In its third edition, the 1997 Los Angeles Independent Film Festival (April 3-7) features 16 world premieres among its 20 films, three feature documentaries and 34 shorts. Presented by the Sundance Channel and the Filmmakers Foundation, the fest takes place at Raleigh Studios and Paramount Studios except for opening and closing nights at the Directors Guild of America, a founding sponsor along with Raleigh and Kodak.
Opening the fest of films (which are largely without distribution) is the world premiere of “Little City” from writer-director Roberto Benabib. Produced by Bandeira Entertainment (“House of Yes” and “johns” ) and handled internationally by Initial Entertainment Group, the pic stars Jon Bon Jovi, Josh Charles, Joanna Going, Penelope Ann Miller, Annabella Sciorra and JoBeth Williams in a tale of romantic entanglements in San Francisco.
Closing night features the world premiere of “Off The Menu: Closing Night at Chasen’s,” directed by Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini. Focusing on the legendary Hollywood eatery, the documentary features Variety columnist Army Archerd, among other Chasen’s regulars.
The fest lineup is:
“Bleached” — directed by Tom Danon, written by Danon and Rebecca Graham; a dark, comedic road movie following two slackers from Boston to L.A.
“Colors Straight Up” — written and directed by Michele Ohayon; an inspirational documentary about Colors United, a critically acclaimed performing arts group for inner city youths. Music by Janet Jackson, Michael Jackson and Sounds of Blackness.
“Dogtown” — written and directed by George Hickenlooper; the tale of a young, failed actor returning to his home town. Starring Mary Stuart Masterson and Jon Favreau (“Swingers”).
“Faith of Our Fathers” —written and directed by Hamilton Sterling; about an alienated young man who falls under the spell of a diabolical street philosopher.
“Lena’s Dreams” — written and directed by Heather Johnston and Gordon Ericson; centers on an embittered Cuban-American actress on the brink of giving up her dream career.
“Levitation” — written by Scott D. Goldstein; about a delusional woman floating between the harsh realities of life and her secret fantasy world. Starring Ernie Hudson, Jeremy London and Ann Magnuson.
“Loved” — written and directed Erin Dignam; an emotion-drenched drama in which a young woman is forced to relive her past life of psychological abuse. Starring Robin Wright, William Hurt, Amy Madigan and Sean Penn. Overseas rights are handled by MDP Worldwide.
“Lovelife” — written and directed by Jon Harmon Feldman; about friendships, sexual liaisons and chance encounters. Starring Sherilyn Fenn.
“Nevada” — from writer-director Gary Tieche; centers on a beautiful stranger who becomes an object of desire in a remote desert community totally populated by women. Starring Gabrielle Anwar, Amy Brenneman, Kathy Najimy and Kirstie Alley.
“Ocean Tribe” — written and directed by Will Gieger; follows four surfing buddies on a surf odyssey in Mexico with their dying friend.
“The Price of Kissing” — written and directed by Vincent DiPersio; stars Nicole Eggert as a young poet who travels through the world of jazz clubs and coffee shops. Also stars singer Lou Rawls. Overseas rights are handled by MDP Worldwide.
“States of Control” — written and directed by Zach Winestine; a psychological investigation of an emotionally tortured woman.
“Ties to Rachel” — directed by Jon Resnik and written by Resnik and Bear Kirkpatric; ties together vignettes in the lives of four eccentrics in a small New England town.
“The Wright Brothers” — written and directed by Gregg Lachow; a retelling of the lives of flight pioneers Orville and Wilbur Wright.
“The Headhunter’s Sister” — written and directed by Scott Saunders; focuses on a group of discontented urban outcasts.
“Under the Bridge” — written and directed by Charles Weinstein; about three street people who become surrogate parents to an African-American runaway.
West Coast premieres
“Layin’ Low” — written and directed by Danny Leiner; a comedy about two Brooklyn losers caught up in a perilous underworld of mobster shenanigans. Starring Jeremy Piven.
“Sick” — directed by Kirby Dick; pic, which showed at the most recent Sundance fest, chronicles the life and work of L.A. -based performance artist and poet Bob Flanagan, whose masochistic and erotic presentations explored the limits of pain, sexuality, love and death.
Other films showing
“Chocolate Babies” — written and directed by Stephen Winter; a fantasy involving gay African-American and Asian outcasts combating anti-gay forces.
“Yellow” — written and directed by Chris Chan Lee; second-generation Asian-American teenagers caught between contemporary pop culture and their immigrant parents.
“Strawberry Fields” — written and directed by Rea Tajiri and co-written by Kerri Sakamoto; a coming-of-age story about a Japanese-American girl confronting her parents’ past in a WWII internment camp.
For information, call (213) 466-1767.