By Indiewire | Indiewire May 9, 2003 at 2:0AM
IFP Los Angeles gets "Cooler" opener for 11-day Festival
by Brian Brooks
The 9th annual IFP Los Angeles Film Festival will open June 11th with Wayne Kramer's "The Cooler," according to Dawn Hudson, executive director of IFP/Los Angeles, which organizes the event. Starring William H. Macy, Alec Baldwin, Maria Bello and Shawn Hatosy, Lions Gate Films' "The Cooler" is the story of a man (Macy) whose bad luck is so reliable, he is hired by dodgy Las Vegas casinos to run interference on other people's hot streaks.
The doc "Mayor of the Sunset Strip," by George Hickenlooper, will have its world premiere during the festival. The fest describes the film as a "musical documentary about the Homeric journey of pop impresario Rodney Bingenheimer through the world of fame and rock & roll." The festival again will be anchored at the 8000 Sunset outdoor plaza, which will feature live entertainment, eating areas and the box office, while films will screen at the Laemmle Sunset 5 Theaters, the DGA, the John Anson Ford Amphitheater and the ArcLight Cinerama Dome. In all, 206 films including 72 features from 32 countries will be showcased at the event through June 21st. Nine world premieres, three North American and two U.S. premieres will unspool during the 11-day event.
"Between the addition of the international section last year and the festival's cash prizes for the $25,000 Target documentary award and the $50,000 Target filmmaker award, we have seen our profile with the filmmaking community at large increase as more and more filmmakers have discovered this as an opportunity to showcase their films," commented festival director Rich Raddon in prepared statement. Twelve films will screen in the narrative competition section, while thirteen films, while thirteen films will vie for the prize in the documentary competition section.
Other sections include the international cinema section (16 films), and the spotlight on China (5 films). In addition, the festival will host free outdoor screenings of Mel Stuart's "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory," (1979) and Allan Arkush's "Rock & Roll High School" (1971). Also screening for free is Tom Peosay's look at Tibet's struggle under Chinese occupation in, "Tibet: Cry of the Snow Lion."
IFC Films' "Camp," by writer-director Todd Graff, will close the festival on June 21st. The Sundance 2003 competition film is based on an actual summer camp in Upstate New York for young actors, singers and dancers growing up discovering themselves. IFP/Los Angeles is Southern California's largest non-profit organization for independent filmmakers with more than 6,000 active members.
The Complete Lineup For the Festival follows (as provided by the IFP/Los Angeles):
-- Narrative Competition Section:
"Bomb the System"
Director/Writer: Adam Bhala Lough
"Coney Island Baby"
Director: Amy Hobby, Writer: Karl Geary
Director: Paxton Winters, Writers: Paxton Winters, Kerimcan Guiertüz, Oliver Perrin
"Funny Ha Ha"
Director/Writer: Andrew Bujalski
"Jesus Freak" (World Premiere)
Director: Morgan Nichols
Writer: Laura Lee Bahr
"K" (North American Premiere)
Director/Writer: Shoja Azari
"Last Man Running" (World Premiere)
Director: Damon Santostefano
Created by: Rick Gomez and Damon Santostefano
"Particles of Truth"
Director/Writer: Jennifer Elster
"Piggie" (World Premiere)
Director: Alison Bagnall
Writers: Alison Bagnall and Savannah Haske
"Salt" (North American Premiere)
Director/Writer: Bradly Rust Gray
Director/Writer: Jim Mendiola
"Virgin" (World Premiere)
Director/Writer: Deborah Kampmeier
-- Documentary Competition Section:
"Be Good, Smile Pretty "
Director/Writer: Tracy Droz Tragos
