Los Angeles Film Fest – Festival Programmers Doug Jones and Maggie Mackay

LAFilmFest_2014 

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Now in its 20th year, running from June 11-19, the Los Angeles Film Festival, presented by Film Independent, showcases diversity, innovation and uniqueness of vision in new American and international cinema, and provides the movie-loving public with one-of-a-kind events featuring critically acclaimed filmmakers, film industry professionals, and emerging talent from around the world. The Festival’s signature programs include the Filmmaker Retreat, Music in Film at The OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGRAMMY Museum®, Celebrating Women Filmmakers, Master Classes, Spirit of Independence Award, LA Muse and more. Over 200 features, shorts, and music videos, representing more than 40 countries, make up the main body of the Festival.

We are joined by two Los Angeles Film Fest programmer’s Doug Jones, Associate Director of Programming and Maggie Mackay, Senior Programmer

Maggie Mackay - LAFFFrom Chinatown to Echo Park, LA has been a muse for artists to find their voice, tell their story and perfect their craft. The 20th Anniversary of the festival is dedicated to the City of Angels; a cinematic reflection of our city-muse through a program of films, performances, and panels.

For more on Los Angeles Film Fest go to: http://www.lafilmfest.com/

 

Cold in July, Director Jim Mickle

Cold-July-posterHow can a split-second decision change your life? While investigating noises in his house one balmy Texas night in 1989, Richard Dane puts a bullet in the brain of a low-life burglar, Freddy Russell. Although he’s hailed as a small-town hero, Dane soon finds himself fearing for his family’s safety when Freddy’s ex-con father, Ben, rolls into town; hell-bent on revenge. However, not all is as it seems. Shortly after Dane kills the home intruder, his life begins to unravel into a dark underworld of corruption and violence. Twists and turns continue to pile up as the film reaches its inevitable destination: a gore-soaked dead end. Director / writer / co-editor Jim Mickle drops by to talk about his dark, violent genre-bending film that features outstanding performances from Michael C. Hall, Sam Shepard, Vinessa Shaw and Don Johnson.

“As the movie’s resident live wire, Mr. Johnson, obviously having the time of his life, is a hoot, and the feisty camaraderie among these three men gives “Cold in July” a euphoric goofiness.” – Stephen Holden, New York Times

“Get ready to squirm. Be sure to seek out this twisty and terrific sleeper in theaters or on VOD. It’s a real find.” – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

“A tangled tale of crime and punishment that mines the Lone Star lore of guns and killing.” – Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times

A People Uncounted, Director Aaron Yeger

A People Uncounted posterA People Uncounted: The Untold Story of the Roma is a journey into the world of the Roma (commonly referred to as Gypsies)—a people who through the ages have been both romanticized and vilified in popular culture, politics and art, and who have endured centuries of intolerance and persecution. Visiting 11 countries and interviewing dozens of Roma artists, historians, musicians and Holocaust survivors, this revealing film documents their culturally rich but often difficult lives, taking us back to ancient times and forward to the little-known story of Roma genocide at the hands of Nazis during World War II. As we watch the incredible story of the Roma unfold, both the people and their history come to life through the interplay of their evocative music and poetry, interwoven with true stories told by the survivors of the camps. As intolerance is on the rise in European politics, this remarkable film reminds us that ethnic minorities all too often fall prey to racism and genocide. Director Aaron Yeger talks about the Roma’s on-going struggle for basic human rights, dignity and the fight to be seen as more than a pop-culture stereotype.

For more news and updates on A People Uncounted go to: http://www.apeopleuncounted.com/

“Much of this movie is composed of survivors who give harrowing accounts of their experiences, and their warnings about rising ethnic hatred in Europe should not be ignored.” – Andrew Webster, New York Times

“Profoundly moving, a powerful documentary on the plight of the Roma people through history… an expansive essay on prejudice and the resilience of the human spirit. 4 stars” – T’Cha Dunlevy, Montreal Gazette

“Needed no star power to keep me glued to the screen…A one-of-a-kind find…a virtually unknown piece of history… a fascinating, hyperbole-free inquiry into what one recent study determined is the most discriminated-against group in all of Europe.” – Lauren Wissot, Filmmaker Magazine

