LA Film Festival Unveils 2016 Lineup with 43% Women Directors

The LA Film Festival has revealed the lineup for its 2016 edition. Women directors are very well represented in the 22nd annual fest— take note, Cannes.

“Paint it Black”: LA Film Festival

The lineup features a slate of 56 feature films, 58 short films, and 13 short episodic works representing 28 countries and will feature 42 world premieres. Across the five feature competition categories, 43 percent of the films are directed by women, a three percent increase from last year’s already stellar 40 percent.

Actress Amber Tamblyn (“Two and a Half Men”) will be making her directorial debut with “Paint it Black,” which follows a young woman coping with the tragic death of her boyfriend. Ava DuVernay, director of “Selma,” and her distribution company Array Releasing will receive the Spirit of Independence Award.

“Discovering storytellers is our raison d’être,” said Roya Rastegar, Director of Programming. “We invest a great deal to learn about filmmaking communities across the globe. We look for films with conviction in perspective, style and voice.”

“Curating films for LA audiences is so special because Angelenos have a uniquely homegrown love of cinema,” added Creative Director, Jennifer Cochis. “It’s with true film lovers in mind that we program: from political theater to musical theater, we’re highlighting storytelling in all its forms.”

The LA Film Fest will run from June 1–9 at ArcLight Cinemas this year.

The films directed or co-directed by women that are set to screen are listed below, with an additional information provided by the LA Film Festival.

U.S. Fiction Competition

“The View from Tall”: LA Film Festival
  • “Dreamstates,” dir. Anisia Uzeyman, USA, World Premiere
  • “Paint it Black,” dir. Amber Tamblyn, USA, World Premiere
  • “Tracktown,” dir. Jeremy Teicher, Alexi Pappas, USA, World Premiere
  • “The View from Tall,” dir. Erica Weiss, Caitlin Parrish, USA, World Premiere
  • “Woven,” dir. Salome Mulugeta, Nagwa Ibrahim, USA, World Premiere


Documentary Competition

“Out of Iraq”: LA Film Festival
  • “Company Town,” dir. Natalie Kottke, Erica Sardarian, USA, World Premiere
  • “Dr. Feelgood,” dir. Eve Marson, USA, World Premiere
  • “Jackson,” dir. Maisie Crow, USA, World Premiere
  • “Olympic Pride, American Prejudice,” dir. Deborah Riley Draper, USA, World Premiere
  • “Out of Iraq,” dir. Eva Orner, Chris McKim, Canada/Iraq/Lebanon/USA, World Premiere
  • “Political Animals,” dir. Jonah Markowitz, Tracy Wares, USA, World Premiere


World Fiction Competition

“Like Cotton Twines”: LA Film Festival
  • “Heis (chronicles),” dir. Anaïs Volpé, France, World Premiere
  • “Like Cotton Twines,” dir. Leila Djansi, Ghana/USA, World Premiere
  • “Play the Devil, dir. Maria Govan,” Trinidad/Bahamas/USA, World Premiere


L.A. Muse

Fiction and documentary films that capture the spirit of L.A.

  • “Actors of Sound,” dir. Lalo Molina, Argentina/Finland/Germany/India/Ireland/USA, World Premiere
  • “Girl Flu,” dir. Dorie Barton, USA, World Premiere
  • “Namour,” dir. Heidi Saman, USA, World Premiere
  • “No Light and No Land Anywhere,” dir. Amber Sealey, USA, World Premiere
  • “Sensitivity Training,” dir. Melissa Finell, USA, World Premiere


Short Films (58): From over 2,500 submissions, the short films selected represent 15 countries and 64 percent are directed by women. Short films are shown before features and as part of seven short film programs. Shorts will compete for juried prizes for fiction and documentary shorts, as well as an Audience Award for Best Short Film.

Future Filmmakers Showcase: High School Shorts (33): The LA Film Festival’s Future Filmmaker Showcase brings to the big screen the best films made by budding young filmmakers from across the country and the globe. In this diverse slate of films, incredibly accomplished high school students will present wild comedies, moving dramas, mesmerizing animation, introspective experimental films and everything in between.

Episodes: Indie Series from the Web

A showcase of independently crafted web series, celebrating rising creators whose work and subjects are innovative and unfiltered.

  • “Caring,” dir. Maggie Kiley, USA
  • “Fridays,” dir. Anna Kerrigan, USA
  • “Her Story,” dir. Sydney Freeland, USA
  • “Instababy,” dir. Rosie Haber, USA
  • “Little Things,” dir. Lex Halaby, Mila Shah, USA
  • “Quirky Female Protagonist,” dir. Yulin Kuang, USA

By: Casey Cipriani

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