Forty feature films including 24 world premieres highlight the official LA Film Festival competition lineup in the fest’s move into the crowded fall festival corridor, away from their previous early-summer perch.
Among the movies in competition is the highly regarded Swedish film Border (Grans) from director Ali Abbasi, a NEON pickup out of Cannes that took the top prize in that festival’s No. 2 competition, Un Certain Regard. It is listed as a “California Premiere,” which means it likely will show up first in Telluride, Toronto or both before LAFF, which runs September 20-28. It will play in the World Fiction Competition across a field of categories that also include U.S. Fiction, Documentary, LA Muse, Nightfall. Short Films, and Episodes: Indie Series from the web.
“Our mission of finding fresh new voices from different geographical and cultural axes remains true,” LAFF Director Jennifer Cochis said. “These storytellers are united by their ability to transport, impact and inspire audiences with the power of their craft.”
The 2018 LA Film Festival’s diverse slate also include 41 short films and 10 short episodic works representing 26 countries. Across the competition categories, 42% of the films are directed by women and 39% by people of color. More special screenings and programs will be announced in the coming weeks in addition to opening and closing nights and Galas.
Here is the complete list of today’s competition announcement:
U.S. Fiction Competition (7)
Original voices with distinct visions from emerging and established American independent filmmakers
Banana Split, dir. Benjamin Francis Kasulke, USA, World Premiere
In Reality, dir. Ann Lupo, co-dirs. Esteban Pedraza & Aaron Pryka, USA, California Premiere
Olympia, dir. Gregory Dixon, USA, World Premiere
Simple Wedding, dir. Sara Zandieh, USA, World Premiere
Softness of Bodies, dir. Jordan Blady, USA/Germany, World Premiere
This Teacher, dir. Mark Jackson, USA, World Premiere
The Wrong Todd, dir. Rob Schulbaum, USA, World Premiere
Documentary Competition (10)
Compelling, character-driven non-fiction films from the U.S. and around the world.
Behind the Curve, dir. Daniel J. Clark, USA, US Premiere
Facing the Dragon, dir. Sedika Mojadidi, USA/Afghanistan, World Premiere
False Confessions, dir. Katrine Philp, Denmark, North American Premiere
hillbilly, dirs. Sally Rubin, Ashley York, USA, LA Premiere
Mamacita, dir. José Pablo Estrada Torrescano, Mexico/Germany, US Premiere
Moroni for President, dir. Saila Huusko, Jasper Rischen, USA, LA Premiere
Same God, dir. Linda Midgett, USA, World Premiere
The Silence of Others, dirs. Almudena Carracedo, Robert Bahar, Spain, West Coast Premiere
Stammering Ballad, dir. Nan Zhang, China, North American Premiere
Wrestling Ghosts, dir. Ana Joanes, USA, World Premiere
World Fiction Competition (7)
Unique fiction films from around the world by emerging and established filmmakers, especially curated for LA audiences.
Border, dir. Ali Abbasi, Sweden, California Premiere
The Cotton Wool War, dirs. Cláudio Marques, Marilia Hughes, Brazil, US Premiere
The Day I Lost My Shadow, dir. Soudade Kaadan, France/Lebanon/Qatar/Syrian Arab Republic, US Premiere
Heaven Without People, dir. Lucien Bourjeily, Lebanon, LA Premiere
Microhabitat, dir. Jeon Go-Woon, South Korea, West Coast Premiere
Socrates, dir. Alex Moratto, Brazil, World Premiere
Tower. A Bright Day., dir. Jagoda Szelc, Poland/Czech Republic, LA Premiere
LA Muse (10)
Fiction and documentary films that capture the spirit of Los Angeles.
The Advocates, dir. Rémi Kessler, USA, World Premiere
El Chicano, dir. Ben Hernandez Bray, USA, World Premiere
Fire on the Hill, dir. Brett Fallentine, USA, World Premiere
Funke, dir. Gabriel Taraboulsy, USA, World Premiere
Making Montgomery Clift, dir. Robert A. Clift, Hillary Demmon, USA, World Premiere
Saint Judy, dir. Sean Hanish, USA, World Premiere
Solace, dir. Tchaiko Omawale, USA, California Premiere
Staycation, dir. Tanuj Chopra, USA, World Premiere
Stuntman, dir. Kurt Mattila, USA, World Premiere
We the Coyotes, dirs. Hanna Ladoul, Marco La Via, USA, North American Premiere
From the bizarre to the horrifying, these are films to watch after dark.
The Dead Center, dir. Billy Senese, USA, World Premiere
Deep Murder, dir. Nick Corirossi, USA, World Premiere
Ghost Light, dir. John Stimpson, USA, World Premiere
Head Count, dir. Elle Callahan, USA, World Premiere
Spell, dir. Brendan Walter, USA, World Premiere
Thriller, dir. Dallas Jackson, USA, World Premiere
Short Films (41): From over 3,100 submissions, the short films selected represent 14 countries. 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.
Episodes: Indie Series from the Web (10)
This showcase of independently crafted web series celebrates rising creators whose work and subjects are innovative and unfiltered.
Avant-Guardians, dir. Clarence Williams II, USA
Flatbush Misdemeanors, dirs. Dan Perlman, Kevin Iso, USA
Fresh, dir. Grant Scicluna, Australia
Kiki and Kitty, dir. Catriona Mackenzie, Australia
Otis, dir. Alexander Etseyatse, USA
Petal & Paint, dir. Bradley Smith, USA
Psusy, dirs. Duckworth, Jaya Beach-Robertson, New Zealand
Revenge Tour, dir. Andrew Carter, USA
Robits, dir. Christopher Parks, USA
Tracy Buckles, dir. Robin Nystrom, USA