“The most vital portrait of genocide since Lanzmann’s Shoah.” 4 Stars – Greg Klymkiw, Producer, Journalist, Filmmaker

Palo Alto, Director Gia Coppola

Palo Alto film poster 

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Shy, sensitive April (Emma Roberts) is the class virgin —a popular soccer player and frequent babysitter for her single-dad coach, Mr. B. (James Franco). Teddy (Jack Kilmer) is an introspective artist whose best friend and sidekick Fred (Nat Wolff) is an unpredictable live wire with few filters or boundaries. While April negotiates a dangerous affair with Mr. B., and Teddy performs community service for a DUI — secretly carrying a torch for April, who may or may not share his affection — Fred seduces Emily (Zoe Levin), a promiscuous loner who seeks validation through sexual encounters. One high school party bleeds into another as April and Teddy finally acknowledge their mutual affection, and Fred’s escalating recklessness spirals into chaos. Director Gia Coppola joins us to talk about her nuanced and insightful feature film debut and the pressure that comes with being part of an American cinematic dynasty.

For more news and updates on Palo Alto go to: Tribecafilm.com

“It’s a drifty, appealing story, set in the Northern California city that gives the movie its title, about that twilight period between childhood’s end and the start of young adulthood.” – Manohla Dargis, New York Times

“Franco’s stories, sometimes coarse and flimsy on the page, operate like launch pads for a slew of fresh, frisky performers. But the delicacy of the movie’s narrative and its almost mystical thread of yearning come from Coppola.” – Michael Sragow, OC Register

“Conjures a delicate, very specific sense of middle-class adolescence, the indeterminate, nascent feelings of the teenage years.” – Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times

Llyn Foulkes, One Man Band, Co-Director Tamar Halpern

Llyn Foulkes poster 

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At age 70, LA painter and one-man-band musician Llyn Foulkes struggles to be remembered. As he finishes two paintings, one that cost him his marriage, he feverishly works to create deep, three-dimensional ‘pictures’ layering real objects and shadows. When no one attends his NY show, he blames himself. With commentary from Dennis Hopper, we learn Llyn was kicked out of the Ferus Gallery for insulting another artist’s work, setting the tone for the next fifty years of his refusal to sell out. Twenty years after performing on the Tonight Show, he plays ‘The Machine’ alone, a one-man band in both music and art. Part Clint Eastwood, part political anarchist, this intimate portrait of Llyn Foulkes follows his obsessive craft and process for eight years. Director Tamar Halpern stops by for a conversation on capturing the essence of a modern iconoclast.

For news and updates on Llyn Foulkes, One Man Band go to: http://www.llynfoulkesfilm.com

Laemmle’s Music Hall, May 16-22, five shows daily at
12:40 pm, 3:00 pm, 5:20 pm, 7:40 pm, 10:00 pm. Q and A with Llyn Foulkes and filmmakers Tamar Halpern and Chris Quilty. Friday, Saturday May 16, after the 7:40pm screening and Saturday May 17, after the 7:40pm screening

Laemmle’s Playhouse, Saturday May 17 at 11 am, Sunday May 18 at 11am, Monday, May 19 7:30pm. Q and A with Llyn Foulkes and filmmakers Tamar Halpern and Chris Quilty. Monday, May 19, after the 7:30pm screening

Laemmle’s NoHo, Saturday May 17 at 11 am, Sunday May 18 at 11am, Wednesday, May 21, 7:30pm. Q and A with Llyn Foulkes and filmmakers Tamar Halpern and Chris Quilty. Sunday May 18 after the 11am screening

“A queasy thriller… undeniably fascinating to watch” 
- Variety

“Entertainingly introspective… An engaging tribute to an artist who has stayed true to himself… Foulkes is a joy to watch in action.” 
- The Hollywood Reporter

“An illuminating portrait of the artist as a hermetic, self-doubting, obsessive-compulsive perfectionist… Directed with an affectionate but not uncritical eye.” 
- Variety

