Prestige films will return to the spotlight at the Cannes Film Festival later this month, but back on this side of the Atlantic, numerous potential end of year players are already starting to make some noise before their domestic releases. From Mike Mills’ “Beginners” to Jodie Foster’s “The Beaver,” there are numerous critic’s favorites heading toward theaters that have debuted elsewhere. An annual showcase for these films is the Los Angeles Film Festival which is returning downtown for the second year in a row next month.
Running June 16-26, the LA Film Fest 2011 will feature screenings of a number of films that made a lot of noise at this year’s Sundance Film Festival including “The Guard” (a personal favorite), “Project Nim,” Vera Farminga’s “Higher Learning,” “Another Earth,” “Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest,” “Terri” and “Tyrannosaur.” The festival also has docs such as ESPN Films’ “Renee” (which debuted at Tribeca), HBO Films’ “Sex Crimes Unit” and “The Bully Project” (which also debuted at Tribeca before being acquired by The Weinstein Company last week). Having these films play LA Film Fest is a great way for them to get in front of members of Film Independent (who vote on the Indie Spirit Awards) and members of the industry in numerous voting guilds. Last year, “The Kids Are All Right,” “Cyrus,” “Animal Kingdom” and “Waiting for Superman” all had their post-Sundance premieres at LA Film Fest.
Unclear yet is what big blockbusters will tie their world premiere (or Hollywood premiere) to the festival’s Nokia Theater digs. “Transformers: Dark of the Moon”? “Larry Crowe”? “Horrible Bosses”? Expect word on that over the next few weeks.
In the meantime, the official list of films is as follows:
Narrative Competition (10): The Narrative Competition is comprised of films made by talented emerging filmmakers that compete for the Filmmaker Award. The winner is determined by a panel of jurors, and films in this section are also eligible for the Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature.
“The Bad Intentions, Rosario Garcia-Montero,” Argentina/Germany/Peru – US PREMIERE
“The Dynamiter,” Matthew Gordon – NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE
“Familiar Grounds,” Stephane Lefleur – Canada – NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE
“The Fatherless,” Marie Kreutzer – Austria – NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE
“How to Cheat,” Amber Sealey – WORLD PREMIERE
“Mamitas,” Nicholas Ozeki – WORLD PREMIERE
“An Ordinary Family,” Mike Akel – WORLD PREMIERE
“Please Do Not Disturb,” Mohsen Abdolvahab – Iran – NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE
“Sawdust City,” David Nordstrom – WORLD PREMIERE
“You Hurt My Feelings,” Steve Collins – WORLD PREMIERE
Documentary Competition (9): The Documentary Competition is comprised of films made by talented emerging filmmakers that compete for the Documentary Award. The winner is determined by a panel of jurors, and films in this section are also eligible for the Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature.
“Cheonggyecheon Medley: Dream of Iron,” Kelvin Kyung Kun Park – South Korea – US PREMIERE
“Family Instinct,” Andris Gauja – Latvia – US PREMIERE
“Once I Was a Champion,” Gerard Roxburgh – WORLD PREMIERE
“Paraiso For Sale,” Anayansi Prado – WORLD PREMIERE
‘Salaam Dunk,” David Fine – Iraq/USA – WORLD PREMIERE
“Somewhere Between,” Linda Goldstein Knowlton – US PREMIERE
“Unfinished Spaces,” Alysa Nahimas, Ben Murray – WORLD PREMIERE
“Unraveled,” Marc H. Simon – WORLD PREMIERE
“Wish Me Away,” Bobbie Birleffi, Beverly Kopf – WORLD PREMIERE
International Showcase (18): The International Showcase highlights innovative independent narrative and documentary features from outside of the United States. Films in this section are eligible for Audience Awards for Best International Feature, Best Narrative Feature, or Best Documentary Feature.
“108,” Renate Costa – Spain/Paraguay
“Christopher and His Kind,” Geoffrey Sax – United Kingdom – NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE
“Come Rain, Come Shine,” Lee Yoon-ki, – South Korea – NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE
“Curling,” Denis Côté – Canada
“The Destiny of Lesser Animals,” Deron Albright – Ghana/USA
“Elite Squad 2: The Enemy Within,” Jose Padilha – Brazil (New Video)
“Eternity,” Sivaroj Kongsakul – Thailand
“Family Portrait in Black and White,” Julia Ivanova – Canada
“Kawasaki”s Rose,” Jan Hrebejk – Czech Republic (Menemsha Films)
“Love Crime,” Alain Corneau – France (IFC Films)
“Medianeras,” Gustavo Taretto – Argentina/Germany/Spain (IFC Films) – NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE
“Mysteries of Lisbon,” Raúl Ruiz – Portugal (Music Box Films)
“Ocaso,” Theo Court – Chile – NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE
“Position Among the Stars,” Leonard Retel Helmrich – Netherlands
“The Salesman,” Sébastien Pilote – Canada
“Self Made,” Gillian Wearing – England
“Senna,” Asif Kapadia – England (PDA)
“Tomboy,” Céline Sciamma – France (Rocket Releasing) – NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE
Summer Showcase (18): The Summer Showcase section offers an advance look at this summer”s most talked about independent film releases from the festival circuit. Films in this section are eligible for Audience Awards for Best International Feature, Best Narrative Feature, or Best Documentary Feature.
