Los Angeles Film Festival
|Location||Los Angeles, California|
|Hosted by||Film Independent|
The Los Angeles Film Festival, also known as the LA Film Fest, is an annual film festival held in June in downtown Los Angeles, California. It showcases independent, international, feature, documentary and short films, as well as music videos. Since 2001 it is run by the organisation Film Independent, which also has been arranging the annual Independent Spirit Awards in Santa Monica since 1985.
The festival began as the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival (LAIFF) in 1995. The LAIFF ran for six years, until it was absorbed into Film Independent in 2001. At its height, the LAIFF attracted 19,000 attendees. Today, the Los Angeles Film Festival attracts more than 90,000.
With an attendance of more than 90,000 people, it screens more than 100 feature films. The event also includes world premieres of films such as Disney/Pixar's Brave, and a variety of panels, seminars, and free outdoor screenings.
The Festival features signature programs including the exclusive Filmmaker Retreat, hosted by a veteran film director. In 2010, the Filmmaker Retreat was hosted by Kathryn Bigelow. In 2011, it was hosted by George Lucas at his Skywalker Ranch, where it will return for 2012.
In addition to feature films, it also screens short films created by high school students and has a special section devoted to music videos.
Films submitted to the Festival are reviewed by Film Independent's programming department, which evaluates each film, looking for the best in new American and international cinema.
Awards are given out in the following categories at the conclusion of the Festival:
- Filmmaker Award for Best Narrative Feature (award carries an unrestricted cash prize of $15,000)
- Filmmaker Award for Best Documentary Feature (award carries an unrestricted cash prize of $15,000)
- Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature
- Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature
- Audience Award for Best International Feature
- Outstanding Performance in the Narrative Competition
- Best Narrative Short Film (award carries an unrestricted cash prize of $5,000)
- Best Documentary Short Film (award carries an unrestricted cash prize of $5,000)
- Best Animated/Experimental Short Film (award carries an unrestricted cash prize of $5,000)
- Audience Award for Best Short Film.
After the film festival Filmex, which ran from 1971 to 1983, there was no film festival in Los Angeles until 1995, when the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival (LAIFF) was started. The first LAIFF took place over the course of five days in a single location: the historic Raleigh Studios in Hollywood.
In 1996, the LAIFF expanded to include the Directors Guild of America Building in Hollywood.
In 2001, the festival became part of the organisation Film Independent (formerly IFP/West).
In 2006, the Los Angeles Times became the festival's main sponsor.
In 2010 the festival was moved to the Regal Cinemas at the L.A. Live complex in downtown Los Angeles, with additional screenings at several other downtown venues including the Downtown Independent, Orpheum Theatre and the REDCAT Theatre (below the Walt Disney Concert Hall). The festival also has a long tradition of screenings at the open-air John Anson Ford Amphitheatre in Hollywood. Free screenings are scheduled at California Plaza, in conjunction with Grand Performances, FIGat7th and at Nokia Plaza.
Today the Los Angeles Film Festival attracts over 90,000 visitors.
The Los Angeles Film Festival is a qualifying festival in all categories for Film Independent's Independent Spirit Awards. It is also a qualifying festival for the short films categories of the Academy Awards.
During the festival of 2009, festival officials was approached by Dole Food Company. Dole urged festival officials to "immediately cease and desist" their sponsorship of the documentary Bananas!*, directed by Fredrik Gertten. The festival did screen the documentary but removed it from competition in the festival. The documentary was also referred to as a case study of how truth could be twisted. Fredrik Gertten implies in his documentary Big Boys Gone Bananas!*, a movie dealing with him being sued by Dole and his experience during that time, that the Los Angeles Film Festival gave after for the fear of losing their own interests in prior to protect freedom of speech.
- "Los Angeles Film Festival History". Retrieved 27 May 2012.
- Keegan, Rebecca (18 May 2012). "Pixar's 'Brave' to play at Dolby Theatre for L.A. Film Fest". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 27 May 2012.
- Los Angeles Times - 2011 Los Angeles Film Festival lineup unveiled
- "Short Films Awards Festivals List". The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 2009-08-12.
- "Film Festival Grant Recipients". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 2009-08-12.
- Big Boys Gone Bananas!* by Fredrik Gertten