FESTIVALS: Los Angeles Film Festival 2002, A Festival Finds a Purpose

by Jonny Leahan

The Los Angeles Film Festival (LAFF) wrapped on Saturday night with a screening of Fox Searchlight Pictures' dark comedy "The Good Girl," directed by Miguel Arteta. The evening capped a ten day bonanza of screenings, panels, parties and special events that for the most part were attended by sell-out crowds.

9000 Sunset, site of the Laemmle Sunset 5 Theater, home base for the LA Film Fest.

Photo by: Eugene Hernandez/indieWIRE

Any suggestion that LA did not need the expanded festival seemed to fade as the week went on, as audiences and filmmakers alike summoned a sense of community seldom seen at these types of gatherings. Director of programming Rachel Rosen was clearly pleased with the results. "Of course I always feel like there is more we can do, but I was really happy with the response of audiences to the festival," Rosen told indieWIRE.

This was Rosen's first time at bat, and the risks she took generally seemed to pay off. "Although the idea was to try and create a balanced program," Rosen explained, "what I always start from is the actual film. It's always just about how to try and give shape to the films that you love, as they come to you, that are rising to the surface anyway." Addressing the relevance of the festival itself, Rosen said that "the only criteria we had for submitting films was that they had not shown in L.A. They are all films that audiences wouldn