HOLLYWOOD—Father’s Day is this coming weekend, with that in mind, it’s time to go shopping. What should you buy? You can be creative and make a beautiful frame full of beautiful memories. You can surprise him with a golf outing. Another fabulous idea is BBQ tools and dinner is always a great idea. Or you can surprise him by taking him to the LA Film Festival. The LA Film Festival kicks off on Wednesday, June 14 and runs until Thursday, June 22. The festival showcases independent films, TV and episodic work from emerging storytellers, alongside filmmaker-driven studio titles.
The festival is held in June in Culver City, California. Since 2001, it is run by the organization Film Festival, which also has been arranging the annual Film Independent Spirit Awards in Santa Monica since 1985. It actually began as the Los Angeles Film Festival in 1995. The LAIFF ran for six years, until it was absorbed into Film Independent in 2001. At its height, the LAIFF attracted 19,000 attendees. Today, the LA Film Festival attracts more than 36,000 visitors.
With an attendance of more than 36,000 people, it screens more than 100 feature films. The event also includes world premieres of films such as Disney/Pixar’s Brave, and a variety of panels, seminars, and free outdoor screenings. The festival features signature programs including the exclusive Filmmaker Retreat, hosted by a veteran film director. In 2010, the Filmmaker Retreat was hosted by Kathryn Bigelow. In 2011, it was hosted by George Lucas at his Skywalker Ranch. In addition to feature films, it also screens short films created by high school students. Films submitted to the festival are reviewed by Film Independent’s programming department, which evaluates each film, looking for the best in new American and international cinema. Back in 2011, the Festival showed over 200 films, music videos and shorts from over 30 countries.
The festival began on June 14 with a gala screening of Colin Trevorrow’s “The Book of Henry” and will concluded with the acclaimed “Ingrid Goes West.” Some of the most memorable films being screened are the twisty thriller “Midnighters,” the dreamlike “Moko Jubie” from Trinidad, the South African race-and-class comedy “Catching Feelings,” Greenland-set melting glaciers doc “Stella Polaris Ulloriarsuaq,” bullied kids revenge piece “And Then I Go” and comedian Whitney Cummings reportedly scientific directing debut with “The Female Brain.” It’s a great time to be a woman, especially at the festival where 42 percent of the films are directed by women.
Other TV-related programs include “Portlandia: A Look Back and a Look Forward,” a “Documentary Now!” marathon and a live performance by the Baroness Von Sketch comedy troupe. Musical events and morning yoga on the lawn of the Culver Studios and a retrospective of indie distributor Focus Features hits, including a costume contest for fans of Wes Anderson’s “Moonrise Kingdom.” There will be a gazillion other things at the festival named for the most diverse city in the United States.
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Happy Father’s Day to all!