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Film Festival Roundup: AFI Docs Reveals Full Slate, LAFF Announces Its Opener, and More

Plus, Film Fest Ghent and Vancouver open for entries.

Ingrid Goes West

Costume Essentials: Red overalls, a yellow shirt, an iPhone, and a hint of desperation.

Why It’s a Great Idea: An inspired choice for anyone who wants to spend Halloween with their bestie (and could use an excuse to be on Instagram all night long), the pathologically superficial girls from “Ingrid Goes West” couldn’t be better suited to a holiday about pretending to be someone you’re not. Just be sure to incessantly document the evening on social media, and don’t stop until every single one of your followers knows that you’re having the best Halloween ever. #Blessed, indeed.

Courtesy of Sundance

Keep up with the always-hopping film festival world with our weekly Film Festival Roundup column. Check out last week’s Roundup right here.

Lineup Announcements

– The American Film Institute (AFI) has announced the full slate of films for AFI DOCS 2017, a five-day documentary celebration in the nation’s capital. Each year, the festival is committed to providing artists with the opportunity to present powerfully told, artfully constructed stories — and to connect audiences and filmmakers with policy leaders. AFI DOCS 2017 runs June 14 – 18 in Washington, DC, and Silver Spring, MD.

“The 2017 slate of films reflects AFI DOCS’ mission to celebrate powerfully told stories and the people at the heart of them,” said Michael Lumpkin, Director, AFI DOCS. “Documentaries continue to play an important role in our country regardless of partisan lines. No matter your background, these human stories have the power to inform and inspire. We look forward to another year of dynamic nonfiction cinema.”

The 15th edition of AFI DOCS will showcase 103 films representing 28 countries — including three world premieres, two international premieres, three North American premieres, seven U.S. premieres and five East Coast premieres. To view the full film lineup, visit its official site.

– The LA Film Festival, produced by Film Independent, the nonprofit arts organization that also produces the Film Independent Spirit Awards, announced that the Closing Night Film will be Matt Spicer’s “Ingrid Goes West” starring Aubrey Plaza, Elizabeth Olsen, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Wyatt Russell, Billy Magnussen and Pom Klementieff from distributor NEON.

On June 17 there will be a World Premiere Gala Screening of Ric Roman Waugh’s “Shot Caller” starring Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Omari Hardwick, Lake Bell, Jon Bernthal, Emory Cohen, Jeffrey Donovan and Benjamin Bratt. Shot Caller is being distributed by Saban Films. Also announced, are the films in the Premiere and Buzz categories, as well as the Film Independent Member Screening of Jeff Baena’s “The Little Hours” starring Alison Brie, Dave Franco, Kate Micucci, Aubrey Plaza, John C. Reilly and Molly Shannon, from distributor Gunpowder & Sky. USA Network will also screen the West Coast Premiere of series “The Sinner” starring Jessica Biel, Bill Pullman and Christopher Abbott at the LA Film Festival.

The Little Hours

“The Little Hours”

Courtesy of Sundance

The LA Film Festival takes place June 14 – 22, headquartered at ArcLight Cinemas Culver City, with additional screenings at ArcLight Hollywood, ArcLight Santa Monica and more. Festival passes are on sale now at lafilmfestival.com.

– The Brooklyn Film Festival (BFF), presented this year by Stella Artois, has announced the film lineup for the 2017 edition. The festival will open on Friday, June 2nd at returning BFF venue, the Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg. BFF is proud to present its opening night film, the east coast premiere of award-winning director Jason James’ comedy-drama-romance “Entanglement,” starring Jess Weixler (“Teeth”) and Thomas Middleditch (“Silicon Valley”).

This year’s festival is comprised of 122 features and shorts from 32 countries spread over six continents. The lineup includes 24 world premieres, 19 USA bows, 33 east coast debuts and 41 first-time screenings in New York. In addition to the feature narratives and documentary films highlighted in this release, the festival will present 37 short narrative films, 17 short documentary films, 26 animated films and 20 experimental films.

To view the full film lineup, visit its official site.

– Sundance Institute and Picturehouse have announced that three iconic films that have been supported by Sundance Institute Labs or played the Sundance Film Festival in the past will screen at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival: London from original 35mm prints.

