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Los Angeles Film Fest Announces Panels & Conversations, Keynote Speaker Chris McGurk

Los Angeles Film Fest Announces Panels & Conversations, Keynote Speaker Chris McGurk

The Los Angeles Film Festival (June 14-24), which will open with Woody Allen’s “To Rome with Love” and close with Steven Soderbergh’s “Magic Mike,” has booked Cinedigm’s Chairman and CEO Chris McGurk as its keynote speaker. The LAFF also reveals its schedule of Coffee Talks, Poolside Rants, Spotlight on the Craft, panels and conversations. McGurk’s keynote on June 16 will address the “Renaissance of Indie Film” and kick off the festival’s offerings, detailed below. Highlights include a conversation with cinematographer Wally Pfister (“Inception,” “The Dark Knight”) and Coffee Talks with the likes of directors Lawrence Kasdan and Catherine Hardwicke, screenwriter/director John August and composer Cliff Martinez.

Film Independent’s director of education Maria Bozzi says the fest is “a unique opportunity for us to share with a wider audience what Film Independent does year-round for filmmakers—go behind the scenes to provide a comprehensive view of the art and craft of filmmaking.”

Spotlight on the Craft, free multiple panels will be held that explore the various filmmaking tools and digital technologies that have revolutionized the way we make and see movies. The Festival will explore the impact these changes bring to the craft and the process, and help deepen one’s understanding of what happens behind the screen.

June 23: Poolside Rant: Gather at the JW Marriot ION Rooftop Pool Bar where the Festival brings together a group of comedians to riff about movies in general, and what bugs them in particular.

June 16: “Long Story Short” will delve into the art and power of online storytelling with Thom Zadra (Head of Business Development for Original Video, Yahoo!), Amber Lawson (Chairman of The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Interactive Media Peer Group Membership), Jake Avnet (COO, WIGS), and Eddie Schmidt (director, Good Bread; executive producer, Beauty is Embarrassing).

June 17: The Festival’s popular Coffee Talks with a focus on Directors, Actors, Screenwriters and Composers. Enjoy a cup of coffee and listen to actors Jason Isaacs, Melanie Lynskey, directors Lawrence Kasdan, Catherine Hardwicke, screenwriters John August, Zak Penn, composers Rolfe Kent, Cliff Martinez, Michael Penn and more talk about the various aspects of their craft.

June 17: Café Latino brings together the filmmakers of Latin American films at the LA Film Fest and explores their roles as storytellers in an increasingly global world. Join moderator Reed Johnson (Arts and Culture Reporter, Los Angeles Times), directors Arturo Pons (writer/director, The Compass is Carried by the Dead Man), Everardo González (director, Drought), José Alvarez (writer/director, Canícula), Dominga Sotomayor (writer/director, Thursday till Sunday), Bernardo Ruiz (director, El Reportero), and Alejandro Brugues (writer/director, Juan of the Dead) for this free discussion, as they compare notes about their filmmaking experiences in Argentina, Chile, Cuba and Mexico. 

June 17: “In the Air and On the Go: Pioneer Filmmaking” will include a screening of the short film Departure Date, the first film to take extreme location shooting (and editing) to a new high: 35,000 feet, and clips from the feature film Olive, which is the first full-length film shot entirely on a camera phone. Hear from directors Kat Coiro, Hooman Khalili and their cinematographers Doug Chamberlain and Patrick Gilles about how they pulled it off.

June 19: Marc Maron brings his wildly popular and critically acclaimed “WTF with Marc Maron” podcast to the Festival by recording an intimate conversation in front of a live Festival audience with a special guest. Maron’s 25-year career in comedy has exploded in recent years, thanks to his hilariously irreverent and refreshingly honest podcast.

June 23: “Capturing Ron Howard’s Imagin8ion: A Case Study from Canon U.S.A., Inc.” will join some of the key creative and technical minds behind When You Find Me—a short film from Ron and Bryce Dallas Howard, presented by Canon’s Project Imagin8ion—for a special screening and unique discussion of the production. Moderator Tim Smith (Canon Advisor, Film & TV Division) will lead the panel with Andres Lascarsis (Director of Photography), Kevin Chinoy (Producer, Freestyle Picture Company) and Evan Pesses (Chief Lighting Technician).

June 23: “Kodak Focus” will shine the spotlight on Oscar-winning cinematographer Wally Pfister (Inception, Moneyball), best known for his long-time collaboration with director Christopher Nolan. He will discuss his craft, his career and screen highlights from his work.

June 23: “The Sound of Stories” will bring together filmmakers, sound designers, technology innovators and industry experts to speak about what’s involved in achieving the ultimate immersive sound. Carolyn Giardina (Contributing Editor, Tech, The Hollywood Reporter) will be moderating, with panelists to be announced.

June 21: “Talk Score To Me: Emerging Filmmakers on Collaborating with Composers” will bring together Film Independent’s Project Involve Fellows for a screening and discuss on collaboration between directors and composers and their experience in the inaugural ASCAP/Project Involve Composers Workshop. Panelists include Project Involve Fellows Erin Li, Mason Richards, Susana Casares, Aaron Celious and ASCAP composers Dan Mufson, Robert Allaire, Kevin Teasley and Sarah Schachner.

To keep track of all the fun happenings at the Los Angeles Film Festival, iPhone users can now download the official mobile app by visiting the App Store.

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