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November 16, 2000 2:00 AM
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DAILY NEWS: Changes at LAIFF; ALWAYSi/Kushner-Locke Deal

DAILY NEWS: Changes at LAIFF; ALWAYSi/Kushner-Locke Deal



by Eugene Hernandez/indieWIRE

>>LAIFF Becomes Los Angeles Film Festival; Event Expanding Under IFP/West Ownership; Raddon Discusses Plans


(indieWIRE/ 11.16.00) -- If it were a dotcom, we'd call it a "relaunch." The
Los Angeles Independent Film Festival, recently acquired by the IFP/West, is undergoing a makeover as it approaches its 7th annual event. In a
conversation with indieWIRE today, Festival Director Rich Raddon explained
that the event is being renamed the Los Angeles Film Festival, expanding to
nine days, and increasing its scope to include digital films, digital
seminars and gala screenings. All moves made to embrace both industry and
non-industry audiences.


"We want to be more inclusive to the regular citizens of Los Angeles, we'd
like to be perceived as less of an industry-only event," Raddon told
indieWIRE. At the same time, he added, "We don't want it to be perceived in
the indie community that we are snubbing independent films." Raddon
emphasized that the festival will continue to welcome independent films and
publicly abandon its previous policy of only presenting world premiere films
(a rule it clearly loosened last year notably in its presentation of the
acclaimed indie, "George Washington").


"We are working to find a strong balance among world premieres and great
available independent films, even if they may have been seen somewhere
else," IFP/West Executive Director Dawn Hudson said, commenting on this
shift. "It's an attempt to give these films a second chance, to improve the
quality of the films we screen, and give the public an opportunity to see
films they might not see otherwise."


As for reaching out to the industry, by expanding to nine days next year
(April 20 - 28, 2001), the Los Angeles Film Festival will be able to add
screenings of each film, Raddon said. He also told indieWIRE that he hopes
to give most films three screenings each, with Festival films being
guaranteed at least two showings. While the addition of gala screenings will
bring higher profile movies from specialty and independent distributors, the
main program will remain committed to presenting American indie films
without distribution, according to Raddon. Programmer Thomas Ethan Harris
will remain on board at the Festival.


With regard to the digital focus, Raddon indicated that the event will
welcome films made on video and offer digital projection within the body of
the Festival. Along with that, he added that the LA Festival will also
present digital filmmaking seminars and tutorials in a new "Digital
Download" sidebar. [Eugene Hernandez]


[The Los Angeles Film Festival will be accepting entries through January 6,
2001, for more information, visit: http://www.laiff.com.]

>>BRIEFLY: ALWAYSi Makes "Offline Deal" With Kushner-Locke


(indieWIRE/ 11.16.00)

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