LAIFF '97 Sets Sail For A Weekend Cruise
by Mark Rabinowitz
Indies are back in the Hollywood spotlight this weekend with the launch of
the 1997 Los Angeles Independent Film Festival. The pre-opening night
screening cocktail party for filmmakers and sponsors was a plesant and casual
affair, with many of the filmmakers and festival organizers attending, not to
mention the sponsors.
The DGA's Brian Unger was pleased with the turnout and the festival in
general, and Karin Thayer, director of the short film "Seed" which is screening
at this year's event, remarked on the apparent high-quality of the 1997
fest's film offerings. Other attendees included: Sundance Film Festival
programmer John Cooper, indiefilm guru, author and TV producer/host John
Pierson, and producer's representative (and soon-to-be film star!) Bob Hawk.
Also attending were opening night film "Little City" stars Josh Charles, Joanna
Going and Penelope Ann Miller, among others.
At the Directors Guild lobby fete following the film, guests mingled until
nearly midnight. Among the attendees were numerous festival filmmakers, the
LAIFF's Festival Director Robert Faust & Managing Director Linda Rattner
Kelly, and TV's "Newsradio" co-star Andy Dick.
The festival continues today with a two part seminar entitled The Legal
Aspects of Producing. Hosted by entertainment attorney Mark Litwak, the
panel will feature John Bard Manulis, Rob Schulze, and Norman Flicker from
the Goldwyn Entertainment Company.
In the evening, festival screenings begin with the premieres of "The Price Of Kissing"
(Directed by Vincent DiPersio), "Lena's Dreams" (Directed by Heather
Johnston and Gordon Ericsen), "Nevada" (Directed by Gary Tieche), and
"Headhunter's Sister" (Directed by Scott Saunders). Later tonight is the LAIFF
Indie Music Jam.