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LA Film Festival Unveils 42 World Premieres

The LA Film Festival has announced its competition lineup of 42 world premieres with 43% of the films directed by women and 38% of the films by people of color.

“Curating films for LA audiences is so special because Angelenos have a uniquely homegrown love of cinema,” said Creative Director Jennifer Cochis. “It’s with true film lovers in mind that we program: from political theater to musical theater, we’re highlighting storytelling in all its forms.”

Festival director Stephanie Allain said the diversity numbers have risen from the 2015 festival. “It’s very much our mission to discover new voices and support diversity,” she added.

Among the notable titles unveiled Tuesday were Amber Tamblyn’s debut feature film “Paint It Black” in the U.S. fiction lineup; Ben Lear’s “They Call Us Monsters” in the documentary section; and Darren Lynn Bousman’s “Abattoir” in the Nightfall section.

Director of Programming Roya Rastegar told Variety, “We were looking above all for stories with a sense of urgency to them.”

The festival will be headquartered at the ArcLight Culver City and run from June 1 to 9 — one day longer than the previous three years. Its previously announced opening night film is the world premiere at the Cinerama Dome of Ricardo De Montreuil’s “Lowriders,” starring Eva Longoria and Demian Bichir.

The festival, which is part of Film Independent, announced a total of 56 films including titles unveiled last week for the non-competition Buzz and Limelight sections: Mike Birbiglia’s “Don’t Think Twice”; Stella Meghie’s “Jean of the Joneses”; Justin Tipping’s “Kicks”; Roger Ross Williams’ “Life, Animated”; David F. Sandberg’s “Lights Out”; Isaac Rentz’s “Opening Night”; and Stephen Gyllenhaal’s “So B. It.”

The lineup for the US Fiction Competition:

11:55, dir. Ari Issler, Ben Snyder, USA

72 Hours, dir. Raafi Rivero, USA

Blood Stripe, dir. Remy Auberjonois, USA

Chee and T, dir. Tanuj Chopra, USA

Destined, dir. Qasim Basir, USA

Dreamstates, dir. Anisia Uzeyman, USA

Green / is / Gold, dir. Ryon Baxter, USA

My First Kiss and the People Involved, dir. Luigi Campi, USA

Paint it Black, dir. Amber Tamblyn, USA

Tracktown, dir. Jeremy Teicher, Alexi Pappas, USA

The View from Tall, dir. Erica Weiss, Caitlin Parrish, USA

Woven, dir. Salome Mulugeta, Nagwa Ibrahim, USA


Documentary Competition

Company Town, dir. Natalie Kottke, Erica Sardarian, USA,

Denial, dir. Derek Hallquist, USA,

Dr. Feelgood, dir. Eve Marson, USA

Dying Laughing, dir. Lloyd Stanton, Paul Toogood, USA/UK

The House on Coco Road, dir. Damani Baker, Grenada/USA

Jackson, dir. Maisie Crow, USA

The Last Gold, dir. Brian T. Brown, Germany/USA

Looking at the Stars, dir. Alexandre Peralta, Brazil/Nicaragua/USA

Olympic Pride, American Prejudice, dir. Deborah Riley Draper, USA

Out of Iraq, dir.  Eva Orner, Chris McKim, Canada/Iraq/Lebanon/USA

Political Animals, dir. Jonah Markowitz, Tracy Wares, USA

They Call us Monsters, dir. Ben Lear, USA


World Fiction Competition (6)

Unique fiction films from around the world from emerging and established filmmakers, especially curated for LA audiences.


Heis (chronicles), dir. Anaïs Volpé, France

Like Cotton Twines, dir. Leila Djansi, Ghana/USA

London Town, dir. Derrick Borte, UK

Lupe Under the Sun, dir. Rodrigo Reyes, Mexico/USA

A Moving Image, dir. Shola Amoo, UK

Play the Devil, dir. Maria Govan, Trinidad/Bahamas/USA


LA Muse Section (fiction and documentary films that capture the spirit of L.A.

Actors of Sound, dir. Lalo Molina, Argentina/Finland/Germany/India/Ireland/USA

Girl Flu., dir. Dorie Barton, USA

Manchild: The Schea Cotton Story, dir. Eric “Ptah” Herbert, USA

Namour, dir. Heidi Saman, USA

No Light and No Land Anywhere, dir. Amber Sealey, USA

Sensitivity Training, dir. Melissa Finell, USA


Nightfall (6)

Abattoir, dir. Darren Lynn Bousman, USA

Beyond the Gates, dir. Jackson Stewart, USA

Don’t Hang Up, dir. Alexis Wajsbrot, Damien Macé, UK

Mercy, dir. Chris Sparling, USA

Officer Downe, dir. M. Shawn Crahan, USA

Villisca, dir. Tony Valenzuela, USA


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