It's vitally important that unique voices from across all spectrums are represented at the festival because this is what can bridge cultural divides - by presenting human stories from all points of view. Part of Film Independent's mission is to support independent filmmakers and ensure that unique and diverse filmmakers have a platform for their stories.
We are featuring many films directed by women this year including two Galas - Middle of Nowhere directed by Ava DuVernay and Seeking a Friend directed by Lorene Scafaria. Three films in the narrative competition - Thursday Til Sunday, All is Well and Breakfast with Curtis and half of the docs in competition are directed by women, three of them pairs of women!! It obviously helps that we have women programmers on staff as they recognize the worth of these stories told by women.
Here are some quotes from the women filmmakers who will be featured at the festival:
Ava Duvernay, writer and director Middle of Nowhere (I will be seeing the film this week):
For me, screening MIDDLE OF NOWHERE as a gala presentation at LA Film Festival is like coming home. I was born in Long Beach, raised in Compton/Lynwood, and am a UCLA grad. I'm all about LA. Randy Newman has nothing on me. So, LAFF is the perfect way to kick-off our theatrical campaign for October and share our film with my fellow Angelenos. I'm looking forward to it.
Co-directors Sara Lamm and Mary Wigmore of "Birth Story: Ina May Gaskin and The Farm Midwives"
LA Film Fest is our dream festival-- it will be a high-profile place for Birth Story to premiere, but more importantly LA is also our home base. It's also exciting that our first public screenings will be for such an influential, urban audience, many of whom are storytellers themselves. We hope that allowing them to see birth in this positive way will be a powerful step toward changing how childbirth is represented in our culture.
After the festival, we'll be working hard on our on-going Kickstarter campaign—which is important because it demonstrates to the world at large that there are so many women (and men) out there who support us, and that there is a real public thirst for a film that honors women's history, women's bodies, and women's leadership.