RIP LA Film Festival, 2001–2018

Film Independent will now focus on year-round events instead.
LA Film Festival

The Los Angeles Film Festival is no more. Film Independent announced today that this year’s edition, which ran from September 20–28, will be its last and that the organization (which also hosts the Spirit Awards) will now focus on year-round events. 2018 marked a turning point for LAFF, which had traditionally taken place in the summer.

“We took a hard look at the healthy growth of Film Independent’s year-round programs and events over the past six years: the Spirit Awards, our film series curated by Elvis Mitchell, membership, labs, workshops, filmmaker grants and international programs,” Mary Sweeney, Chair of the Film Independent Board of Directors, said in a statement. “In the end, we concluded that the organization should explore a more nimble, sustainable form of exhibiting and celebrating independent film artists year round.”

“While we are very proud of what we’ve accomplished with the LA Film Festival over the past eighteen years, the truth is that it has struggled to thrive, and the time has come for us to try something new,” added Josh Welsh, President of Film Independent. “We are all deeply grateful to Jennifer Cochis for her vision, passion, and creativity and we’re enormously proud of the Festival that she oversaw these past two years. We remain committed to serving filmmakers and film audiences across Los Angeles.”

The event launched as the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival (LAIFF) in 1995 before Film Independent took it over in 2001. Among the festival’s Guest Directors over the years were Ryan Coogler, Kathryn Bigelow, and Ang Lee.

IndieWire reached out to Film Independent for further comment and was referred back to the original statement.

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