Thursday, October 20, 2016
  • Tuesday, Apr. 26, 2016
42 World Premieres Set Across 5 Competitions At LA Film Festival
Director Derek Hallquist's "Denial" is in the Documentary competition of the LA Film Festival
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The LA Film Festival, produced by Film Independent, the non-profit arts organization that also produces the Film Independent Spirit Awards, unveiled the official U.S. Fiction, Documentary, World Fiction, Nightfall and LA Muse sections. The 2016 LA Film Festival will screen a diverse slate of feature films, shorts and web series, along with programs such as the Filmmaker Retreat, Coffee Talks and Master Classes. The Festival runs June 1-9, 2016 at the ArcLight Cinemas.

“Our Programming team, led by [director of programming] Roya Rastegar and [creative director] Jennifer Cochis, killed it,” said Festival director, Stephanie Allain. “The competition lineup of 42 world premieres echoes Film Independent’s mission to celebrate diversity and showcases a multitude of innovative, fresh voices. We can’t wait to share these films with audiences and industry alike, and, following years which saw films like Meet the Patels, Code Black, Nightingale, The Drew, Out of My Hand and French Dirty acquired out of the Festival, are confident that 2016 will mark our best Festival yet.”

The 2016 LA Film Festival, which will have its headquarters at the ArcLight Culver City, offers a diverse slate of 56 feature films, 58 short films and 13 short episodic works representing 28 countries. Previously announced, the Opening Night Film is the World Premiere of Ricardo De Montreuil’s Lowriders, sponsored by Jaeger-LeCoultre. This year’s guest director is Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station, Creed) and Ava DuVernay (Selma, Middle of Nowhere) and Array Releasing will receive the Spirit of Independence Award. More special screenings and programs will be announced in the coming weeks.

The Festival’s five competitions feature 42 World Premieres. Across the five feature competition categories, 43% of the films are directed by women and 38% of the films are directed by people of color. Film Independent Curator Elvis Mitchell continues to oversee signature programs and LACMA events.

Passes are currently on sale to Film Independent Members and the general public. In addition to access to screenings and events (even after they sell out), Festival passes provide access to networking receptions and the Festival Lounge, where pass holders interact with Festival filmmakers and professionals in the film community. General admission tickets to individual films go on sale to Film Independent Members beginning Thursday, May 5 and to the general public beginning Tuesday, May 10. For further info, visit

US Fiction Competition (12 films)
Original voices with distinct visions from emerging and established American independent filmmakers.

11:55, dir. Ari Issler, Ben Snyder, USA, World Premiere
72 Hours, dir. Raafi Rivero, USA, World Premiere
Blood Stripe, dir. Remy Auberjonois, USA, World Premiere
Chee and T, dir. Tanuj Chopra, USA, World Premiere
Destined, dir. Qasim Basir, USA, World Premiere
Dreamstates, dir. Anisia Uzeyman, USA, World Premiere
GREEN / is / GOLD, dir. Ryon Baxter, USA, World Premiere
My First Kiss and the People Involved, dir. Luigi Campi, USA, World Premiere
Paint it Black, dir. Amber Tamblyn, USA, World Premiere
Tracktown, dir. Jeremy Teicher, Alexi Pappas, USA, World Premiere
The View from Tall, dir. Erica Weiss, Caitlin Parrish, USA, World Premiere
Woven, dir. Salome Mulugeta, Nagwa Ibrahim, USA, World Premiere

Documentary Competition (12) Sponsored by Loyola Marymount University School of Film and Television.
Compelling, character-driven non-fiction films from the U.S. and around the world.

