Los Angeles Film Festival unveils competition line-up

By Jeremy Kay (SCREENDAILY)

Top brass at the 21st Los Angeles Film Festival have announced the US Fiction, Documentary and World Competition sections.


Seventy-four films in total will screen at the event, scheduled to run from June 10-18, while 54 play in competition including 39 world premieres.


Organisers pointed out that nearly 40% of the directors in the six competitive categories are female and nearly 30% of the films are directed by people of colour.


New sections this year are the US Fiction and World Fiction Competitions and Launch, as well as the previously announced Buzz, Nightfall and Zeitgeist programmes.


The Launch section is designed to showcase innovative storytelling crafted in digital media including music videos, web series, podcasts, interactive games and digital activism shorts.


Selections include Making Cool Sh*t: The Music Videos Of OK Go followed by a talk with frontman and director Damian Kulash and Funny Or Die’s Make ‘Em LAFF Showcase.


Among the US Fiction Competition entries are world premieres of: Anna Axster’s A Country Called Home; Sterlin Harjo’s Mekko; Marc Meyers’ How He Fell In Love; and Emily Ting’s It’s Already Tomorrow In Hong Kong (pictured), which Red Sea Media is selling internationally.


Documentary Competition world premieres include: Samuel Miron and Stephen Scarpulla’s A New High; Holly Morris and Anne Bogart’s The Babuskhas Of Chernobyl (USA-Ukraine); and Shalini Kantayya’s Catching The Sun.


World Fiction Competition entries include: Juan Paolo Arias’ Las Malas Lenguas (Sweet And Vicious, Colombia); Sara Blecher’s Ayanda And The Mechanic (South Africa)’ and the international premiere of Ben Chace’s Cuban film Sin Alas (Without Wings).


“Aligned with Film Independent’s mission, our curatorial focus at the Los Angeles Film Festival this year was to create a programme of vibrant and diverse stories and storytellers who exhibit true and singular voices,” said associate director of programming Roya Rastegar.


“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.”


“The Documentary Competition is a truly international line-up of character-driven work, reflective of a pervading trend in trans-national productions,” said senior programmer Jennifer Cochis.


“The World Fiction Competition is a highly curated section of films that upend preconceived notions of place to create a different way to see a time, country, or people.”


As previously announced, Lily Tomlin comedy Grandma will open the festival. For the complete competition line-up click here.

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