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  • Writer's pictureCarrie Specht

LA Film Festival Moves From Spring to Fall and from Downtown to Hollywood

Today, Film Independent announced new dates for the LA Film Festival and a multi-year partnership with ArcLight Cinemas. The Festival for years has been held in June, but will now take place in late September starting in 2018. Submissions for the 24th edition of the Festival will open January 1, 2018, exclusively on Withoutabox, as part of a new multi-year collaboration.

Why the change? Well, as the industry has demonstrated for decades, the summer is a challenging time for artist driven films. It just makes a whole lot more sense to have a festival such as this one that showcases new American and international cinema that embraces diversity, innovation and unique perspectives presented in a season less crowded by the blockbuster releases typically found in theaters during the summer. According to LA Film Festival director, Jennifer Chochis, this shift in dates is an important step in enacting further develop to the LA Film Festival. A shift that will better serve filmmakers, film lovers, the city and the industry by leaving an already crowded season to one that has fewer conflicts for an audience's attention.

ArcLight Cinemas are pretty thrilled about the change as well. LA is an entertainment mecca and has been home to ArcLight for over 15 years. Already known for premiers and red carpet events among the mover and shakers of Hollywood, adding the LA Festival among it's yearly roster of events increases its profile among those outside the auspices of tradition Studios. After all, the festival has been a staple for independent filmmakers and cinephiles since its inception. The festival's unique programming will further diversify the already eclectic schedule for which ArcLight Cinemas strive.

"Great festivals need great partners, and we couldn't be happier to be entering a multi-year collaboration with ArcLight Cinema and Withoutabox," said Film Independent President Josh Welsh. "LA audiences know and love the ArcLight experience, and as our submissions continue to grow, Withoutabox is the ideal service for us to accept and evaluate submissions from filmmakers all over the world."

Personally, I think it's a pretty savvy move. With the massive amount of construction happening in the downtown area, and the fact the home theater for the LA Film Festival (Regal Theaters) is right next door to the Staple Center, it was only a matter of time before the area became just too crowded to host so many events at the same time. Remember when the NBA playoffs occurred opening night of the fest? Chaos. Hollywood isn't exactly paradise when it comes to traffic and congestion, but it's a hell of a lot easier to get to by Metro. Which will, of course, will have a positive affect on the attendance. Let alone the fact that there are so many more affordable dinning options in the area as opposed to downtown. All in all, I'd say it looks like 2018 is going to be a landmark year for the LA Film Festival. Time will tell.

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