Future Filmmakers at the LA Film Fest

#LAFilmFest Social Media Intern Dispatch // by Aisha Almada

I attended the Future Filmmaker luncheon where the festival honors talented high school filmmakers and their short films. One of the filmmakers remarked to me, “The Future Filmmaker’s Showcase? We are current filmmakers!” The mix of creativity and enthusiasm that these filmmakers bring to the table is refreshing. And after spending a bit of time talking to these filmmakers, it became clear that they already have a strong point of view to put into their work.


These filmmakers are a diverse group with varied passions that they are exploring. Amanda Reiter, who directed You and Me, created her first piece of animation where she incorporated photography and painting. Her first love is visual arts, which she now combines with film. Her short film is a stop motion piece where she used a two-hour photography shoot’s worth of pictures and then painted over each photograph to create the animation. Reiter has already made several shorts and is now able to bring in new techniques and ideas to her work.


Wendy Garcia, director of Teen Pregnancy – Profile of a Teen Mom in Los Angeles, was able to get her first interaction with a camera through Global Girl Media. The foundation empowers teens to make a film about something that they are passionate about. Garcia said, “For me, teen pregnancy is everywhere at school and in my neighborhood. I wanted to show that [pregnant teens] are not victims, they are humans with a story behind them.” Garcia is inspired by the story behind a scene that makes you laugh, cry or think about life differently. She has a talent for inventive filmmaking and powerful stories.


The filmmaking brothers Harry and Maxwell Barnes are very insightful about their stylistic choices in their film, The Charmer’s Snake. They created their animation piece in an entire two-week span, where they spent the first two days coming up with the concept and then followed that up with drawing. They have a strong handle on story; Maxwell remarked that, “We wanted something that was comedic and came together through a good plot driven story.” They counted their filmmaking influences as Stanley Kubrick, Wes Anderson and Woody Allen.


Jon M. Chu gave an insightful and energetic talk to the filmmakers about evolving in their craft. Like many of these future filmmakers, Chu started making films in the third grade and continued to grow as a director through high school and college. In his talk, he explained to our future filmmakers that it’s not one distinct moment where he became a director. He became a director when he began to direct everything that he did, “Movies are our diary. We get to pour what we are feeling into the film.” Originally an independent director, Chu found that he had the ability to make his own mark on any film and tell it through his own perspective. This would lead him to direct the films: Step Up 2, Never Say Never, and, most recently, G.I. Joe. For Chu, he reminded the filmmakers that their enthusiasm, determination and creativity is most important in film. He ended his talk by reminded our guests, “Never forget your joy for filmmaking, that is what will drive you.”

You have one more chance to see the work of these Future Filmmakers this Saturday! Info/tickets:

Future Filmmakers 2 // Saturday, June 22, 1:00 pm
Future Filmmakers 1 // Saturday, June 22, 3:30 pm

More free outdoor screenings to come at LA Film Fest!






The Los Angeles Film Festival’s *free* DAZED & CONFUSED screening last Friday gave the audience a chance to get a little dazed & confused in Snapfiesta’s photobooth!  Thanks to the LA Times and Yelp for helping make it the fun possible.

THIS FRIDAY don’t miss another photobooth op at LA Film Fest’s FREE outdoor screening of John Waters’ HAIRSPRAY at GRAND PARK!

Doors open at 6:30 pm - bring a picnic lunch, try one of the food trucks and come early for Dance Camera West’s Hairspray themed dance lessons!

Screening starts at 8:30 pm with shadow dancers providing a live entertainment aspect to the event.

More info at http://www.lafilmfest.com/films/community-screenings
Let us know you’re coming and spread the word! » https://www.facebook.com/events/511604952226582/

LA Film Festival Spotlights

So, we are halfway through our film festival! We love the momentum we’ve got at this point and we know it’s all going to go by quickly. For all of you overwhelmed by the amount of unbelievable films we have: here’s a breakdown of what you need to make time for in this next week. Believe us, you don’t want to miss these films.



Boxing Day: 6/20 7:50pm, 6/22 5:00pm

Bernard Rose’s tense, unsettling update of Leo Tolstoy’s Master and Man stars Danny Huston as a desperate, arrogant real estate speculator whose edgy relationship with an equally desperate chauffeur leads to a fateful encounter on the snowbanks of Colorado.


