Contact: Alia Quart Khan, Film Independent
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LOS ANGELES (April 8, 2014) – Today the Los Angeles Film Festival, presented by Film Independent, in conjunction with Presenting Media Sponsor Los Angeles Times and Host Partner L.A. LIVE, announced Academy Award® nominated and Film Independent Spirit Award winning filmmaker Lisa Cholodenko (The Kids Are All Right, High Art) as Guest Director of the 2014 Festival, which takes place June 11 – 19 in downtown Los Angeles. Past Guest Directors include David O.Russell, Kathryn Bigelow, William Friedkin, Guillermo Del Toro and Alfonso Cuarón. Cholodenko will attend the 13th annual Filmmaker Retreat at The Parker Palm Springs. The Retreat is a gathering of Festival filmmakers as well as honored artists to build community amongst the Festival’s feature filmmakers. It is made possible with support from Dolby Laboratories, Inc. and EFILM.

“It’s an honor to name Lisa Cholodenko as Guest Director of the 20th anniversary of the Los Angeles Film Festival,” said Stephanie Allain, Festival Director. “Lisa’s work exemplifies our mission of supporting artists who are diverse, innovative, and have a unique point of view. We’re lucky to have her share her insights and process with us at our annual retreat.”

Cholodenko’s debut film High Art was nominated for both Best First Feature and Best First Screenplay at the Film Independent Spirit Awards in 1999. She followed that with Laurel Canyon, The Kids Are All Right, and work in television including Hung, Six Feet Under, The L-Word and the Showtime feature Cavedweller. Cholodenko’s The Kids Are All Right opened the 2010 Los Angeles Film Festival and went on to earn a Best Director nomination and a win for Best Screenplay at the Film Independent Spirit Awards in 2011. The film also earned four Oscar® nominations including Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay, and won two Golden Globes including Best Picture (comedy) and Best Actress (comedy) for Annette Bening. Cholodenko is currently in post-production on Olive Kitteridge, the four-part miniseries she recently directed for HBO and Playtone, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name. The series stars Frances McDormand, Richard Jenkins, Bill Murray, John Gallagher Jr. and Zoe Kazan among others. Cholodenko has served as an Adjunct Professor of Film at Columbia University, an advisor for the Sundance Institute’s Screenwriting Labs in Park City, Utah and Oaxaca, Mexico and is currently on the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

The Spirit of Independence Award will be given to Tom Bernard and Michael Barker for their over 20-year tenure as co-heads of Sony Pictures Classics. Over the past two decades, Tom and Michael have brought over 350 independent films to the public, garnering a combined 36 Film Independent Spirit Award and 32 Academy Award® wins (28 of those at Sony Pictures Classics) and 140 Academy Award® nominations (114 at Sony Pictures Classics), establishing themselves as one of the longest running and most successful partnerships in independent film. They will discuss their work with Festival Artistic Director David Ansen and choose a film to screen from their extensive catalogue.

The Festival will present a series of Master Classes inviting acclaimed film artists to take part in moderated conversations that delve deeply into the creative process.  Launching the series is Academy Award winning musician/producer/composer Atticus Ross (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Social Network), who will perform an original electronic soundscape created just for the Festival and discuss his creative process of scoring films such as The Social Network and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo with Elvis Mitchell. Special support is provided by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for the Master Classes.

The Festival’s annual celebration of women’s achievements in film will focus on Women Who Call the Shots: Women Directors and Showrunners. The event consists of a panel of esteemed directors and showrunners including Nicole Holofcener (Enough Said), Marta Kauffman (Friends) and Gina Prince-Bythewood (Love and Basketball), who will share with Festival audiences their process and progress as women at the helm.

Programmed as part of LA Muse is a special comedic journey with Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, the stars of Key & Peele, who will engage in a free-wheeling conversation moderated by Elvis Mitchell. The evening will include the duo sharing clips of the films that have influenced their irreverent comedic style.

Film Independent Members enjoy pre-sale benefits beginning April 9 and passes will be available to the general public on April 22. The full line-up will be announced on Tuesday, May 6. In addition to access to screenings and events (even after they sell out), Festival passes provide access to a series of networking receptions and entry to the Filmmaker Lounge, where Festival pass holders can interact with Festival filmmakers and professionals in the film community. General admission tickets to individual films go on sale beginning May 20. Contact the Ticket Office for passes, tickets and event information by calling 866.FILM.FEST (866.345.6337) or visit The Official Film Guide, the comprehensive source for all movie info, screenings, locations, and related events is produced by the Los Angeles Times. It will top the Los Angeles Times on Sunday, June 8 in Los Angeles and Orange County and be made available throughout downtown during the nine-day event.

20th Anniversary Los Angeles Film Festival commemorative posters, designed by iconic American artist Ed Ruscha, will be available for sale beginning Wednesday, April 9 at

The Los Angeles Film Festival programming team is comprised of Festival Director Stephanie Allain, Artistic Director David Ansen, Associate Director of Programming Doug Jones, Senior Programmer Maggie Mackay, Programmers Jenn Wilson, Drea Clark, Hebe Tabachnik and Jennifer Murphy as well as Guest Curators of LA Muse section Elvis Mitchell and Roya Rastegar.