Robert Redford, President & Founder of Sundance Institute, has personally selected three films which he believes demonstrate the Sundance Institute and the Sundance Film Festival’s legacy of nurturing and discovering filmmaking talent: “Sex, Lies and Videotape” (1989), American auteur Steven Soderbergh’s influential debut feature which won the Audience Award following its premiere at the 1989 Sundance Film Festival, launching his successful and varied directing career; “Me and You and Everyone We Know” (2005) from debut director/screenwriter Miranda July, which was supported by Sundance Institute’s Directors and Screenwriters Labs and premiered at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival where it won the Special Jury Prize; and, “Man on Wire” (2008), British filmmaker James Marsh’s celebrated documentary which went on to win an Academy Award® and BAFTA for Best Documentary following its premiere at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival.



Samuel Goldwyn Films

– The 10th Annual Las Vegas Film Festival announced today the initial programming lineup for the 2017 Festival, to be held entirely at Brenden Theatres and the Palms Casino Resort June 6 – 11.

This year’s Festival lineup includes a mix of feature films and documentaries that have been favorites on the international festival circuit, animated works, shorts, music videos, festival labs and local films that were produced in Southern Nevada or were directed by a local filmmaker. Highlights include winner of the NEXT Audience Award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, “Gook,” directed by Justin Chon; SXSW standouts California Dreams from Mike Ott and Theo Anthony’s “Rat Race”; and “Dave Made a Maze” from director Bill Watterson. You can check out more information here.

– The Lighthouse International Film Festival (LIFF) has announced the complete lineup for its ninth annual event, which will take place June 8 – 11, on Long Beach Island, New Jersey. The festival will open with Sam Voutas’ acclaimed “King of Peking,” a rousing Beijing-set love letter to cinema that brought cheering audiences to their feet at Tribeca 2017.

Other highlights include “Quest,” “Fits and Starts,” and “Missing in Europe.” You can check out more information here.

– The Lower East Side Film Festival directors are proud to announce the festival’s seventh annual opening and closing night films along with the complete festival schedule. The LESFF celebrates the work of creative, up and coming filmmakers, and showcases their films in the heart of NYC’s Lower East Side.  Additionally, this year’s schedule features specialty nights, specific to the New York culture and what the city currently loves.

Opening Night will feature Michael Angarano’s “Avenues” and Closing Night will feature Aaron Feldman’s “Poop Talk” as well as Ali Weinsten’s “Mermaids.” You can check out more information here.

Awards and Honors

– Outfest, the Los Angeles based nonprofit organization promoting equality by creating, sharing, and protecting LGBT stories on the screen, has announced its 2017 Achievement Award recipient, Bryan Fuller, and its galas, including Opening and Closing Night, for the 2017 Outfest Los Angeles LGBT Film Festival presented by HBO. The nation’s leading LGBT festival will be held July 6 – 16.

The 2017 Outfest Los Angeles LGBT Film Festival will open with Francis Lee’s poignant and masterful feature debut, “God’s Own Country” starring Josh O’Connor and Alec Secareanu. The Achievement Award Ceremony will take place at the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles on July 6, followed by the screening of “God’s Own Country.”

“God’s Own Country”

– The 2017 Harlem International Film Festival announced on Sunday, May 8, the award winners for the 12th edition of the film festival at MIST Harlem. Roberta Durrant’s “Krotoa” was named Best Narrative Feature, with Daniel Peddle’s “Garden of the Peaceful Dragon,” taking the award for Best Documentary Feature. Ilker Savaskurt’s “Groom’s Block” won Best World Film (Narrative) and Steven McGregor’s “Servant or Slave” took the prize for Best World Documentary.

You can check out the full list of winners on the festival’s official site.

Submissions and Calls for Entry

– The Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) will return with its 36th annual festival running from September 28 – October 13. Featuring more than 200 features and 100 shorts, VIFF will be a showcase of the world’s most exceptional filmmaking. The festival is accepting submissions of films in any genre through viff.org, with the regular deadline fast approaching on Friday, June 9.
Building on the successful launch of its new programming streams at the 2016 festival, this year’s VIFF will continue to expand the frame and offer a Films+ model that sees the festival’s 450 screenings complemented by talks, workshops, performances and other unique events that celebrate inspiring achievements and important innovations in film, television and digital media.

– Film Fest Ghent is Belgium’s most prominent annual film event. It started in 1974 as a student’s film festival and has developed into one of Europe’s foremost film events. Variety called the festival one of the 50 “must attend fests.”

Every year in October, they present some 100 feature films and 50 shorts from all over the world in various sections to an audience of over 100.000 spectators. The 44th Film Fest Ghent is scheduled October 10 – 20. Deadline for entries is August 1, 2017.

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