LA Film Fest Concludes After 18 Years

The Los Angeles Film Festival just moved to a fall slot this year, and now Film Independent says it is ending the fest after 18 years and will replace it with “year-round events aimed at building community and broadening its support of visual storytellers.” The festival has been in residence at ArcLight Cinemas in downtown CC for the past three years, running slightly more than a week of films at the venue for appreciative industry audiences and many enthusiastic local movie lovers.

“We took a hard look at the healthy growth of Film Independent’s year-round programs and events over the past six years: the Spirit Awards, our film series curated by Elvis Mitchell, membership, labs, workshops, filmmaker grants and international programs,” said Mary Sweeney, Chair of the Film Independent Board of Directors, which made the decision. “In the end, we concluded that the organization should explore a more nimble, sustainable form of exhibiting and celebrating independent film artists year round.”

The new programs will include a number of initiatives to be announced in coming months as well as several that have traditionally taken place during the LA Film Festival. Among the latter are the Portal, a showcase of VR and immersive storytelling, produced in partnership with Loyola Marymount University School of Film and Television; a two-day event around inclusion in the film industry, launched in 2013 by Stephanie Allain and continued by Hasan Foster; Fast Track, a film-financing market supporting fiction and nonfiction projects; and Future Filmmakers, which features work filmmakers from L.A. high schools.

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