What to watch out at upcoming Film Independent’s Los Angeles Film Festival (Septmeber 20 – 28, 2018)

By Oliver Carnay

For film screening schedule, passes, ticket information about the LA Film Festival 2018, please click here:

Gala screenings of Ike Barinholtz’s “THE OATH”, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi & Jimmy Chin’s documentary “FREE SOLO, and Rupert Everett’s “THE HAPPY PRINCE” and Eva Vives’ “ALL ABOUT NINA” plus the Special Screening of Tom Volf’s documentary “MARIA BY CALLAS”; Buzz Section, Podcasts, and Series announced.

Hollywood, CA – The LA Film Festival, produced by Film Independent, the nonprofit arts organization that also produces the Film Independent Spirit Awards, announced Gala Screenings at the Festival including Ike Barinholtz’s directorial debut The Oath starring Ike Barinholtz, Tiffany Haddish, John Cho, Carrie Brownstein, Billy Magnussen, Nora Dunn, Chris Ellis, Jon Barinholtz, Meredith Hagner; Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin’s documentary Free Solo featuring Alex Honnold; Rupert Everett’s The Happy Prince, starring Rupert Everett, Colin Firth, Colin Morgan, Edwin Thomas and Emily Watson; Eva Vives’ All About Nina, starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Common, Chace Crawford, Clea DuVall, Kate del Castillo, Beau Bridges and Camryn Manheim. There will also be a Special Screening of Tom Volf’s documentary Maria by Callas; a Series program that includes; the first episode of the Into the Dark series, “The Body” staring Tom Bateman and Rebecca Rittenhouse, directed by Paul Davis; and America to Me a multipart unscripted documentary series from filmmaker Steve James. In addition 12 films in the Buzz Section and 3 podcasts in the Podcast Section have been unveiled. The LA Film Festival runs September 20-28.

“My aim with LA Film Festival is to celebrate and acknowledge storytelling in all its myriad of forms,” said LA Film Festival Director Jennifer Cochis. “Bringing forth part of our Series programming, launching our Podcast section, and shining a spotlight on this year’s Galas is all in effort to honor these creative teams, processes and stories.”

Galas (4)

Sunday, September 23, Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

All About Nina, dir. Eva Vives, West Coast Premiere

Just as Nina Geld’s brilliant and angry stand-up kicks her career into high gear, her romantic life gets complicated, forcing her to reckon with what it means to be creative, authentic, and a woman in today’s culture. All About Nina is distributed by The Orchard and will be in theatres on September 28th.

Tuesday, September 25, Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

The Happy Prince, dir. Rupert Everett, United Kingdom, Los Angeles Premiere

The last days of Oscar Wilde — and the ghosts that haunted them — are vividly evoked in Rupert Everett’s directorial debut. As the film travels through Wilde’s final act and journeys through England, France and Italy, desire and loyalty face off, the transience of lust is laid bare, and the true riches of love are revealed. The Happy Prince is being distributed by Sony Pictures Classics and will open in LA & NY October 10th.

Tuesday, September 25, ArcLight Hollywood

The Oath, dir. Ike Barinholtz, USA, World Premiere

A controversial White House policy turns family member against family member

in The Oath, a savagely funny dark comedy about surviving life and Thanksgiving in the age of political tribalism. The Oath is Ike Barinholtz’s directorial debut and is being distributed by Topic Studios and Roadside Attractions, opening on October 12th.

Thursday, September 27, Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

Free Solo, dirs. Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin, USA, Los Angeles Premiere

Free Solo is a stunning, intimate and unflinching portrait of free soloist climber Alex Honnold, as he prepares to achieve his lifelong dream: climbing the face of the world’s most famous rock…the 3,200ft El Capitan in Yosemite National Park…without a rope. Free Solo is being distributed by National Geographic Documentary Films.

Special Screening (1)

Friday, September 21, ArcLight Hollywood

Maria By Callas, dir. Tom Volf, France, Los Angeles Special Screening

From first time director Tom Volf, Maria By Callas is the definitive documentary on the life and work of the Greek-American opera singer. Volf has spent nearly five years working on the film, which features never before seen or heard footage and performances of Callas. Maria By Callas is being distributed by Sony Pictures Classics and will open in LA & NY November 2nd.