Black Out: 6/21 9:50pm

In Guinea, one of the world’s poorest countries, students of all ages must go on a nightly quest for electric lights under which to study. Documentarian Eva Weber beautifully portrays these young people’s determination to find a brighter future for their country and themselves.


The Patience Stone: 6/20 7:20pm, 6/22 7:10pm

As her warrior husband lies in a coma, a beautiful Muslim woman unburdens herself of a lifetime of repressed rage and desire in this passionate, taboo-shattering provocation from Afghan novelist/filmmaker Atik Rahimi.


Future Filmmakers: 6/22 9:40pm, 6/22 1:00pm

These high school filmmakers tackle an impressive range of topics and styles, from politically-aware docs to genre movies to cutting-edge animation. Impressive production values are on display in this rich carousel of high school work, featuring stories about diversity as well as young love, family ties, fantasy, and even a thriller.

Live Panels/ Discussions


The Treatment: 6/19 6:30pm

A “treatment” in Hollywood parlance, is a concise overview of screenplay. On KCRW’s THe Treatment, film critic and Film Independent and LACMA curator Elvis Mitchell turns the tables and gives the “treatment” to some of the most influential and innovative forces creating movies and popular art and entertainment. Join us for a live taping of KCRW’s signature film program The Treatment, hosted by Elvis Mitchell with special guest director Justin Lin (Fast & Furious 6, Better Luck Tomorrow)


Spotlight on the Craft: 6/22 3:30pm

The Dolby Institute invites you to join us for a case study of breakout Festival film Ain’t Them Bodies Saints and talk with writer/director David Lowery, sound designer/mixer Kent Sparling and members of the music team about how their bold, exquisite and innovative use of sound enhances the story of estranged lovers in this critically acclaimed Texas outlaw saga.

Hypnotic Brass Ensemble

Tomorrow night at the GRAMMY Museum, the LA Film Fest is hosting the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble! We will be showcasing their unique brass band sound, while also featuring a conversation with KCRW DJ Dan Wilcox. Altogether, the evening will include a lively performance, discussion, and clips from their new documentary: Brothers HypnoticHere’s a look at the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, the story of their band and music. 

"We’re coming to bring back music to the organic feeling, organic style. Everything is so synthesized and electronic nowadays, the Hypnotic is a band free of any electricity, any amps - we could set up in a blackout, on a boat, playing wherever."

On that note… Here is a performance done outside without any amps or electronics. The electricity that they bring to performances is all their own, it’s a part of their music.

The Hypnotic Brass Ensemble is bringing their songs and documentary to the GRAMMY Museum at 5:00pm June 18th.

Photo Tour of L.A. LIVE

The LA Film Festival is starting up this week and before you head down: here’s a small look at where to park, get your tickets, and find our theater! 


  • The Regal Theater is at the cross streets: Olympic and Georgia.


  • Take Georgia until you hit Chick Hearn St, where you will take a right to turn into Parking Entrance B of the West Garage. - Don’t worry, the price tag for parking is NOT $20! Say you’re on your way to the LA Film Fest and you’ll get a special $8 rate!


  • On the first floor of the parking structure toward Gate E, you will find our Festival Information booth. Ask questions, pick up a film guide or check-in here if you’re working as a volunteer!


  • Right next to the Festival Information booth, you will find this incognito set of stairs that will lead you up to the Ticker Center.


  • The small tent to your right is Ticket Center, a friendly volunteer will greet you as you walk in!


  • Inside, the ticket sellers can help you with any of your questions - you can also purchase tickets for future screening or exchange vouchers here. NOTE: if you want to purchase a ticket for a movie/event THAT day there will be a Day-Of Ticket Trailer easily accessible on Georgia St. near the Festival Info booth.

If you were stuck in a cabin in the woods with no connection with the outside World who would you want to be stuck with? Ben Mckenzie? Adrian Grenier? Kid Cudi? Gaby Hoffmann? Good. Cause they’re all here along with more entertaining characters to ride out the apocalypse with in Goodbye World.

