L.A. Film Festival 2009 Highlights
With the 2010 event only weeks away (June 17 to June 27), we want to share some of the L.A. Film Festival 2009 highlights. This annual event sponsored by the "Los Angeles Times" showcases the best independent features, shorts, and music videos from America and around the world.
The Los Angeles Film Festival (LAFF) connects everyday moviegoers to film industry professionals and up-and-coming talent. The event takes place in Westwood Village in the heart of Los Angeles, the "entertainment capital of the world." Here are just a few of the highlights from the 2009 L.A. Film Festival held June 18 to June 28, 2009.
- LAFF turned the spotlight on more than 200 features. The L.A. Film Festival highlighted more than 200 feature films, including narratives, documentaries, shorts, and music videos.
- LAFF included several international films. For the first time in its 15-year history, the festival included international films in the narrative and documentary categories. It screened feature films from 30 countries, selected from 4,600 submissions.
- A gangster movie headlined LAFF. The L.A. Film Festival introduced the 2009 lineup with "Public Enemies" as the centerpiece. Directed by Michael Mann, the film stars Johnny Depp as the legendary gangster John Dillinger, with Christian Bale in the role of FBI agent Melvin Purvis.
- LAFF emphasized the globalization of cinema. In 2009, the L.A. Film Festival highlighted cinema’s globalization. Directors told stories about places that were far removed from their native countries.
- LAFF featured a lengthy, 14-hour documentary film. The festival’s diverse submissions included a 14-hour Chinese documentary called "Crude Oil." The feature documented a day in the life of a Chinese oil field. Other documentaries told about the human cost of banana cultivation ("Bananas"), the role of beekeepers ("The Last Beekeeper"), and Johnny Cash impersonators ("Branson").
- LAFF spotlighted an Inuit high school narrative. "Dear Lemon Lima" is a coming-of-age story about an Alaskan native who attends prep school as its sole scholarship student. The narrative category also featured "Zero Bridge," an Indian American film about a pickpocket in Kashmir, and "Wah Do Dem" (What They Do), featuring an American in Jamaican culture.
- LAFF screened two well-received indie films. The L.A. Film Festival screened two films that other festivals premiered, including the Sundance grand prize winner, "We Live in Public." The award winner tells the story of entrepreneur Josh Harris, who streamed his life on the Internet. LAFF also screened "No Impact Man," a documentary about environmentalist Colin Beavan’s experiment with radical green living.
Abramowitz, Rachel and Reed Johnson. "2009 Los Angeles Film Festival: Bullets, Bees and Bananas." "Los Angeles Times." May 5, 2009.
"Los Angeles Film Festival June 18-28, 2009." "Film Independent." Accessed May 20, 2010.