All posts filed under: Film Festivals

LUNAFEST: Supporting Women in Film

On Wednesday I had the opportunity to attend LUNAFEST in Los Angeles, an evening celebrating films made by, for, and about women. The traveling short film festival, which was started by LUNA in 2000, has been championing women filmmakers for 16 years while also raising money for the Breast Cancer Fund. Last night’s screening, which included four short films by Lara Everly, Dr. Patricia Beckmann-Wells, Joey Ally, and Eva Vives, was exciting, invigorating, and super fun. Not only was each short exceptionally well made, but more impressively, they were all bursting with distinct and captivating authorial voices. Following the screening was a Q&A with the filmmakers, moderated by Janelle Riley of Variety. The center of attention for most of the Q&A was the status of women in film, focusing in particular on how each filmmaker has dealt with issues of inequality and what hopes they have for the future. While it was an honest night that could have ended on a bleak note, the commitment that these women have to telling stories that matter and building strong communities of women in the …

AFI FEST ’15: A Week of Films, Filmmakers, and Fun

This year marks my first time attending AFI Fest, and my experience was truly one to remember. Festival passes start at $375, but my class schedule only allowed for me to attend a few screenings, so I took advantage of the fest’s free tickets (yes, free!). This year I attended the premiere of By the Sea, with an introduction by Angelina Jolie-Pitt, Mustang with both an introduction and Q & A with the film’s director, Deniz Gamze Ergüven, and ensemble cast, and Youth, followed by a conversation with Michael Caine and director Paolo Sorrentino. I had plans to see The Lobster, which looks bizarrely entertaining, but unfortunately had to miss it due to schedule conflicts. After as much fun as I had this year, I plan on attending AFI Fest for as long as I’m living in Los Angeles – it’s a festival that all film lovers should experience at least once! What I found so refreshing about AFI Fest can be summed up in their mission statement: AFI Fest is “American Film Institute’s annual celebration of international cinema from modern masters and emerging filmmakers. ” In her introduction of Mustang, festival director …

My Experience at the 2015 LA Film Fest

The LA Film Fest wrapped a week ago and I finished my last day as an intern yesterday. My immediate thoughts? Wow, was the entire experience a blast! First off, if you live in the Los Angeles area I would definitely recommend attending/volunteering/interning at next year’s LA Film Fest. The lineup this year was exceptionally diverse and exciting – a reflection of Film Independent’s dedication to supporting filmmakers and stories that are diverse and innovative – and I can only imagine that next year’s selection will be even better. I’m thankful for the opportunity to meet so many interesting and passionate people at the festival, and I’m also grateful that I had the chance to experience something that truly embodies the spirit of Los Angeles within my first three months living here. Overall, one of the best perks of being an intern was that I was able to attend events! During the festival I wrote about a few of the screenings and talks I attended, which you can check out below: → Diversity Speaks → Making Cool Shit with OK Go → ‘Inside Out’ with Pete Docter Long story short, I …

LA Film Fest ’15: Diversity Speaks

Last weekend I attended two of the Diversity Speaks panels the LA Film Fest. I made it to the second half of Oscar-winning screenwriter John Ridley‘s Q & A session, moderated by Elvis Mitchell, and was available for the entire Diversity in Primetime panel featuring Wendy Calhoun (writer/co-executive producer, Empire), Gail Lerner (writer/co-executive producer, Black-ish), Andrea Navedo (actor, Jane the Virgin), Randall Park (actor, Fresh Off the Boat), and Our Lady J (writer, Transparent). Here are a few of my favorite take-aways from the event: John Ridley was asked what it’s like to work in a biased industry that promotes racial stereotypes, and if he feels that by working in Hollywood he is somehow supporting the negative aspects of the industry. His response? Bias is everywhere, but it’s his duty to tell these stories. Since John Ridley wrote my favorite film of 2013 (12 Years a Slave), I definitely “fan-girled” a little bit in his presence, but luckily I was capable of internalizing those feelings. Listening to Ridley, it was impressive just how incredibly smart and well spoken he is. I really don’t think you …

LA Film Fest ’15: Making Cool Shit with OK Go

This past Friday night I attended Making Cool Shit: The Music Videos of OK Go at the LA Film Fest. The event featured a screening of 10 of OK Go’s music videos, followed-up by a Q & A session with the band’s lead singer, Damian Kulash. “Have you seen OK Go’s new music video?” is a question I’ve been hearing for years. They’re name has become synonymous with the kind of entertaining and imaginative music videos that leave you thinking, “How the hell did they pull that off?” During his talk Kulash made it exceedingly clear that he and his bandmates don’t see themselves as filmmakers, per se, but rather musicians who enjoy creating something that’s fun and visually highlights their music. But I see it differently. Maybe they don’t care about the technicalities of cinematography or traditional editing, but they care deeply about framing; and as Martin Scorsese says “Cinema is a matter of what’s inside the frame and what’s out.” Below are some of my favorite OK Go music videos that were featured at the event. Please share your favorites in the comment …

LA Film Fest: ‘Inside Out’ with Pete Docter

Although the Los Angeles Film Fest officially opens today, last night I was able to attend a pre-festival screening of Pixar’s Inside Out, which was preceded by a Q & A session with the film’s director, Academy Award winner Pete Docter. Docter, who also directed Up and Monsters, Inc., gave spectacular insight into his process as an animator, storyteller, and director. What I found most interesting was his belief that an audience is better able to relate to animated characters because of the way they portray emotion. He said that in many ways, one can feel that they know an animated character better than their own friend; a statement that upon further examination, I must say I agree with. It seems that through the physicality of animated characters, you can know much about them with just a single glance. Docter and moderator Elvis Mitchell discussed how the physical representation of a character, and their introduction to the story-world, work to immediately give you an idea of who they are. One example they used was the shape of the characters in Up: Carl is a block …

Revisiting My First Blog: Girl in Cannes

I recently rediscovered my first blog from almost three years ago, Girl in Cannes, and thought it would be fun to share it on Catch-all. I started Girl in Cannes as part of a scholarship project in conjunction with my college internship at the Cannes Film Festival in 2012. It’s a lot to read, but be sure to check out some of the pictures I snapped in Italy after my internship concluded. I took this photo today at my aunt and uncle’s house in Phoenix. How beautiful! I thought it would be nice to post a picture from Arizona before I depart for Europe. I’m truly going to miss Tucson (not the heat, but my family and friends), but I am OVERWHELMED with excitement. I’ll be particularly happy once I get off the plane, because I am not looking forward to the long flight! I board in 10 minutes, so it’s time for me to say au revoir to America and bonjour to Europe! _______________________ _______________________ I’ve been extremely busy and have had very limited internet access, so …