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Downtown Independent Launches Film Finds

Downtown Independent Launches Film Finds

If you don’t yet know Christine Davila who has screened films for The Los Angeles Film Festival, San Francisco International Film Festival, Morelia Film Festival, and has been a Programming Associate at Sundance Film Festival since 2009, you should meet her through Downtown Independent, a theater which is establishing itself as a multimedia space in downtown L.A. at 251 S. Main Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013 and is launching a new monthly film series entitled Film Finds. This event, held on the first Thursday of every month launches this Thursday, September 1, 2011 with Austin-based filmmaker Geoff Marslett‘s animated astronaut love story, Mars, which premiered at the 2010 SXSW Film Festival. Mars will be preceded by filmmaker Carson Mell’s out of this world short film, Field Notes From Dimension X: Oasis.

Mars, written & directed by Geoff Marslett

The series will boost these films’ profiles as they begin their VOD/ DVD release. Downtown Independent will also pair each feature film presentation with a unique short film, followed by an interactive party with filmmakers, talent and special guests on their rooftop patio.

Downtown Independent Special Events Programmer, Tatiana Tensen, created Film Find as a way to bring exposure to fresh and provocative feature films not widely seen outside of their successful festival runs who will pioneer their paths through the worlds of alternative film distribution.

As an exhibitor it is important that we stay relevant in the rapidly changing world of film distribution. Film Finds creates an event where theaters can work in tandem with VOD / DIY film distribution while helping filmmakers find their audience. One of the greatest challenges filmmakers will face when doing DIY film distribution is creating awareness for their film. This event will not only be a launch pad for their release but, by giving the filmmakers a cut of the profit, this event will help fund the marketing needed to make their film thrive.

Says Davila,

These films represent some of the boldest and wildly original voices I’ve seen on the film festival circuit. More and more, filmmakers are choosing the DIY distribution model over the traditional theatrical route. Film Finds will provide that special communal theatrical experience to launch their film’s life on VOD/ DVD platforms where their artistic merit can be fully discovered. And nothing beats an epic screening party with the filmmakers in attendance, that we can share with the savvy and eclectic audience of the hip Eastside Los Angeles and popping downtown area.

Held on the first Thursday of every month, other features already slated include the multi-talented Omar Rodriguez Lopez’s The Sentimental Engine Slayer (2010 Tribeca Film Festival) in October,

November’s feature will be Matthew Lessner’s hipster satire, The Woods (2011 Sundance Film Festival). Shorts preceding these features include External World by experimental short filmmaker David O’Reilly, and Christian camp diary-esque All in All by Jacki Sextro and Charlie Reff.

Film Finds is the perfect match for a project like Mars,” says Mars director Geoff Marslett. “Hopefully audiences will see this event and realize that just because you didn’t get picked up for a big theatrical distribution deal, it doesn’t mean it is the end of the line. There are still great ways to get our work out there on the big screen.

The Woods director, Matthew Lessner is a strong believer that filmmakers should have the freedom to fund and distribute films in a way that makes the most sense for them. On top of being one of the first films to be part of Film Finds, The Woods was the first film partially funded through Kickstarter to have played at Sundance Film Festival.

We are extremely honored and excited to be a part of the first, fantastic wave of Film Finds. Lessner says. We believe that this opportunity to screen our film theatrically at this awesome location in L.A. will be a fitting kick-off to launch our digital distribution this winter, as well as a kick in the head to all those who hate freedom.

For more information on each film and to purchase tickets go to:


Thursday, September 1

Mars, written and directed by Geoff Marslett
Logline: In 2014, the discovery of life on the Red Planet leads to a space race between a robotic expedition and a manned mission. Over the course of this interplanetary animated feature, a lonesome robot and a motley space crew discover that love can flourish anywhere ¡X even on Mars.
Cast: Mark Duplass, Zoe Simpson, Paul Gordon, Cynthia Watros, Micahel Dolan, Liza Weill, Howe Gelb

Field Notes from Dimension X: Oasis, written and directed by Carson Mell
Logline: Captain Fred T. Rogard muses in isolation on planet Oasis.

Thursday, October 6

The Sentimental Engine Slayer, written and directed by Omar Rodriguez Lopez
Logline: Set in a Lynchian colored El Paso Texas, a late bloomer misfit straddles his fever nightmare fusion of reality and fantasy as he seeks and unravels the mystery sighting of his doppelganger. A psychedelic tour de force that twists and crescendos, daringly orchestrated by Mars Volta artist Rodriguez Lopez, who spins a frightfully resonant and multi-layered film about identity.
Cast: Omar Rodriguez Lopez, Tatiana Velazquez, Nomar Rizo, Kim Stodel, Rikardo Rodriguez Lopez, Angel Marcelo Rodriguez Chevrez

The External World, written and directed by David O¡¦Reilly
Logline: A boy learns to play piano.

Thursday, November 3
The Woods, written and directed by Matthew Lessner
Idealistic twenty-somethings driven by a higher calling of a utopia, fashionably answer the call to change by mobilizing a movement deep into the woods, armed with a ridiculous amount of Cost-Co reserves and technology. Playfully incisive, this first feature¡¦s take on revolt is a classic for the Millennial Generation.
Cast: Justin Phillips, Toby David, Adam Mortemore, Nicola Persky, Chris Edley

All in All, written and directed by Charlie Reff and Jacki Sextro
Logline: A love story set on the final night of Christian summer camp.
Cast: Andrea Rosenthal, Ki-Hong Lee, Mark Schroeder, Kurt Collins, Pam Walworth and Esther Povitsky

About The Downtown Independent
Downtown Independent is the hub for independent film in Los Angeles. The state-of-the-art facility houses a 222 seat auditorium capable of screening films in any format from 35mm to digital 3D. Located at 251 South Main Street in Downtown Los Angeles the theater provides easy access for independent productions to reach a live audience. Downtown Independent is the space for intrepid Angelenos to enjoy the latest independent films as well as classics, new music, comedy and art.

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