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‘Kids,’ Laker fans kick off L.A. film fest

Laker_fans BY PAT SAPERSTEIN

The Los Angeles Film Fest got a little more urban atmosphere than it bargained for as the fest kicked off Downtown Thursday night with thousands of basketball fans massing across the street for the Lakers Game 7 playoff.

Despite gamers leaving E3, film buffs at the Regal L.A. theaters and throngs of gold and purple-garbed basketball fans, parking was less problematic than many had anticipated. Film Independent’s Dawn Hudson and helmer Lisa Cholodenko introduced the screening of “The Kids Are All Right,” and basketball was forgotten until the screening ended, when departing filmgoers heard the victory news from theater employees.

Kids_boffo On the roof of the theater’s parking structure, the afterparty got underway with a view of the departing fans, who got rowdy down the street while film festgoers snacked on sliders and cupcakes. The pic’s stars Mark Ruffalo, Mia Wasikowska and Josh Hutcherson made the rooftop party scene while Julianne Moore was whisked off the red carpet back to a shoot and Annette Bening “sent her regards.” Also partying were Jane Lynch, the pic’s Rebecca Lawrence and producers including Jordan Horowitz, who said he feels like the fest “is going to have a long life downtown.”

Horowitz said the film’s L.A. aesthetic made it a great fit for the opening night, while Ruffalo said he really appreciated the pic’s honest portrayal of a family with two moms. “You completely forget you’re watching a gay couple,” Ruffalo said. “It transcends political haranguing.” 

Lafest_boffo No one could have predicted that so many people would end up packing into the L.A. Live area on the fest’s opening night, but apart from scattered patches of traffic, the complex was generally able to accomodate several large events going on at once. Vandalism taking place on nearby streets took place outside the festival area, though dozens of police in riot gear were a sobering sight.

(Pictured, above right: Mark Ruffalo, Julianne Moore and “The Kids Are All Right” director Lisa Cholodenko)

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