Thursday, June 14, 2012
There’s been a buzz around town this week as film buffs prepare to descend on the ever-popular LA Film Festival in downtown Los Angeles which officially opens its doors to the public June 15th through June 24th.
The invites to screenings and “mixers” with filmmakers from top industry movers-and-shakers have been flying in fast &furious, so I expect my calendar will be pretty booked up this and next week.
Locals may recall that the prestigious Fest was originally based in Westwood (a cramped space!) before it moved lock-stock-and-barrel downtown near the Convention Center (which has proven to be a much better venue for what is becoming known as a World Class event attracting film enthusiasts from around the globe).
This year there is an eclectic array of offerings to choose from.
At one end of the spectrum there are well-crafted insightful documentaries – and at the other – intriguing high-quality foreign entries.
There is something for every taste, in fact.
As usual, there will be a smattering of special events, glitzy galas, intimate conversations with filmmakers about their exciting projects, you name it.
Some screenings - such as “Magic Mike” (a film about male strippers starring Channing Tatum), To Rome With Love (Woody Allen’s latest flick), and BRAVE (Pixar’s 3-D Animated Feature) – have sold out.
Understandably, the 2012 roster has also placed a searing lens on films that tackle Afro-American themes and women’s issues.
For good reason.
Stephanie Allain – a black woman – was recently installed as the Director at LAFF.
At a press junket recently, Ms. Allain underscored that was the beauty and thrill of being “at the table” during the program selection process.
“You get to be an advocate for issues you believe in,” she noted, in so many words.
For example, the Festival will be screening “G-DOG” – a documentary on Father Boyle (the founder of Homeboy Industries) - who helped gang members get off the mean streets of Los Angeles so they could get a fresh start in life.
In addition, LAFF will run “The Invisible War”, a doc that focuses on rape in the Military.
There will be a handful of big-budget mainstream screenings, too, which will be shown gratis to the community.
For example, “Dirty Dancing” will play at the California Plaza next week.
There will also be a screenings of "E.T." and "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" for fans of Sci-Fi.
William Friedkin – who is the guest director this year – will also preside over the theatrical release of his flick – Killer Joe – at the Bing Theatre at LACMA (which I expect will sell out).
The Fest has even lured Woody Allen to attend the premiere of his flick (aforementioned) unless he bows out at the last minute and heads off to the nearest jazz bar to jam a little with fellow musicians.
Oh, well, that's show biz!
By the way, Tickets are reasonably priced for all screenings.
Prices range from $5.00 - $13.00.
For a gander at the program, cruise on over to the film festival site.
See ‘ya there!
And, check back here, for my reports!