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LA Film Festival Unveils Competition Lineups With 42% Directed by Women

Variety logo Variety 5/9/2017 Dave McNary
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The LA Film Festival has unveiled its lineups for the competition sections with 42% of the films directed by women and 40% by people of color.

The festival, now in its 23rd year, announced that the U.S. fiction, documentary, world fiction, L.A. muse, and nightfall sections contain 48 feature films from 32 countries with 37 world premieres. Produced by Film Independent, the festival will open June 14 with the previously announced “The Book of Henry,” starring Jacob Tremblay and Naomi Watts. The festival is headquartered at the Arclight Culver City.

“Our competitions reflect who Film Independent is as an organization,” said Jennifer Cochis, festival director. “Within each section you’ll find discovery, diversity, and promising talent both in front of and behind the camera.”

Programming director Roya Rastegar said, “The films curated for the 2017 competition reflect the changing political climate’s impact on emerging independent filmmakers, who are compelled to tell stories about the power of conviction, collectivity and resilience.”

The U.S. fiction competition has several entries with recognizable names — Camille Thoman’s “Never Here” features Mireille Enos and Sam Shepard; Christian Papierniak’s “Izzy Gets the … Across Town,” starring Mackenzie Davis, Lakeith Stanfield, and Carrie Coon; Vincent Grashaw’s “And Then I Go” with Melanie Lynskey, Justin Long, and Royalty Hightower; and Paul Briganti’s “Village People” starring Aya Cash.

The U.S. fiction lineup also includes Leena Pendharkar’s “20 Weeks,” Harris Doran’s “Beauty Mark,” Elizabeth Rohrbaugh and Daniel Powell’s “Becks,” Bruce Thierry Cheung’s “Don’t Come Back From the Moon,” Andrea Sisson and Pete Ohs’ “Everything Beautiful Is Far Away,” and Daniel Peddle’s “Moss.”

The documentary competition includes Arshad Khan’s “Abu,” Julia Meltzer’s “Dalya’s Other Country,” Aaron Kopp and Amanda Kopp’s “Liyana,” Valerie Red-Horse Mohl’s “Mankiller,” Ema Ryan Yamazaki’s “Monkey Business: The Adventures of Curious George’s Creators,” David Fenster’s “Opuntia,” Ciara Lacy’s “Out of State,” Yatri N. Niehaus’s “Stella Polaris Ulloriarsuaq,” Sara Lamm’s “Thank You for Coming,” and Leyla Nedorosleva’s “Two Four Six.”

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