“Provocative and wildly entertaining. The engaging doc ‘Llyn Foulkes One Man Band’ profiles the fascinating life and work of a true rebel of the art world.
” – MSN.com

“A quality look into the life and art of a tremendous artistic mind.
” – FILMTHREAT

For No Good Reason, Director Charlie Paul and Producer Lucy Paul

for no good reason II 

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Ralph Steadman is the last of the original Gonzo visionaries. Made over the course of fifteen years, “For No Good Reason,” explores the connection between life and art through the eyes of seminal British artist, Ralph Steadman. Insightful, humorous, and visually stunning, this is a study in honesty, friendship and the ambition that drives an artist. Ralph’s rise to prominence began in the early 1970’s during the fallout from the love and hope that had swept the western world during the 1960’s. This legendary time for music, literature, art and philosophy was the catalyst, along with his developing relationship with writer Hunter S Thompson, for Ralph to express and chart the wreckage that followed; a large-scale disintegration of a demoralized counter-culture. His art gained recognition in the press and popular-culture publications, both in the U.K. and U.S., for its bold comment on his fiercely heart-felt politics. Director Charlie Paul and Producer Lucy Paul joins us to talk about one of the world’s most electrifying and insightful painter / cartoonist / satirist.

News and updates For No Good Reason go to: http://sonyclassics.com/fornogoodreason/

“There’s no more exciting effect in the documentary than the look of pure pleasure on Depp’s face as he stands by Steadman’s drawing table, peeking over his shoulder as he attacks a sheet of paper.’ – Mark Feeney, Boston Globe

“Ralph Steadman is one of the greatest, most underappreciated living artists, so it’s wonderful that this celebratory documentary has arrived. It also happens to be one of the finest docs ever made about an artist.” – David Noh, Film Journal International

Fed Up, Director Stephanie Soechtig

Fed Up poster 

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In the United States, it is estimated that 93 Million Americans are affected by obesity and 98% of food related ads that children view (3920/year) are for products high in fat, sugar, sodium. Everything we’ve been told about food and exercise for the past 30 years is dead wrong. FED UP is the film the food industry doesn’t want you to see. From Katie Couric, Laurie David (Oscar winning producer of AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH) and director Stephanie Soechtig, FED UP will change the way you eat forever. Director Soechtig stops by for a lively and informative conversation on obesity, big business and the art of deception.

For News and updates on Fed Up go to: http://fedupmovie.com/#/page/home

“Fed Up… is definitely mad as hell. And its muckraking spirit, an anomaly in the age of giving in, is inspiring.” – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

“Without being preachy about it, Fed Up flat-out tells us that it is indeed past time to be fed up — to insist that action be taken, and take it ourselves. This film is a bracing wake-up call.” – Michael Sauter, Film Journal International

“This new documentary aims for something very difficult: It takes a tired subject — the obesity epidemic — and completely reframes the conversation.” – Marjorie Baumgarten, Austin Chronicle

Documented, Director Jose Antonio Vargas

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Jose Antonio Vargas began his immigrant journey at age 12, when he was sent to the United States from the Philippines by his mother to live with his grandparents in Mountain View, California. After attending San Francisco State University, Vargas pursued a print journalism career – landing jobs at newspapers in San Francisco, Philadelphia, New York City, and Washington D.C. for the Washington Post – all the while, managing to keep his true citizenship status a secret. In 2008, Vargas was awarded a Pulitzer as part of the team of Washington Post journalists who reported on the 2007 shooting massacre at Virginia Tech University. Vargas began working on DOCUMENTED shortly before “outing” himself as undocumented in a ground-breaking New York Times Magazine essay, “My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant.” Director Vargas to talk the state of immigration reform, perceptions and his own very personal journey in modern America.

For news and updates on Documented go to: http://documentedthefilm.com/

Vargas’s deep and personal investment in immigration reform, combined with his obvious love of the public eye, would suggest a natural career path for him, one that crystallizes in the movie as he testifies before the Senate judiciary committee. – Tom McCarthy, Guardian UK

This is unmistakably the work of a journalist, unadorned and straightforward, with Vargas taking a direct and rational stance. But he’s not averse to raising hell. – Drew Hunt, Chicago Reader