The Los Angeles Film Festival move from its home in Westwood (which worked well for four years) to downtown Los Angeles is stirring mixed response. It's not dissimilar to the reaction to Film Independent chief Dawn Hudson's taking the Indie Spirit Awards from the beach to downtown. That didn't play so well either.
I don't mind going downtown for the occasional museum or concert visit-- but the idea of threading my way through rush hour traffic repeatedly over the course of a festival (June 17 to 27) gives me pause. (David Poland agrees
.) UCLA-adjacent college town Westwood, with its cluster of movie theaters was easy to get to, walkable and intimate. I think that while the LAFF believes this will expand their base and accommodate growing attendance
, they're taking a serious risk.
Here's Variety, indieWIRE, and Gregory Ellwood.