Now in its twentieth year, the Los Angeles Film Festival, presented by Film Independent, showcases diversity, innovation and uniqueness of vision in new American and international cinema, and provides the movie-loving public with one-of-a-kind events featuring critically acclaimed filmmakers, film industry professionals, and emerging talent from around the world. The Festival’s signature programs include the Filmmaker Retreat, Music in Film Nights at The GRAMMY Museum ®, Celebrating Women Filmmakers, Master Classes, Spirit of Independence Award, Poolside Chats,  LA Muse and more. Over 200 features, shorts, and music videos, representing more than 30 countries, make up the main body of the Festival.  The Festival also screens short films created by high school students and a special section devoted to music videos. The Festival hosts juried cash awards for best narrative and documentary features, best narrative, documentary and animated short film, and a jury award for best performance in the narrative competition. Audience awards are presented to best documentary, narrative and international feature, short film and music video.  The Los Angeles Film Festival is presented in conjunction with Presenting Media Sponsor the Los Angeles Times. The Official Host Venue is Regal Cinemas L.A. LIVE Stadium 14. Platinum Sponsors include HBO, Stella Artois, Dolby Laboratories, Inc. and EFILM. The University Sponsor is Loyola Marymount University. Renwood Winery is the Official Wine Provider. Tanqueray is the Official Gin Provider. The Los Angeles Athletic Club is the Official Host Hotel. WireImage is the Official Photography Agency and PR Newswire is the Official Breaking News Service of Film Independent. More information can be found at

Film Independent is a non-profit arts organization that champions independent film and supports a community of artists who embody diversity, innovation and uniqueness of vision. Film Independent helps filmmakers make their movies, builds an audience for their projects and works to diversify the film industry. Film Independent’s Board of Directors, filmmakers, staff and constituents, is comprised of an inclusive community of individuals across ability, age, ethnicity, gender, race and sexual orientation. Anyone passionate about film can become a member, whether you are a filmmaker, industry professional or a film lover.

Film Independent produces the Spirit Awards, the annual celebration honoring artist-driven films and recognizing the finest achievements of American independent filmmakers. Film Independent also produces the Los Angeles Film Festival, showcasing the best of American and international cinema and the Film Independent at LACMA Film Series, a year-round, weekly program that offers unique cinematic experiences for the Los Angeles creative community and the general public.

With over 250 annual screenings and events, Film Independent provides access to a network of like-minded artists who are driving creativity in the film industry. Film Independent’s Artist Development program offers free Labs for selected writers, directors, producers and documentary filmmakers and presents year-round networking opportunities. Project Involve is Film Independent’s signature program dedicated to fostering the careers of talented filmmakers from communities traditionally underrepresented in the film industry. For more information or to become a member, visit

The Los Angeles Times is the largest metropolitan daily newspaper in the country, with a daily readership of 1.5 million and 2.6 million on Sunday, more than 22 million unique visitors monthly and a combined print and online local weekly audience of 4 million. The Pulitzer Prize-winning Times has been covering Southern California for more than 132 years.

The Los Angeles Times Media Group (LATMG) businesses and affiliates also include The EnvelopeTimes Community News, and Hoy Los Angeles which, combined with the flagship Los Angeles Times, reach approximately 5.2 million or 38% of all adults in the Southern California marketplace. LATMG also owns California Community News, LLC, operates Tribune Direct LA, and is part of Tribune Company, one of the country’s leading media companies with businesses in publishing, the Internet and broadcasting. Additional information is available at

L.A. LIVE is a 4 million square foot / $3 billion downtown Los Angeles sports and entertainment district adjacent to STAPLES Center and the Los Angeles Convention Center featuring Club Nokia, a 2,300 capacity live music venue, Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE, a 7,100-seat live theatre, a 54-story, 1001-room convention “headquarters” destination (featuring The Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles and JW Marriott Los Angeles at L.A. LIVE hotels and 224 luxury condominiums – The Ritz-Carlton Residences at L.A. LIVE – all in a single tower), The GRAMMY Museum ®, the 14-screen Regal Cinemas L.A. LIVE Stadium 14 theatre, broadcast facilities for ESPN along with entertainment, residential, restaurant and office space. Developed by Los Angeles-based AEG, L.A. LIVE, considered to be the nation’s most active ‘live content and event campus,’ also features 260,480 sf of conference center and ballroom facilities, a 100,000 sf special events deck, the famous Lucky Strike Lanes and Lounge, the celebrity owned Conga Room, a one-of-a-kind GRAMMY Museum ®, saluting the history of music and the genre’s best known awards show all centered around Nokia Plaza L.A. LIVE, a 40,000 sf outdoor event space. L.A. LIVE showcases more events, award shows, sporting competitions, concerts and hospitality options than any other destination in the world. Visit L.A. LIVE today at