Los Angeles Unveils Lineup Of Nearly 200 Films For 10th Festival
by Wendy Mitchell
The IFP/Los Angeles has announced the lineup for the 10th annual Los Angeles Film Festival, with an opening-night gala for "Garden State," a centerpiece premiere of "Before Sunset," and the closing-night gala of "The Clearing." The festival will run June 17-June 26, presenting 195 films from 31 countries. Filmmakers submitted 2,800 films to the LA Film Festival this year.
"Rachel Rosen and her team have assembled an outstanding slate of films," said IFP/LA head Dawn Hudson in a prepared statement. "We have a number of world premieres, and are proud to offer audiences a diverse selection of quality films ranging from different backgrounds and experiences. We've been able to develop new relationships with sponsors and venues, both of which add a richness to our festival."
"Garden State," the Sundance hit that will be a joint release from Fox Searchlight and Miramax in late July, is the debut feature film from actor/director Zach Braff. Braff stars as Andrew Largeman, an aspiring actor who returns to his New Jersey hometown to attend his mother's funeral and hang out with quirky locals (Peter Sarsgaard, Natalie Portman). Richard Linklater's "Before Sunset," a Warner Independent release, is a sequel to his cult romance, also starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy. Fox Searchlight's "The Clearing" is a political kidnap thriller starring Robert Redford, Helen Mirren, and Willem Dafoe.
Among the competition sections (full line-ups listed below), 10 films will compete for the hefty $50,000 cash prize (funded by Target stores) in the narrative competition. The docs competition includes 11 films vying for the $25,000 Target documentary award. The International Showcase will boast 20 films from around the world, including "B-Happy" (Chile), "Al'lèèssiŠAn African Actress" (Niger), Raoul Ruiz's "A Taste of Murder" (France), "Free Radicals" (Austria), "Red Lights" (France), "Goodbye, Dragon Inn" (Taiwan), "Roads to Koktebel" (Russia), "Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus" (England), and "Vibrator" (Japan).
Forty-nine shorts will screen at the festival as preludes to features or in five short film programs. Two music video programs, one of this year's top videos and one of seminal older videos, will be part of the LAFF. Special screenings include Guy Maddin's "Cowards Bend the Knee," Ondi Timoner's Sundance-winning doc "Dig!," Patrice Leconte's "Intimate Strangers," Joshua Marston's debut feature "Maria Full of Grace," the doc "Metallica: Some Kind of Monster," and Xan Cassavetes' "Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession."
Other programs include three selections picked by guest director Mira Nair, a retrospective of Nigerian video director Tunde Kelanni, programs of short films made by high school students, and more. Other events during the festival include coffee talks, poolside chats, and a family day.
Narrative Competition (information provided by the festival):
"After the Apocalypse," directed by Yasuaki Nakajima
"Bad Meat," directed by Scott Dikkers
"Fighting Tommy Riley," directed by Eddie O'Flaherty (world premiere)
"Invisible Light," directed by Gina Kim
"Men Without Jobs," directed by Mad Matthewz
"Pizza," directed by Mark Christopher (world premiere)
"Robbing Peter," directed by Mario F. de la Vega (world premiere)
"Sexual Life," directed by Ken Kwapis (world premiere)
"Unknown Soldier," directed by Ferenc Toth
"Wilderness Survival for Girls," directed by Eli Despres and Kim Roberts (world premiere)
Documentary Competition (information provided by the festival):
"A Hard Straight," directed by Goro Toshima
"Another Road Home," directed by Danae Elon
"Crazy Legs Conti: Zen and the Art of Competitive Eating," directed by Chris Kenneally and Danielle Franco
"Imelda," directed by Ramona S. Diaz
"Monster Road," directed by Brett Ingram
"Monumental: David Brower's Fight for Wild America," directed by Kelly Duane
"Negroes With Guns: Rob Williams and Black Power," directed by Sandra Dickson and Churchill Roberts (world premiere)
"Rock School," directed by Don Argott (world premiere)
"Tarnation," directed by Jonathan Caouette
"The Last of the First," directed by Anja Baron
"Up For Grabs," directed by Michael Wranovics
[For more information on the festival, visit www.lafilmfest.com.]