LA Film Festival Unveils 2016 Competition Lineup
LA Film Festival Unveils 2016 Competition Lineup (PR Newswire)
42 World Premieres chosen for U.S. Fiction, Documentary, World Fiction, LA Muse, and Nightfall Competitions
LOS ANGELES, April 26, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Today 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 Roya Rastegar and 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."
"Discovering storytellers is our raison d'être," said Roya Rastegar, Director of Programming. "We invest a great deal to learn about filmmaking communities across the globe. We look for films with conviction in perspective, style and voice."
"Curating films for LA audiences is so special because Angelenos have a uniquely homegrown love of cinema," added Creative Director, Jennifer Cochis. "It's with true film lovers in mind that we program: from political theater to musical theater, we're highlighting storytelling in all its forms."
The 2016 LA Film Festival, which will have its headquarters at the ArcLight Culver City, announces 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.
This year, LA Film Festival Director Stephanie Allain is joined by Creative Director Jennifer Cochis, Director of Programming Roya Rastegar and Managing Director Ralph Rivera. 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. Contact the Ticket Office for passes, tickets and event information by calling 866.FILM.FEST (866.345.6337) or visit
US Fiction Competition (12)
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
The LA Film Festival is a key part of the exhibition arm of Film Independent, showcasing new American and international cinema that embraces diversity, innovation and unique perspectives. The Festival produces one-of-a-kind events featuring critically acclaimed filmmakers, industry professionals and award-winning talent from Los Angeles and around the world. The Festival's signature programs include the Filmmaker Retreat, Celebrating Women Filmmakers, Master Classes, Spirit of Independence Award, Coffee Talks, LA Muse and more. The Festival also screens short films created by high school students. Presenting Media Sponsor is the Los Angeles Times. Premier Sponsor is Peroni Nastro Azzurro and Principal Sponsor is Jaeger-LeCoultre. Platinum Sponsors are American Airlines, Dolby Laboratories, Inc., EFILM | Company 3 and HBO. The University Sponsor is Loyola Marymount University School of Film and Television. WireImage is the Official Photography Agency. More information can be found at
Film Independent is the non-profit arts organization that champions creative independence in visual storytelling and supports a community of artists who embody diversity, innovation and uniqueness of vision. Film Independent helps filmmakers make their movies, builds an audience for their projects and works to diversify the film industry. Film Independent's Board of Directors, filmmakers, staff and constituents, is comprised of an inclusive community of individuals across ability, age, ethnicity, gender, race and sexual orientation. Anyone passionate about film can become a member, whether you are a filmmaker, industry professional or a film lover.
Film Independent produces the Spirit Awards, the annual celebration honoring artist-driven films and recognizing the finest achievements of American independent filmmakers. Film Independent also produces the LA Film Festival, showcasing the best of American and international cinema and the Film Independent at LACMA Film Series, a year-round, weekly program that offers unique cinematic experiences for the Los Angeles creative community and the general public.
With over 250 annual screenings and events, Film Independent provides access to a network of like-minded artists who are driving creativity in the film industry. Film Independent's Artist Development program offers free Labs for selected writers, directors, producers and documentary filmmakers and presents year-round networking opportunities. Project Involve is Film Independent's signature program dedicated to fostering the careers of talented filmmakers from communities traditionally underrepresented in the film industry. For more information or to become a member, visit
ArcLight Cinemas, created by Pacific Theatres, a privately owned, Los Angeles based company with 60 years of theatrical exhibition history throughout California, Hawaii and Washington is a premiere moviegoing experience with an unparalleled commitment to bringing a variety of rich cinematic content to moviegoers in all markets. ArcLight Cinemas operates eight theaters in California including Hollywood, Pasadena, Sherman Oaks, El Segundo, Santa Monica, Culver City and La Jolla, as well as one theater in Bethesda, Md, Chicago and Glenview, Ill, with a new location in Boston for early 2018. ArcLight also owns and operates the historic Cinerama Dome and programs the TCL Chinese Theatre and IMAX in Hollywood. Pacific Theatres currently operates theaters in Los Angeles that include The Grove and The Americana at Brand in Glendale, Calif. Additional information about ArcLight Cinemas is available at