The Cinephile’s Guide to L.A. Film Fests in April

Classic Hollywood flicks, gritty film noir, Taiwanese new wave, and modern Indian cinema

April generally isn’t considered a noteworthy time for the film world, save for the fact that, in recent years, studios have explored it as an early proving ground for Summer blockbusters. But if you live in a big city, there’s always something interesting going on. And since we live in Los Angeles, there’s an embarrassment of interesting events happening this month. Here’s what April in L.A. has to offer cinephiles of all kinds.

The Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles
Here in America, Indian film is usually stereotyped as being nothing but Bollywood musicals. That couldn’t be further from the truth. If you want a taste of the real variety that Indian cinema has to offer, look no further than this festival. It includes a documentary about composer A.R. Rahman (who won two Oscars for Slumdog Millionaire) and the classic Two, directed by celebrated auteur Satyajit Ray.
April 8-12, All at the Arclight Hollywood

The Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival
From Japan to China to Korea to the UK and the United States, this fest’s selections encompass the whole spectrum of Asian experiences, both in the home countries and the diasporas of the various ethnicities. Action films, documentaries, romances, sci-fi—here, Asians aren’t relegated to token roles amongst ensembles.
April 23-30, various venues

Colcola French Film Festival
All can indulge their inner Francophile at this festival. Both established and emerging talent will be doing happy hour talks, including Oscar-winning director Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist). Additionally, the festival will be introducing a new section this year: in addition to film, TV movies, miniseries, and select episodes of series will be showcased. While a lot of foreign movies hit our shores sooner or later, it’s more difficult to get foreign television legally, so don’t miss this opportunity.
April 20th – 28th, The Directors Guild Theater

Noir City 2015
If you’re an aficionado of shadows, men in hats and trench coats, dames in sultry dresses, twisty plots, tons of smoking, and dark endings, Noir City is a must. For the 17th year, the Film Noir Foundation shows off some of the least-known but nonetheless must-see noirs both past and present (but mostly past). Crucially, this is also a showcase for the restoration work the Foundation has been doing, giving many of these movies a new life on the screen.

April 3-19, The Egyptian Theater

Also Like Life and William A. Wellman, Hollywood Rebel
Beginning this month, the UCLA Film and Television Archive salutes two very different directors. “Also Like Life” is a retrospective of the work of Hou Hsiao-Hsien, one of the key figures of the Taiwanese New Wave. “Hollywood Rebel” collects the films of William Wellman, best known as the director of Wings, the very first film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture (it will, of course, be part of the series). One series is catnip for art film fans, the other for classic Hollywood devotees. Both are well worth checking out.
April 3 into June, The Billy Wilder Theater at the Hammer Museum