“Another Earth,” Mike Cahill (Fox Searchlight)
“Elevate,” Anne Buford
“The Future,” Miranda July (Roadside Attractions)
“The Guard,” John Michael McDonagh – Ireland (Sony Pictures Classics)
“Higher Ground,” Vera Farmiga (Sony Pictures Classics)
“Leave It on the Floor,” Sheldon Larry – WORLD PREMIERE
“Letters From the Big Man, Christopher Munch
“L!fe Happens,” Kat Coiro – WORLD PREMIERE
“Natural Selection,” Robbie Pickering
“Page One: Inside the New York Times,” Andrew Rossi (Magnolia Pictures/Participant Media)
“The Pruitt-lgoe Myth,” Chad Freidrichs
“Renée,” Eric Drath (ESPN Films)
“Sex Crimes Unit,” Lisa F. Jackson (HBO Films)
“Skateistan: Four Wheels and a Board in Kabul,” Kai Sehr
“Terri,” Azazel Jacobs (ATO)
“Tyrannosaur,” Paddy Considine – England (Strand Releasing)
“Where Soldiers Come From,” Heather Courtney
“Winnie the Pooh,” Stephen J. Anderson, Don Hall (Disney)
Outdoor Screenings at the Ford Amphitheatre (3): These official Los Angeles Film Festival selections, sponsored by Brand X, are included as part of the 2011 Ford Amphitheatre Summer Season; a multi-disciplinary arts series produced by the Los Angeles County Arts Commission in cooperation with Los Angeles County-based arts organizations. Films in this section are eligible for Audience Awards for Best International Feature, Best Narrative Feature, or Best Documentary Feature.
“Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest,” Michael Rapaport
“Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame,” Tsui Hark – Hong Kong
“The Seduction of Ingmar Bergman,” Guy Maddin and Ron & Russel Mael, aka Sparks – WORLD MUSICAL PREMIERE
International Spotlight – Cuba (4): This year, our International Spotlight focuses on Cuba, whose films rarely find distribution in the U.S. We”re proud to showcase the best of the new and recent Cuban cinema. Sponsored by the Department of Cultural Affairs and UCLA Latin American Institute.
“Habana Eva, Fina Torres” Cuba/France/Venezuela
“Operation Peter Pan: Flying Back to Cuba,” Estela Bravo – Cuba
“Suite Habana (2003),” Fernando Pérez – Cuba
“Ticket to Paradise,” Gerardo Chijona Valdes – Cuba
Documenting Mexico (2): Inspired by the efforts of the Ambulante Film Festival, a traveling film event designed to promote a documentary culture across Mexico, we are pleased to highlight two outstanding documentaries from Mexico”s vibrant documentary filmmaking culture. Sponsored by HOY.
“The Night Watchman,” Natalia Almada – Mexico
“The Tiniest Place,” Tatiana Huezo – Mexico
Community Screenings (7): These films will be presented free to the public. Films in this section are eligible for Audience Awards for Best Narrative Feature or Best Documentary Feature.
“The Bully Project,” Lee Hirsch (The Weinstein Company)
“Crime After Crime,” Yoav Potash – Grand Performances Screening
“Ferris Bueller”s Day Off” (1986), John Hughes – 25th Anniversary Screening
“Hot Coffee,” Susan Saladoff (HBO Films)
“On the Ice,” Andrew Okpeaha MacLean – Project:Involve Screening
“Project Nim,” James Marsh – United Kingdom (Roadside Attractions)
“Stand By Me” (1986), Rob Reiner – 25th Anniversary Screening
The Beyond (5): The Beyond offers films that dare to be different. Films in this section are eligible for Audience Awards for Best International Feature, Best Narrative Feature, or Best Documentary Feature.
“Entrance,” Dallas Hallam, Patrick Horvath
“Haunters,” Kim Min-suk – South Korea – NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE
“The Innkeepers,” Ti West
“Karate Robo Zarborger,” Iguchi Noboru – Japan – NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE
The Yellow Sea,” Na Hong-jin – South Korea
“Boyz n the Hood” (1991), John Singleton – 20th Anniversary Digitally Re-Mastered Screening with a Cast & Crew Reunion
“Das Boot” (1981), Wolfgang Peterson – Germany – 30th Anniversary Digitally Re-Mastered Screening