Today the Los Angeles Film Festival, produced by Film Independent with Presenting Media Sponsor the Los Angeles Times and Host Partner L.A. LIVE, announced its official U.S. Fiction, Documentary and World Competition sections. Now in its 21st year, the Los Angeles Film Festival offers unparalleled access to creative voices through energetic film programming, Master Classes, live performances and conversations with the most compelling artists working today. The 2015 Los Angeles Film Festival will screen a diverse slate of feature films, shorts, web series and music videos, along with signature programs such as the Filmmaker Retreat, Music in Film at The GRAMMY Museum® and Master Classes. The Los Angeles Film Festival runs from June 10 through June 18.
The 2015 Los Angeles Film Festival, which returns to downtown Los Angeles at L.A. LIVE for a sixth year has announces a diverse slate of 74 feature films, 60 short films, and over 50 new media works representing 35 countries. New sections this year are the U.S. Fiction and World Fiction Competitions and Launch, as well as the previously announced Buzz, Nightfall and Zeitgeist programs.
“Aligned with Film Independent’s mission, our curatorial focus at the Los Angeles Film Festival this year was to create a program of vibrant and diverse stories and storytellers who exhibit true and singular voices,” said Roya Rastegar, Associate Director of Programming. “We saw thousands of submissions and chose films with unique perspectives that take a risk in whatever story they tell. This year’s films range from micro-budgets to large-scale productions, by first-time directors and widely celebrated veterans. They each hold their own by projecting a distinct way of seeing the world.”
“The Documentary Competition is a truly international line-up of character-driven work, reflective of a pervading trend in trans-national productions,” said Jennifer Cochis, Senior Programmer. “The World Fiction Competition is a highly curated section of films that upend preconceived notions of place to create a different way to see a time, country, or people.” This year’s Documentary Competition is sponsored by Netflix and Loyola Marymount University’s School of Film and Television.
In its inaugural year, the Launch section is designed to showcase innovations in independent storytelling crafted in digital media including music videos, web series, podcasts, interactive games and digital activism shorts.
“Launch recognizes vibrant pools of independent artists who are telling stories their way to larger audiences because of new platforms and technologies,” said Programmer Drea Clark.
The Opening Night Film is Grandma and there will be Gala Screenings of the first episode of the TV series Scream as well as the feature films Seoul Searching and The Final Girls. Two Pre-Festival Screenings will also be held: Dope will have its LA Premiere on June 8, Inside Out will screen on June 9 and be preceded by a special Master Class with writer/director Pete Docter. Previously announced, this year’s Guest Director is Rodrigo García, Gale Anne Hurd will receive the Jaeger-Lecoultre Glory to the Filmmaker Award and Lily Tomlin will receive the Spirit of Independence Award.
More special screenings and programs will be announced in the coming weeks.
The Festival’s six competitions feature 53 Premieres: 39 World Premieres, six International Premieres, four North American Premieres and four U.S. Premieres. 26 of the World, International, and North American Premieres are in the U.S. Fiction, Documentary and World Fiction Competition sections, 21 of the World Premieres are in the inaugural Nightfall, Zeitgeist, and LA Muse competitions. Between the six feature competition categories, nearly 40% of the directors are female and nearly 30% of the films are directed by people of color.
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 14 and to the general public beginning Tuesday, May 19. Contact the Ticket Office for passes, tickets and event information by calling 866.FILM.FEST (866.345.6337) or visit lafilmfest.com.
The Los Angeles Film Festival team is comprised of Festival Director Stephanie Allain, Film Independent Curator Elvis Mitchell, Associate Director of Programming Roya Rastegar, Senior Programmer Jennifer Cochis, Programmers Jenn Wilson and Drea Clark, Head Shorts Programmer Landon Zakheim, Festival Consultant Maggie Mackay, Manager of Industry Relations Mel Jones, Senior Director of Film Education María Raquel Bozzi, Director of Event Production Shawn Davis and Director of Event Operations Ralph Rivera. In addition, the Festival’s Associate Feature Film Programmers include Julie Anderson, Christine Davila, Samuel Douek, Steven Jacobson, Lee Jameson, Mark Maynard, Lucy Mukerjee-Brown, Stephanie Owens, Ray Price and So Yun Um; Short Film Programmers Ernesto Foronda, Carlos Hatcher, Meghan McWilliams, Atsuko Okatsuka, Paul Sbrizzi, Cedar Sherber and Jacques Thelemaque and Programming Consultants Adella Ladjevardi, Jai Tiggett, and Josh Mandel.
US Fiction Competition (10)
Original voices with distinct visions from emerging and established American independent filmmakers.
- 3rd Street Blackout, dir. Negin Farsad, Jeremy Redleaf, USA, World Premiere
- A Country Called Home, dir. Anna Axster, USA, World Premiere
- Bastards Y Diablos, dir. A.D. Freese, USA/Colombia, World Premiere
- The Girl in the Book, dir. Marya Cohn, USA, World Premiere
- How He Fell in Love, dir. Marc Meyers, USA, World Premiere
- It’s Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong, dir. Emily Ting, USA, World Premiere
- Mekko, dir. Sterlin Harjo, USA, World Premiere
- Out of My Hand, dir. Takeshi Fukunaga, USA/Liberia, N. American Premiere
- Puerto Ricans in Paris, dir. Ian Edelman, USA/France/Czech Republic, World Premiere
- Too Late, dir. Dennis Hauck, USA, World Premiere
Documentary Competition (12) Sponsored by Netflix and Loyola Marymount University’s School of Film and Television.
Compelling, character-driven non-fiction films from the U.S. and around the world.
- A New High, dir. Samuel Miron, Stephen Scarpulla, USA, World Premiere
- The Babuskhas of Chernobyl, dir. Holly Morris and Anne Bogart, USA/Ukraine, World Premiere
- Be Here Now (The Andy Whitfield Story), dir. Lilibet Foster, USA/Australia, World Premiere
- Catching the Sun, dir. Shalini Kantayya, USA, World Premiere
- In a Perfect World, dir. Daphne McWilliams, USA, World Premiere
- Incorruptible, dir. Chai Vasarhelyi, Senegal/USA, International Premiere
- Love Between the Covers, dir. Laurie Kahn, USA, U.S. Premiere
- Maiko: Dancing Child, dir.