Company Town, dir. Natalie Kottke, Erica Sardarian, USA, World Premiere
Denial, dir. Derek Hallquist, USA, World Premiere
Dr. Feelgood, dir. Eve Marson, USA, World Premiere
Dying Laughing, dir. Lloyd Stanton, Paul Toogood, USA/UK, World Premiere
The House on Coco Road, dir. Damani Baker, Grenada/USA, World Premiere
Jackson, dir. Maisie Crow, USA, World Premiere
The Last Gold, dir. Brian T. Brown, Germany/USA, World Premiere
Looking at the Stars, dir. Alexandre Peralta, Brazil/Nicaragua/USA, World Premiere
Olympic Pride, American Prejudice, dir. Deborah Riley Draper, USA, World Premiere
Out of Iraq, dir.  Eva Orner, Chris McKim, Canada/Iraq/Lebanon/USA, World Premiere
Political Animals, dir. Jonah Markowitz, Tracy Wares, USA, World Premiere
They Call us Monsters, dir. Ben Lear, USA, World Premiere

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, World Premiere
Like Cotton Twines, dir. Leila Djansi, Ghana/USA, World Premiere
London Town, dir. Derrick Borte, UK, World Premiere
Lupe Under the Sun, dir. Rodrigo Reyes, Mexico/USA, World Premiere
A Moving Image, dir. Shola Amoo, UK, World Premiere
Play the Devil, dir. Maria Govan, Trinidad/Bahamas/USA, World Premiere

LA Muse (6)
Fiction and documentary films that capture the spirit of L.A.

Actors of Sound, dir. Lalo Molina, Argentina/Finland/Germany/India/Ireland/USA, World Premiere
Girl Flu., dir. Dorie Barton, USA, World Premiere
Manchild: The Schea Cotton Story, dir. Eric “Ptah” Herbert, USA, World Premiere
Namour, dir. Heidi Saman, USA, World Premiere
No Light and No Land Anywhere, dir. Amber Sealey, USA, World Premiere
Sensitivity Training, dir. Melissa Finell, USA, World Premiere

Nightfall (6)
From the bizarre to the horrifying, these are films to watch after dark.

Abattoir, dir. Darren Lynn Bousman, USA, World Premiere
Beyond the Gates, dir. Jackson Stewart, USA, World Premiere
Don’t Hang Up, dir. Alexis Wajsbrot, Damien Macé, UK, World Premiere
Mercy, dir. Chris Sparling, USA, World Premiere
Officer Downe, dir. M. Shawn Crahan, USA, World Premiere
Villisca, dir. Tony Valenzuela, USA, World Premiere

Short Films (58): From over 2,500 submissions, the short films selected represent 15 countries and 64% are directed by women. Short films are shown before features and as part of seven short film programs. Shorts will compete for juried prizes for fiction and documentary shorts, as well as an Audience Award for Best Short Film.

Future Filmmakers Showcase: High School Shorts (33): The LA Film Festival’s Future Filmmaker Showcase brings to the big screen the best films made by budding young filmmakers from across the country and the globe. In this diverse slate of films, incredibly accomplished high school students will present wild comedies, moving dramas, mesmerizing animation, introspective experimental films and everything in between. Program sponsored by Loyola Marymount University School of Film and Television and Time Warner Foundation.

Episodes: Indie Series from the Web (13)
A showcase of independently crafted web series, celebrating rising creators whose work and subjects are innovative and unfiltered.

20 Seconds to Live, dir. Ben Rock, USA
Brothers, dir. Emmett Jack Lundberg, USA
Caring, dir. Maggie Kiley, USA
Fridays, dir. Anna Kerrigan, USA
The Ghost and the Negro, dir. Sylvester Folks, USA
Her Story, dir. Sydney Freeland, USA
Instababy, dir. Rosie Haber, USA
Literally So Busy, dir. Jerad Sloan, USA
Little Things, dir. Lex Halaby, Mila Shah, USA
Outside Comedy: Beth Stelling, dir. Thomas Wood, USA
Quirky Female Protagonist, dir. Yulin Kuang, USA
Shangri-LA, dir. Drew Rosas, USA
Time Out with Yes Please!, dir. Kholi Hicks, USA