L.A. fest bows to ‘Valley’

Clooney honored with Spirit of Independence Award

David Jacobson’s Cannes Un Certain Regard entry “Down in the Valley” will open the Los Angeles Film Festival, unspooling June 16-26.

A yacht soiree in Cannes on Saturday will fete the pic and the upcoming event. L.A. fest’s complete lineup will be announced May 23.

Festival — organized by Film Independent (Find), the indie support org formerly known as IFP/Los Angeles — also will bestow its inaugural Spirit of Independence Award on George Clooney. Kudos will be presented at a June 25 event at which clips of the multihyphenate’s work will be shown to an audience of the fest’s filmmakers, followed by a conversation with Elvis Mitchell.

Clooney’s upcoming releases include thriller “Syriana” and “Good Night, and, Good Luck,” a feature he also co-wrote and directed about broadcaster Edward R. Murrow.

“George has used his stature to champion both daring and risky films outside the mainstream as an actor, director and producer,” said Find exec director Dawn Hudson.

The fest’s ongoing partnership with Target funds two unrestricted $50,000 cash prizes, one for the top doc and one for narrative feature, as well as other fest operations. The Target Documentary Award was doubled this year.

“Down in the Valley,” written and directed by L.A. native Jacobson (“Dahmer”) and starring Edward Norton and Evan Rachel Wood, will make its Stateside fest bow at the ArcLight Cinerama Dome on June 16.

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