Film Independent’s 21st Los Angeles Film Festival returns to downtown’s LA Live with 74 feature films, 60 short films and over 50 new media works representing 35 countries. New sections this year are the U.S. Fiction and World Fiction Competitions and Launch, as well as the previously announced Buzz, Nightfall and Zeitgeist programs.
As already announced, the fest will open with Lily Tomlin’s tart Sundance sensation “Grandma,” and will host gala screenings of “Dope,” “Inside Out” and “Seoul Searching” out-of-competition. As is the new normal for festivals looking for fresh audiences, LAFF added its first-ever TV gala this year, premiering MTV/Dimension’s horror series “Scream,” based on the international hit franchise spawned by Wes Craven.
READ MORE: Film Independent Announces New Los Angeles Film Festival Dates, Programming Team
Among LAFF’s rash of titles from Sundance and other festivals are Netflix’s SXSW pickup “Manson Family Vacation,” Berlinale one-take heist thriller “Victoria,” Sony’s feminist comedy from Sundance “Diary of a Teenage Girl” and The Orchard’s squirmy swinger comedy “The Overnight.” The long-awaited 2014 Sundance comedy “Infinitely Polar Bear,” which Sony finally distributes this Summer, also bows in the Buzz section. The festival has just added SXSW opener “BRAND: A Second Coming,” Ken Loach’s “Jimmy’s Hall” and Oscilloscope pickup “The Vanished Elephant.”
More screenings to be announced in the coming weeks. Full competition lineup and added screenings are below, with links to what’s playing the rest of the fest, including inaugural Zeitgeist and Nightfall, and the fest’s second annual Muse section.
READ MORE: LA Film Fest Unveils Horror Slate, More World Premieres, Zoe Cassavetes Film
US Fiction Competition (10)
Original voices with distinct visions from emerging and established American independent filmmakers.
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“3rd Street Blackout,” dir. Negin Farsad, Jeremy Redleaf, USA, World Premiere
“A Country Called Home,” dir. Anna Axster, USA, World Premiere
“Bastards Y Diablos,” dir. A.D. Freese, USA/Colombia, World Premiere
“The Girl in the Book,” dir. Marya Cohn, USA, World Premiere
“How He Fell in Love,” dir. Marc Meyers, USA, World Premiere
“It’s Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong,” dir. Emily Ting, USA, World Premiere
“Mekko,” dir. Sterlin Harjo, USA, World Premiere
“Out of My Hand,” dir. Takeshi Fukunaga, USA/Liberia, N. American Premiere
“Puerto Ricans in Paris,” dir. Ian Edelman, USA/France/Czech Republic, World Premiere
“Too Late,” dir. Dennis Hauck, USA, World Premiere
Documentary Competition (12)
Compelling, character-driven non-fiction films from the U.S. and around the world.
“A New High,” dir. Samuel Miron, Stephen Scarpulla, USA, World Premiere
“The Babuskhas of Chernobyl,” dir. Holly Morris, USA/Ukraine, World Premiere
“Be Here Now (The Andy Whitfield Story),” dir. Lilibet Foster, USA/Australia, World Premiere
“Catching the Sun,” dir. Shalini Kantayya, USA, World Premiere
“In a Perfect World,” dir. Daphne McWilliams, USA, World Premiere
“Incorruptible,” dir. Chai Vasarhelyi, Senegal/USA, International Premiere
“Love Between the Covers,” dir. Laurie Kahn, USA, U.S. Premiere
“Maiko: Dancing Child,” dir. Åse Svenheim Drivenes, Japan/Norway, World Premiere
“Missing People,” dir. David Shapiro, USA, U.S. Premiere
“My Love, Don’t Cross That River,” dir. Mo-Young Jin, South Korea, U.S. Premiere
“Oriented,” dir. Jake Winternitz, UK/Palestine/Israel, International Premiere
“Treasure; From Tragedy to Trans Justice, Mapping a Detroit Story,” dir. dream hampton, USA, World Premiere
World Fiction Competition (8)
Unique fiction films from around the world from emerging and established filmmakers, especially curated for LA audiences.
“Atomic Heart,” dir. Ali Ahmadzadeh, Iran, North American Premiere
“Ayanda and the Mechanic,” dir. Sara Blecher, South Africa, World Premiere
“Elvira, Te Daria Mi Vida Pero La Estoy Usando” (“Elvira, I’d Give You My Life But I’m Using It”), dir. Manolo Caro, Mexico, International Premiere
“Flocking” (“Flocken”), dir. Baeta Gardeler, Sweden, North American Premiere
“Las Malas Lenguas” (“Sweet and Vicious”), dir. Juan Paolo Arias, Colombia, World Premiere
“A Midsummer’s Fantasia,” dir. Jang Kun-Jae, South Korea/Japan, U.S. Premiere
“Sin Alas” (“Without Wings”), dir. Ben Chace, Cuba, International Premiere
“White Moss” (“Belyy Yagel”), dir. Vladimir Tumaev, Russian Federation, International Premiere
Los Angeles premieres of celebrated favorites from around the world.
JUST ANNOUNCED: “Brand: A Second Coming,” dir. Ondi Timoner, UK/USA
“Chuck Norris vs Communism,” dir. Illinca Calugareanu, UK/Romania/Germany
“The Dark Horse,” dir. James Napier Robertson, New Zealand
“Diary of a Teenage Girl,” dir. Marielle Heller, USA
“In Football We Trust,” dir. Tony Vainuku, USA/American Samoa
“Infinitely Polar Bear,” dir. Maya Forbes, USA
JUST ANNOUNCED: “Jimmy’s Hall,” dir. Ken Loach, UK/Ireland/France
“Manson Family Vacation,” dir. J. Davis, USA
“The Overnight,” dir. Patrick Brice, USA
“People, Places, Things,” dir. James C. Strouse, USA
“Victoria,” dir. Sebastian Schipper, Germany
“Sweet Micky for President,” dir. Ben Patterson, Haiti/USA
JUST ANNOUNCED: “The Vanished Elephant,” dir. Javier Fuentes León, Peru/Colombia/Spain
Independent storytelling crafted through digital media, including music videos, web series, podcasts, interactive games and digital activism shorts.
Making Cool Sh*t: The Music Videos of OK Go (10)
Equally comfortable with filmmaking and songwriting through with visual art and rock concerts, OK Go have bridged art forms that used to be considered distinct. This showcase of their music videos will be followed by an extended talk with frontman and director Damian Kulash.
Episodes: Indie Series from the Web (13)
A showcase of independently crafted web series, celebrating rising show creators whose work is innovative and unfiltered.
Movies For Your Ears: Making Picture-less Films (1)
Creator Jonathan Mitchell explores his podcast The Truth, which showcases crafted, colorful and diverse works of short fiction that are at once cinematic and musical.
Interactive Storytelling: IndieCade Gaming Favorites (9)
Innovation and artistry in interactive media is showcased through a collection of rich, diverse, and culturally significant games on custom gaming PCs provided by Dell Computers.
Bridging content creations and social justice issues, this curated selection of socially relevant short films precedes a public dialogue among noted artists, activists and educators.
JASH Presents: An Evening of Buh Comedy
An intimate evening with comedy luminaries screening unreleased videos of their creation along with favorite inspiring videos of their choice. Hosted by Dead Kevin, guests include Doug Lussenhop, Henry Phillips, and more.
Funny or Die’s Make ‘em LAFF Showcase
A live comedy showcase of today’s most diverse and original independent comedic voices, featuring comedians such as Beth Stelling, Solomon Georgio and Chris Garcia, with additional performers to be announced.