See the second coming of Goodbye World June 19 + 20

Goodbye World

When a mysterious cyber-attack cripples civilization, a group of old college friends and lovers retreat to a remote country cabin, where they must cope with an uncertain future while navigating the minefield of their shared past.




DELIVERY LAFF kick off party with Laurel Vail!  8 days until our world premiere! #LAFilmFest #deliverymovie #LAFFKickoff


DELIVERY LAFF kick off party with Laurel Vail!  8 days until our world premiere! #LAFilmFest #deliverymovie #LAFFKickoff

Are you moved by Michael Heizer’s works of art? You can watch his creative process in Levitated Mass, as he moves his 340-ton piece of art to the Los Angeles County Museum.


CineLatino at LA Film Fest 2013

The House That Jack Built

This world premiere takes place at the LA Film Festival for The House That Jack Built. The film is directed by Henry Barrial and the script was written twenty years ago by the late Joseph Vasquez from Hanging With The Homeboys. The film follows Jack as he moves his entire family into his Bronx apartment complex. Jack’s dream of bringing his family together unravels as the disorder escalates into a hot mess. The House That Jack Built explores the strength and limitations of family bonds through the direction of Barrial and Vasquez’s dialogue driven script. Enjoy the Caribbean-Latino ensemble cast that is headed by E.J. Bonilla and Melissa Furmero.



My Sister’s Quinceanera

My Sister’s Quinceanera brings a naturalistic perspective on a typical Midwestern Latino family. Aaron Douglas Johnson brings this story to life as the director, producer, and screenwriter of My Sister’s Quinceanera. The film focuses on Silas, who becomes the man of the house alongside his single mother. The responsibility of this role is contrasted with his desire to find small town mischief with his best friend or his growing relationship with a neighborhood girl. The film centers on the small but powerful nuances of familial relationships, foremost in the connection between Silas and his middle sister. It’s a realistic view of the restlessness that comes with the American family and transition.



Rodrigo Reyes brings the power of metaphor to Purgatorio, as he re-envisions the Mexico/U.S. border as a mythical place comparable to Dante’s purgatory. The imagery of the documentary brings out the brutal beauty of the border and the aspiring immigrants that find their home there. The film is driven by its strong characters: an American coroner, a man of God who leaves his food and water in the desert, and a Minuteman foiling people’s plans to cross the border. Purgatorio is able to confront the physical presence of the border and from this create a story of beauty. Following the Saturday showing, the festival will host a discussion of the issues raised by the documentary and migrant storytellers.



This documentary by Eddie Alcazar includes the last interviews of Johnny Tapia before his tragic death. Tapia at his height would become an awe-inspiring world champion boxer, but underneath his success was a destructive world of personal demons. Tapia’s life story follows struggles with his mother’s kidnap and murder when he was 8, drug addiction, mental illness, and suicide attempts. The documentary is composed of archival fight footage and candid, beautifully shot interviews. Tapia opens up about the moments of his life that compose a story of tragedy, grief and redemption. Tapia’s ferocity in the ring would become a true sanctuary for a soul routinely beaten down outside of the ropes.


The Women and the Passenger

This documentary tells the story of maids at a Chilean sex hotel with remarkable candor and a delightful nonchalance. The warm and humorous feel of the film follows the maids through their typical workday in a hotel where visits typically last little more than an hour. The maids tell their own perspective on love, romance, marriage, and, of course, sex. The visual style and dictatorial approach of the film brings a beautifully composed film together on the maids unfazed by their surroundings. With a sage-like ease, one of the maids explains that, “Nothing is forbidden when it comes to love.



Crime brings together a Tijuana maid and a suffering janitor in a film that addresses Mexico’s gaping class divide. Lidia is a responsible maid that works dutifully for a wealthy, elderly woman who ends up leaving her entire fortune to her dog. Rafael is a quiet and dignified janitor who has worked in the same corporate facility for 30 years. To celebrate his 30 years, Rafael extravagantly buys himself one new pair of shoes for his retirement. The pair come together through criminal means to claim what their harsh lot in life has denied to them through the dog’s grand inheritance. Workers is the debut of Jose Luis Valle who tells the story with a sense of deadpan humor.