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Los Angeles Film Festival

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Los Angeles Film Festival

The Los Angeles Film Festival saved itself from what looked like a slow death when it was taken over by one of America's premier film organizations, Film Independent, some years ago. With the take over, the organization re-located the event to Westwood, one of the sprawling city's most pedestrian-friendly areas. And luckily for all around, the L.A. neighborhood already boasted some great and fairly modern venues for the festival to use, including (at least for its really huge premieres) the Fox, which is often the site of massive Hollywood premieres that typically get plastered in splashy publications worldwide. Although LAFF - and Film Independent - champion the independent filmmaker, they don't mind partnering with a big A-list driven Hollywood studio production debut if the timing is right - though we've noticed in the past that its emerging filmmakers are invited as well (and hell, we were there too!) While certainly a "premier regional event," LAFF does have some challenges. First off, while screenings are an easy walk within Westwood, if you're not in the neighborhood, traffic and parking are an expensive and stressful undertaking. And though L.A. is ground zero for the film industry, many execs have privately said they would rather go home after they're done at the office then deal with going to a festival (to be fair, this is often the case with other LA area events as well as NYC events as well). Still, Film Independent is a strong force in the film world, and it has clout in getting out the industry for organized events. One thing LAFF has done very well in the past, that other fests could also adopt, is organize pre-festival filmmaker events (often a retreat) so fellow filmmakers can bond and support one another when the festivities get underway. Sounds simple enough, but it's been something that filmmakers consistently have told us is a major feather in LAFF's cap.

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