Film Independent sets fest for L.A. Live center
The Los Angeles Film Festival is leaving Westwood and setting up its new home at L.A. Live in downtown Los Angeles. Film Independent, host of the annual event, said Thursday that the new locale will allow the fest to continue to grow, as well as take advantage of the downtown art scene. The L.A. Live complex includes Regal Cinemas Stadium 14, the Nokia Theater and the Soundstage Theater at the Grammy Museum, as well as screening facilities at the JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton Hotels. Fest, which runs June 17-27, also will take advantage of other downtown theaters, including the Redcat at Disney Hall, the Downtown Independent, the Orpheum Theater and California Plaza, an outdoor event space. It will continue to host outdoor evening screenings at Hollywood’s John Anson Ford Amphitheater. Organizers said the fest doubled in size during the four years it spent in Westwood, and uncertainty about the future of Westwood theaters as well as space issues affected the decision. Last year, roughly 75,000 people attended the fest. “There’s incredible energy downtown, and public transportation that will bring in people from all over,” fest director Rebecca Yeldham said. The fest moved to Westwood four years ago from Hollywood. Since L.A. Live opened in 2009, the complex has tried to convince studios to hold premieres downtown. But traffic worries have kept preems in Hollywood and Westwood. However, Film Independent held this year’s Spirit Awards atop the Nokia Theater.