Moving Images: The LA Film Fest hot list

By KRISTEL KOVNER
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In need of an early summer film fix? You’re in luck. The 21st Annual Los Angeles Film Festival kicks off this Wednesday, 6/10 at L.A. Live with 74 feature films, 60 short films and over 50 new-media works.

The LA Film Fest—otherwise known as the exhibition arm of Film Independent—boasts seven days of programming, including a new LA Muse category aimed to aptly represent the ever-complicated city of angels. An assortment of LA-centric master classes, live performances and conversations with notable Angelenos are scheduled throughout the week as well.

With a diverse mix of feature films showing at LAFF, it can be challenging to decide which screenings to attend. From absurdist comedy to self-reflective thriller, here are a few narrative feature films worth sitting through.

GRANDMA

GRANDMA (Opening Film)

Synopsis: Elle Reid has just gotten through breaking up with her girlfriend when her granddaughter Sage unexpectedly shows up needing 600 dollars before sundown. Temporarily broke, Grandma Elle and Sage spend the day trying to get their hands on the cash as their unannounced visits to old friends and flames end up rattling skeletons and digging up secrets.

Directed by: Paul Weltz, Screenwriter: Paul Weltz, Cast: Lily Tomlin, Julia Garner, Marcia Gay Harden, Judy Greer, Laverne Cox, Nat Wolff, John Cho, Sam Elliott

 June 10, 2015, 7:30pm

toolate

TOO LATE

Synopsis: From desolate, overgrown Radio Hill to the ritzy penthouse of The Beverly Hilton, Too Late offers remarkable views of Los Angeles from the undiscovered to the iconic. Private investigator Mel Sampson is tasked with tracking down a missing woman from his own past, crossing paths with eccentric personalities and lost souls while he works the case. Though Mel is looking for a lost woman, he’s also trying to find himself.

Directed by: Dennis Hauck, Screenwriter: Dennis Hauck, Cast: John Hawkes, Vail Bloom, Joanna Cassidy, Jeff Fahey, Robert Forster, Brett Jacobsen, Dichen Lachman, Dash Mihok, Sydney Tamiia Poitier, Crystal Reed, Rider Strong, Natalie Zea

June 11, 2015, 7:30pm 

fangirl

FAN GIRL

Synopsis: Telulah Farrow is a 15 year-old ironic cool girl who has two obsessions in life: pop punk music and making films. With just a few short days to come up with a killer final film project that could bring festival fame, Telulah gets a once in a lifetime chance to see her music idols ALL TIME LOW in concert. She hatches a plan to bring her passions together, accompanied by smart mouthed wing-girl Jamie, and underachieving, over-energetic film class partner Darvan.

Directed by: Paul Jarret, Screenwriter: Gina O’Brien, Cast: Kiernan Shipka, Meg Ryan, Kara Hayward, Josh Boone

June 15, 2015, 6:00pm

frankandcindy

FRANK & CINDY

Synopsis: In 1983, Cindy married a rock star, Frank. She imagined a life of glitz and glamor. But as life happened, Frank lost his mojo. Twenty years later, Cindy’s son, G.J., both appalled and amused by his parents’ behavior, picks up his video camera and aims it at them. In an attempt to mock his one- hit-wonder step-father, G.J. unintentionally creates a candid portrait of the pursuit of happiness—and love.

Directed by: Gilbert Echternkamp, Screenwriters: Gilbert Echternkamp, Alex Holdridge, Cast: Rene Russo, Oliver Platt, Johnny Simmons, Jane Levy, Marc Maron

June 16, 2015, 8:30pm

BAND_OF_ROBBERS

BAND OF ROBBERS

Synopsis: Mark Twain’s young heroes Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn spring vividly back to life, this time as modern-day grown men. When Huck is released from prison he hopes to leave his criminal past behind. But his lifelong friend and corrupt cop, Tom, has other plans, having formed the Band of Robbers, a group of misfits dedicated to locating the hidden treasure that eluded the boys in childhood.

Directed by: Adam Nee, Aaron Nee, Screenwriters: Adam Nee, Aaron Nee, Cast: Kyle Gallner, Adam Nee, Matthew Gray Gubler, Hannibal Buress, Melissa Benoist, Stephen Lang, Eric Christian Olsen, Daniel Edward Mora, Johnny Pemberton, Beth Grant, Cooper Huckabee, Lee Garlington, Creed Bratton

June 16, 2015, 7:30pm

VICTORIA600x400

VICTORIA

Synopsis: Victoria, a young woman from Madrid, meets four locals outside a Berlin nightclub. Sonne and his friends promise to show her a good time and the real side of the city. But these lads are in hot water: they owe someone a dangerous favor that requires repaying that evening. As Victoria’s flirtation with Sonne deepens into something more, he convinces her to come along for the ride. And later, when things become more ominous and possibly deadly for Sonne, she insists on coming along. What started out as a good time spirals out of control and as dawn approaches it’s all or nothing for Victoria and Sonne: they abandon themselves to a heart-stopping race into the depths of hell.

Directed by: Sebastian Schipper, Screenwriters: Olivia Neergaard-Holm, Sebastian Schipper, Eike Frederik Schulz, Cast: Laia Costa, Frederick Lau, Franz Rogowski, Burak Yigit, Max Mauff

June 15, 2015, 7:40pm

dudebroparty

DUDE BRO PARTY MASSACRE III

Synopsis: Unearthed from the golden age of 1980s teen horror movies, the third installment of the Dude Bro Party Massacre franchise leaps to the screen in all its lurid glory. Dorky loner Brent Chirino must infiltrate the hard-partying Delta Bi Theta fraternity to solve the brutal murder of his identical twin brother. In an abandoned sorority house beside a secluded lake (where else?) an unseen killer strikes with increasingly gruesome methods. Has the insanely sadistic “Motherface” returned from beyond the grave? This pitch-perfect recreation of the “boobs and blood” teen movie subgenre is a gift to those of us who fondly remember nights huddled in front of the tube watching the films our parents warned us about.

Directed by: Michael Rousselet, Tomm Jacobsen, Jon Salmon, Screenwriters: Michael Rousselet, Alec Owen, Ben Gigli, Brian Firenzi, Jon Salmon, Joey Scoma, Michael E. Peter, Cast: Alec Owen, Paul Prado, Olivia Taylor Dudley, Ben Gigli, Mike James, Joey Scoma, Michael Rousselet, Kelsey Gunn, Jon Salmon, Brian Firenzi, Maria del Carmen

June 13, 2015, 10:20pm

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