In today's LA Times, Robert W. Welkos looks at the upcoming Hollywood Film Festival and its role in launching awards season in Los Angeles:

Since its inception nine years ago, the Hollywood Film Festival has emerged as one of the signature events in the Oscar award season. It wasn't completely by chance: Carlos de Abreu, the festival's founder and executive director, positioned the festival — this year it will run Tuesday through Oct. 24 — so that it would be held near the start of the campaigning for the awards season, which gets its unofficial start just after Labor Day. The Hollywood awards dinner got a boost, though, when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences decided to move up the Oscars by a month, adding new intensity to the abbreviated awards season.