In its nineteenth year, the Los Angeles Film Fest 2013 (LAFF) has become one of L.A.’s hottest events, and this year is no exception. Presented by Film Independent in conjunction with Presenting Sponsor Los Angeles Times and Host Partner L.A. Live, this primarily downtown festival runs officially from June 13 – 23, but this year sneaks a kick-off June 12 with a special advance screening of Zack Snyder’s “Man of Steel.”
From Almodovar to David O. Russell; from Maya Rudolph to Spike Jonze, LAFF honors acclaimed as well as new and upcoming filmmakers. This year’s festival received 5428 film submissions from around the world (up from 5283 last year). Of those, nearly 200 feature films, shorts and music videos from more than 40 countries will screen. 35 of the films selected are World, North American and U.S. premieres. 22 of the premieres are in the Narrative and Documentary Competition category.
“We’ve put together a program that will appeal to every kind of movie lover, from exciting new American indies to the best international art house fare and eye-opening documentaries to family films, thrillers and horror flicks,” says David Ansen, Artistic Director of the Festival.
Opening the festival on June 13 is the North American Premiere of Pedro Almodovar’s “I’m So Excited,” which is set for U.S. release on June 28. Set almost entirely aboard a plane, this frothy flight comedy stars, Javier Camara, Cecilia Roth, Lola Duenas and Raul Arevalo.
Closing the festival on June 23 is “The Way, Way Back” written and directed by Oscar winners Nat Faxon and Jim Rash (“The Descendants”). Starring Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Allison Janney, Annasophia Robb, Sam Rockwell, Maya Rudolph and Liam James, “The Way, Way Back” is a funny coming of age story of 14-year-old Duncan (James) on summer vacation with his mother (Collette), her overbearing boyfriend (Carell), and his daughter (Zoe Levin).
Other noteworthy LAFF events include Guest Director and Spirit of Independence recipient, filmmaker David O’Russell (“Silver Linings Playbook”) hosting a screening of his earlier film, “Three Kings.” He also will be attending the 12th annual Filmmaker Retreat at Skywalker Ranch in Marin County which is a get-together of Festival filmmakers and special invited guests.
For the 2013 Master Class series, actress Maya Rudolph will discuss her work in films as well as choose her favorite comedic film of all time. Film Independent at LACMA curator Elvis Mitchell will moderate this Rudolph Master Class event.
As part of the “In Conversation” program, this year’s LAFF presents playwright and filmmaker David Mamet (“Glengary Glen Ross”) and actor/stage magician and author Ricky Jay (“Boogie Nights”). Each will discuss their work as well as their collaborations.
Another highlight for film lovers is “An Evening With Costa Gavras.” Known for his highly potent work in “Missing,” and “Z,” Gavras will not only screen his latest film, “Capital,” but be on hand to talk about this film as well as his earlier work.
From June 13 – 23, Los Angeles is the place to be for film lovers. The Los Angeles Film Festival celebrates the best American independent filmmakers as well as new narrative and documentary filmmakers from around the world. LAFF is an event not to miss.
For more information regarding film schedules, new announcements, and ticket information, check out the website at LAFF.
For other film reviews by Lori Huck, check out:
‘Before Midnight’ Review: Linklater, Hawke, Delpy Wondrously Reunite
Los Angeles Film Festival 2012 showcases indie films, filmmakers ‘exclusively for everyone’
‘The Descendants’ Review: A Bittersweet, Comedic Tale With Exquisite Acting