Moving into awards season, the Los Angeles Film Festival will shift from mid-June to mid-September for its 24th edition next year.
Film Independent, which operates the festival, also announced Wednesday a multi-year partnership with the ArcLight Cinemas chain. The festival has been headquartered at the Arclight Culver City for the past two years.
The move will put the L.A. Film Festival into the heart of awards season. It will follow the Venice International Film Festival, which begins in late August; the Telluride Film Festival, which runs over Labor Day; and the Toronto Intl. Film Festival, which starts three days after Labor Day. The Los Angeles festival would be ending next year just as the New York Film Festival is starting.
In its June slot, the L.A. Film Festival took place a few weeks after the Cannes Film Festival.
The L.A. Film Festival has been aiming in recent years to put an emphasis on films that are directed by and starring women and minorities. Its opening night film in June was “The Book of Henry,” starring Naomi Watts. Other galas included “Annabelle: Creation,” “Brigsby Bear,” “The Year of Spectacular Men” and “Shot Caller.” It closed with “Ingrid Goes West.”
The festival will take place on Sept. 20-28 at the Arclight Cinemas, located in Culver City, Santa Monica and Hollywood. Submissions for the 24th edition of the Festival will open Jan. 1 exclusively on Withoutabox, as part of a new multi-year collaboration.
“The secret to dramatically changing something is to change it,” said Jennifer Cochis, L.A. Film Festival Director. “My passion for this festival is unwavering and the time for an evolution has come. Film Independent is so proud of the work we’ve done in showcasing new American and international cinema that embraces diversity, innovation and unique perspectives, but the fact is that summer is a challenging time for artist driven films, and fall is where we clearly belong.”
The festival has been based in Westwood and Hollywood, and shifted to downtown Los Angeles in 2010 for a six-year stay before moving the headquarters to Culver City for last year’s festival. It announced the first partnership with Arclight in late 2015.
Film Independent also operates the Spirit Awards to honor independent films produced for $20 million or less.