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Thompson on Hollywood

WME's Graham Taylor's LAFF Keynote: "We are in a revolution and now is our time."

WME's Graham Taylor is a pivotal player on the indie financing/packaging/selling scene. He moved from Endeavor to take over WME's Global unit after the agency merger. Here's some of his speech from the LAFF's "Money Talks & Art Matters" panel series: the full length version is here.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 18, 2011 9:31 AM
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LAFF Jury: Lynn Shelton, Daniel Waters, Jeff Malmberg, Lisa Gay Hamilton

The Los Angeles Film Festival's 2011 narrative competition jurors include director Lynn Shelton (Humpday, My Effortless Brilliance; pictured), Eric Nakamura (Head/Founder of Giant Robot), and screenwriter Daniel Waters (Heathers, Batman Returns).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 15, 2011 7:50 AM
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LAFF Adds Artists in Residence Erykah Badu and Daniele Luppi, Galas Devil's Double, Attack The Block

Film Independent's Los Angeles Film Festival has chosen its 2011 artists in residence: Erykah Badu and Daniele Luppi. The fest is also adding Jack Black and Shirley MacLaine to it series of Conversations, and Gala screenings of SXSW hit Attack the Block (pictured) and Sundance entry The Devil's Double (check out the hot new poster and the trailer below).
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • June 3, 2011 7:26 AM
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LAFF Opens with Linklater's Bernie, Lineup Includes Remembering Sidney Lumet, Gosling's Drive Gala

The Los Angeles Film Festival will open with the world premiere of Richard Linklater's Bernie on June 16 and close with Troy Nixey's Don't Be Afraid of the Dark on June 26. Bernie - which fest director Rebecca Yeldham calls a "delicious black comedy" - stars Jack Black, Shirley MacLaine and Matthew McConaughey. "Remembering Sidney Lumet," a conversation between Quincy Jones and Frank Pierson is also announced, as well as additional films joining the already announced lineup. Synopses for the fest's offerings are below. The Gala screening of Ryan Gosling's Drive, for which Nicolas Winding Refn just took the Cannes Best Director prize, is sure to be one of fest's hottest events. Refn is already planning a sequel.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • May 23, 2011 7:28 AM
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LA Film Fest 2011: Programmers Talk Lineup for Downtown Festival, June 16-26 UPDATED

Film Independent has made its first round of selections for the 2011 Los Angeles Film Festival, running June 16-26, returning to downtown's L.A. Live. Over 30 countries will be represented by the 200-plus features, shorts and music videos. Special events, galas, the tentpole opening and closing night selections, guest artists and guest director will be announced closer to the festival.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 3, 2011 4:58 AM
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Jamie Foxx Presents: Thunder Soul, A Tribute To Kashmere's Funk Powerhouse

Music doc Thunder Soul is a heartfelt celebration of Funk and the transformative powers of a great teacher. Mark Landsman's doc, which won an audience award at SXSW and Los Angeles Film Fest, among other fests last year, also earned an Indie Spirit nomination. It's about how in the 1970s one teacher turned Houston's Kashmere High School jazz band into a tight-grooving funk award-winner, years in a row. (Think Glee on Funk steroids.) Landsman follows the alumni from Kashmere, who after 35 years, travel home to play a tribute concert for 92-year-old Conrad Johnson.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 4, 2011 7:52 AM
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LAFF Winners Are A Family, Make Believe

Pernille Fischer Christensen’s A Family won the Los Angeles Film Festival narrative award, while J. Clay Tweel’s Make Believe collected the documentary award at the awards brunch Saturday.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 26, 2010 8:14 AM
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Twilight Saga: Eclipse Downtown Premiere Draws 3000 Fans, 5000 Guests

Twilight Saga: Eclipse Downtown Premiere Draws 3000 Fans, 5000 Guests
From Monday morning, the Twilight fans camped out in a tent city set up in L.A.'s huge Nokia plaza. I walked past them when I went to a Monday night LAFF screening. Their pay-off was the Eclipse premiere Thursday night, the most fan-friendly event that I have ever seen.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 25, 2010 9:49 AM
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  • 1 Comment

LAFF: Kids Are All Right Scores During Lakers Riot, 30 Films to See

The Thursday night opening of the LA Film Fest was not quite what the organizers had hoped for, with the NBA final game right next door at the Staples Center. That was one risk the LAFF took this year by moving the festival downtown. Film Independent chief Dawn Hudson insists that the influx of apartment dwellers and lively night life downtown is bound to invigorate the fest. (But Westsiders especially dread the drive during rush hour.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 19, 2010 10:35 AM
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Oscar Talk Summer Edition: Post-Cannes, Box Office Blues

Oscar Talk Summer Edition: Post-Cannes, Box Office Blues
In our second Oscar Talk Summer Edition, In Contention's Kris Tapley and I cover his cross-country road trip, award contenders emerging from Cannes, and the disappointing summer so far, with some debate over indie darlings Winter's Bone and The Kids Are Alright, which opens next week's Los Angeles Film Festival.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 12, 2010 3:57 AM
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  • 2 Comments

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