For most of the L.A. Film Fest’s 20 years, the talk surrounding the program has been about what it lacks: Cannes’s glamour, Sundance’s acquisitions frenzy, Toronto’s awards fervor. This year Stephanie Allain, the 54-year-old indie producer who began overseeing the festival in 2012, is emphasizing its brightest star: L.A. itself. Culver City artist Ed Ruscha designed the poster, and the Valley’s Lisa Cholodenko (who made The Kids Are All Right) is serving as guest director. Allain has also created L.A. Muse for the fest, a collection of films that highlight the city’s disparate stories, including the hostage drama Supremacy and the premiere of the indie film Echo Park. “It’s not a tourism ad,” says Allain. “We’re expanding the way people think and feel about L.A.”—and hopefully about the festival, which takes over downtown’s L.A. Live for nine days starting on June 11. No matter who wins a jury award, if Allain can rejuvenate the event, she’ll score the biggest prize.
Choice flicks from L.A. Muse
Based on a true story, the thriller features Danny Glover as the patriarch of a black family that’s taken hostage by a paroled white supremacist.
The 1987 biopic about the Chicano rocker Ritchie Valens is being screened for free at the recently refurbished Union Station.
The Ever After
Often compared with John Cassavetes for his gritty depictions of daily life, actor-turned-filmmaker Mark Webber cowrote this tale of marital strife with his fiancée, Teresa Palmer, who also stars in the movie.
In photographer Amanda Marsalis’s directorial debut, Mamie Gummer plays a Westsider whose move to the Eastside sparks an identity crisis.