We already knew that Lily Tomlin’s Grandma will open the Los Angeles Film Festival next month, and now we have the full schedule. The 21st annual event has chosen 30 pics to battle it out in the U.S. Fiction, Documentary and World Documentary competitions, 18 of which are world premieres. The program includes 74 features, 60 shorts and 50-plus new-media works from nearly three dozen countries. New to the fest this year are the U.S. Fiction and World Fiction competitions and Launch section.
“Aligned with Film Independent’s mission, our curatorial focus at the Los Angeles Film Festival this year was to create a program of vibrant and diverse stories and storytellers who exhibit true and singular voices,” said Roya Rastegar, Associate Director of Programming. “We saw thousands of submissions and chose films with unique perspectives that take a risk in whatever story they tell. This year’s films range from micro-budgets to large-scale productions, by first-time directors and widely celebrated veterans. They each hold their own by projecting a distinct way of seeing the world.”
Produced by Film Independent, LAFF is set for June 10-18 at downtown’s L.A. Live. Here’s the full lineup of films and events:
US Fiction Competition (10)
Original voices with distinct visions from emerging and established American independent filmmakers.
- 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) Sponsored by Netflix and Loyola Marymount University’s School of Film and Television.
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
Short Films (60): From over 3,000 submissions, the short films selected represent 15 countries, and 50% are directed by women. Short films are shown before features and as part of six short film programs. Shorts will compete for juried prizes for fiction and documentary shorts, as well as an Audience Award for Best Short Film.
Future Filmmakers Showcase: High School Shorts (27): The Los Angeles Film Festival’s Future Filmmaker Showcase brings to the big screen the best films made by budding young filmmakers from across the country and the globe. In this diverse slate of films, incredibly accomplished high school students will present wild comedies, moving dramas, mesmerizing animation, introspective experimental films and everything in between. Program funded by Lisa Argyros/Argyros Family Foundation, Loyola Marymount University’s School of Film and Television and Time Warner Foundation.
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.
Previously announced Festival sections include Buzz, LA Muse, Nightfall and Zeitgeist. Three new titles have been added to Buzz and are listed below.
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, co-dir. Erika Cohn, USA
- 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
- JUST ANNOUNCED: The Vanished Elephant, dir. Javier Fuentes León, Peru/Colombia/Spain
- Victoria, dir. Sebastian Schipper, Germany
- Sweet Micky for President, dir. Ben Patterson, Haiti/USA
LA Muse (10)
A competitive section of world premieres of fiction and documentary films that are quintessentially L.A.
- A Beautiful Now, dir. Daniela Amavia, USA, World Premiere
- Aram, Aram, dir. Christopher Chambers, USA, World Premiere
- Can You Dig This, dir. Delila Vallot, USA, World Premiere
- Day Out of Days, dir. Zoe R. Cassavetes, USA, World Premiere
- The Drew: No Excuse, Just Produce, dir. Baron Davis, Chad Gordon, USA, World Premiere
- The Escort, dir. Will Slocombe, USA, World Premiere
- Flock of Dudes, dir. Bob Castrone, USA, World Premiere
- French Dirty, dir. Wade Allain-Marcus & Jesse Allain-Marcus, USA, World Premiere
- No Más Bebés (No More Babies), dir. Renee Tajima-Peña, USA, World Premiere
- Weepah Way for Now, dir. Stephen Ringer, USA, World Premiere
From the bizarre to the horrifying, these are films to watch after dark. Films premiering for the first time in the U.S. are nominated for the Nightfall Award.
- Caught, dir. Maggie Kiley, USA, World Premiere
- The Confines, dir. Eytan Rockaway, USA, World Premiere
- Crumbs, dir. Miguel Llansó, Spain/Ethiopia/Finland, North American Premiere
- Crush the Skull, dir. Viet Nguyen, USA, World Premiere
- Dude Bro Party Massacre III, dir. Tomm Jacobsen, Michael Rousselet, Jon Salmon, USA, World Premiere
- Plan Sexenal (Six Year Plan), dir. Santiago Cendejas, Mexico, North American Premiere
- Ratter, dir. Branden Kramer, USA, LA Premiere
- Shut In, dir. Adam Schindler, USA, World Premiere
A competitive section of curated, World Premiere films that embody key trends in American independent filmmaking. 2015 captures hard knock, coming of age stories.
A Girl Like Grace, dir. Ty Hodges, USA, World Premiere
Band of Robbers, dir. Aaron Nee & Adam Nee, USA, World Premiere
In the Treetops, dir. Matthew Brown, USA, World Premiere
Manifest Destiny, dir. Michael Dwyer, Kaitlin McLaughlin, USA, World Premiere
Stealing Cars, dir. Bradley Kaplan, USA, World Premiere
What Lola Wants, dir. Rupert Glasson, USA, World Premiere