films)
• White Material, Claire Denis – France (IFC Films)
Outdoor Screenings at the Ford Amphitheatre (4): These official Los Angeles Film Festival selections, sponsored by Brand X and American Airlines, are included as part of the 2010 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.
• Centurion, Neil Marshall – England (Magnolia Pictures)
• The Last Exorcism, Daniel Stamm (Lionsgate) – WORLD PREMIERE
• The People vs. George Lucas, Alexandre O. Philippe
• Thunder Soul, Mark Landsman
International Spotlight (4): A tribute to a forgotten giant of South American cinema, Argentina’s Leopoldo Torre Nilsson, sponsored by Academy Foundation of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
• The Fall (1959)
• The Hand in the Trap (1961)
• The House of the Angel (1957)
• The Seven Madmen (1973)
Selections from the Ambulante Film Festival (3): Sponsored by Hoy, and returning for a second year, Ambulante is a traveling documentary film festival produced by the non-profit organization Documental Ambulante A.C., in collaboration with Canana, Cinepolis, and the Morelia International Film Festival. It was created in 2005 by Gael García Bernal, Diego Luna, and Pablo Cruz to promote documentary culture across Mexico. Films in this section are eligible for Audience Awards for Best International Feature or Best Documentary Feature.
• One Day Less, Dariela Ludlow – Mexico – US PREMIERE
• Presumed Guilty, Roberto Hernández, Geoffrey Smith – Mexico
• The Toledo Report, Albino Álvarez Gomez – Mexico
Community Screenings (4): 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.
• Climate Refugees, Michael P. Nash – Grand Performances Screening
• Gasland, Josh Fox
• Lost Angels, Thomas Napper – WORLD PREMEIRE
• A Small Act, Jennifer Arnold – Project:Involve Screening
The Beyond (4): 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.
• All About Evil, Joshua Grannell
• Bitter Feast, Joe Maggio – WORLD PREMIERE
• Mandrill, Ernesto Diaz Espinoza – Chile
• Separado!, Gruff Rhys, Dylan Goch – Wales – US PREMIERE
Special Screenings (3):
• The Life of Richard Wagner (1913), Carl Froelich
• The Wheeler Boys, Philip G. Flores – WORLD PREMIERE – Netflix FIND Your Voice Winner
• Utopia in Four Movements, David Cerf, Sam Green
UCLA Film & T.V. Archive Collaborations
L.A. Film Critics: The Films That Got Away (2): Co-presented by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and the UCLA Film & Television Archive.
• The Happiest Girl in the World (2009), Radu Jude – Romania
• Katalin Varga (2009), Peter Strickland – Romania/England
Downtown Confidential (2): Co-presented by the UCLA Film & Television Archive
• Hickey and Boggs (1972), Robert Culp
• The Driver (1978), Walter Hill
The Film Foundation Screening Program (2):
• The Leopard (1963), Luchino Visconti – Presented by The Film Foundation and Gucci as part of “Cinema Visionaries.”
• The Music Room (1958), Satyajit Ray – Presented by The Film Foundation and American Express as part of “20 Years/20 Films.”
Short Films (33): 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.
• Shorts Program 1-5
Future Filmmakers Showcase: High School Shorts (32): These two programs of shorts, sponsored by Best Buy, made by high school students from around the country feature work by the next generation of filmmakers.
• Programs 1-2
Music Videos (60): 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. Big in Japan highlights a selection of the most dynamic music videos Japan has to offer. Music videos will compete for an Audience Award.
• Eclectic Mix 1-2
• Big in Japan: A Survey of Japanese Music Videos
CORRECTION: The original version of this story stated that LAFF was an outgrowth of the Filmex festival. In fact, it was launched when Film Independent absorbed the Los Angeles International Film Festival, which had run at the Directors Guild from 1995 to 2001.
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