"Beyond the Sea"
Director: Lisandro Perez-Rey
"A Fine State This Is" (World Premiere)
Director/Writer: Jessica Chandler
Director: Linda Goode Bryant
"The Flute Player"
Director: Jocelyn Glatzer
"Iran Is My Home" (World Premiere)
Director: Fariborz David Diaan
Writers: Fariborz David Diaan and Arash Ayrom
"The Lost Boys of Sudan"
Directors: Jon Shenk, Megan Mylan
"My Life with Count Dracula" (World Premiere)
Director: Dustin Lance Black
"Queen of the Gypsies"
Director: Jocelyn Ajami
Director/Writer: Spencer Nakasako
"Sumo East and West"
Director: Ferne Pearlstein
Director: Laura Gabert
"Whole" (World Premiere)
Director/Writer: Melody Gilbert
-- International Cinema Section:
Director/Writer: Mahamat-Saleh Haroun
Director/Writer: Saad Salman
"Cold As Summer" ("Froid comme l'été) (U.S. Premiere)
Director: Jacques Maillot
Writers: Jacques Maillot and Pierre Chosson
"Doing Time" ("Keimusho No Naka")
Director: Sai Yoichi
Writers: Sai Yoichi, Chong Wui Sin and Nakamura Yoshihiro
Director: Riri Riza
Writers: Riri Riza, Prima Rusdi
Director: Alexander Gutman
Writers: Alexander Gutman and Serges Litviarov
Director: Juan Carlos Martín
"The Game of Their Lives"
Director: Daniel Gordon
Director/Writer: György Palfi
"Kiki & Tiger"
Director: Alain Gsponer
Writers: Edin Hinrichs-Hadzimahovic, Alexander Buresch, Alain Gsponer
"Resistencia: Hip Hop in Colombia"
Director: Tom Feiling
"Some Secrets" ("Vylet")
Director/Writer: Alice Nellis
"Southeast" ("Sudeste") (North American Premiere)
Director: Sergio Bellotti
Writers: Daniel Guebel and Sergio Bellotti
"State of the Nation" ("Zur Lage") (U.S. Premiere)
Directors/Writers: Barbara Albert, Michael Glawogger, Ulrich Seidl and Michael Sturminger
"Teesh and Trude" (North American Premiere)
Director: Melanie Rodriga
Writer: Vanessa Lomma
"You'll Be Back" ("Volveras")
Director/Writer: Antonio Chavarrías
-- Special Screenings:
"28 Days Later"
Director: Danny Boyle
Writer: Alex Garland
Director: Gregor Jordan
Writers: Gregor Jordan, Eric Axel Weiss, Nora MacCoby
Director: Eli Roth
Writer: Eli Roth, Randy Pearlstein
"Friday Night" ("Vendredi Soir")
Director: Claire Denis
Writers: Emmanuelle Bernheim, Claire Denis
Director/Writer: Peter Mullan
"Mayor of The Sunset Strip" (World Premiere)
Director/Writer: George Hickenlooper
"Once Upon a Time in the Midlands"
Director: Shane Meadows
Writers: Paul Fraser and Shane Meadows
Director: Helen Stickler
"Step Into Liquid"
Director/Writer: Dana Brown
Director: Catherine Hardwicke
Writers: Catherine Hardwicke, Nikki Reed
-- Free Screenings:
"Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory" (1979) (Free Outdoor Screening)
Director: Mel Stuart
Writer: Roald Dahl
"Tibet: Cry of the Snow Lion"
Director: Tom Peosay
Writers: Sue Peosay, Victoria Mudd
"Rock & Roll High School" (1971) (Free outdoor screening with live punk-rock karaoke)
Director: Allan Arkush
Writers: Richard Whitley, Russ Dvonch, Joseph McBride
"Nat Turner: A Troublesome Property"
Director: Charles Burnett
Writers: Charles Burnett, Frank Christopher, Kenneth S. Greenberg
-- Event Screenings:
Cast and Crew Screening -- "Hollywood Shuffle" (1987)
"The Grey Automobile" (1919)
"The Great Nickelodeon Show"
Live Music Screening -- "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" (1919)
-- Spotlight on China:
"Cala, My Dog!" ("Ka la shi tiao gou") (North American Premiere)
Director: Lu Xuechang
"Cry Woman" ("Ku Qi de Nu Ren")
Director: Liu Bingjian
Writers: Liu Bingjian and Deng Ye
"My Camera Doesn't Lie" ("Wo de shi ying ji bu sa huan")
Writer/Director: Solveig Klassen and Katharina Schneider-Roos
"Unknown Pleasures" ("Ren Xiaoyao")
Writer/Director: Jia Zhang-Ke
"West of the Tracks" ("The Xi Qu")