Podcasts (3)

Don’t @ Me with Justin Simien – USA (CREATOR/HOST Justin Simien PRODUCER Gina Delvac) Beyond the knee-jerk reactions and Twitter hot takes, Justin Simien and his guests get real about a variety of topics. Don’t like what you hear? Don’t @ Me.

Hollywood & Crime – USA (CREATOR/HOST Tracy Pattin HOST Larry Brand) A look inside the most infamous murders in Hollywood history.

Welcome to L.A. – USA (CREATOR/HOST David Weinberg) – David Weinberg explores a few of the many L.A.s that exist between the Pacific and the Mojave, introducing us to a lot of fascinating characters along the way.

Series (2)

Friday, September 21, WGA Theatre

Into the Dark, “The Body”, dir. Paul Davis, USA, World Premiere

The first episode of the Into the Dark series – “The Body” – is a story about a sophisticated hitman with a cynical view on modern society who finds his work made more difficult when he has to transport a body on Halloween night, but everyone is enamored by what they think is his killer costume. “The Body” stars Tom Bateman and Rebecca Rittenhouse, written by Paul Fischer and Paul Davis and is directed by Paul Davis. Into The Dark is a first of its kind year-round horror event series from prolific, award-winning producer, Jason Blum’s independent TV studio Blumhouse Television. The Hulu Original Series includes 12 self-contained episodes, with a new episode premiering each month. The

Body premieres exclusively on Hulu, October 5th, 2018.

Sunday, September 23, WGA Theatre

America To Me, “I Don’t Have to Think About Being White”, dir. Steve James, USA

Poignant and funny, epic and intimate, America to Me spends an academic year at Chicagoland’s elite Oak Park and River Forest High School (OPRF), allowing its students, families, faculty and administration to tell stories of the pressures and challenges teens face today in their own words. The fifth episode of the epic 10-part docu-series from Starz and Kartemquin looks closely at decades-long racial and educational inequities – in addition to the challenges that today’s teenagers face. America To Me will premiere on Starz this Sunday, August 26 at 10pm PT/ET.

Buzz Section (12)

Non-competitive showcase of curated favorites from other film festivals.

Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable – dir. Aaron Lieber, USA, West Coast Premiere

Galveston – dir. Mélanie Laurent, USA, West Coast Premiere
The Great Buster: A Celebration – dir. Peter Bogdanovich, USA, North American Premiere
Jonathan – dir. Bill Oliver, USA, West Coast Premiere
Little Woods – dir. Nia DaCosta, USA, West Coast Premiere
Mr. Soul! – dirs. Melissa Haizlip, Samuel Pollard, USA, West Coast Premiere
Museo – dir. Alonso Ruizpalacios, Mexico, North American Premiere
The New Romantic – dir. Carly Stone, USA, West Coast Premiere
Sadie – dir. Megan Griffiths, USA, California Premiere
Song of Back and Neck – dir. Paul Lieberstein, USA, West Coast Premiere
Unlovable – dir. Suzi Yoonessi, USA, West Coast Premiere
You Can Choose Your Family – dir. Miranda Bailey, USA, West Coast Premiere

Passes are on sale now; only Film Independent Members get early access and save up to 25%. General admission tickets are available to the general public beginning today. Contact the Festival Box Office for passes, tickets and event information by calling 866.FILM.FEST (866.345.6337) or visit www.lafilmfestival.com

Venues for the 2018 Festival include the ArcLight Cinemas in Culver City, Hollywood and Santa Monica, as well as the new LMU Playa Vista Campus (opening this fall), the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, the Writers Guild Theater and the Ford Theatres.

Online & Social Media:

hashtag: #LAFilmFestival.


The LA Film Festival is a key part of the exhibition arm of the nonprofit arts organization Film Independent. Showcasing new American and international cinema that embraces diversity, innovation and unique perspectives, the Festival produces one-of-a-kind events featuring critically acclaimed filmmakers, industry professionals and award-winning talent from Los Angeles and around the world. Presenting Media Sponsor is Los Angeles Times. Official Host Venue is ArcLight Cinemas. Platinum Sponsors are American Airlines, EFILM | Deluxe and HBO. The University Sponsor is Loyola Marymount University School of Film and Television. Festival Supporters are Directors Guild of America, eTech Rentals, Kona Productions, TREETI and Visit Seattle. Festival Affiliates are 21st Century Fox Global Inclusion, ATK Audiotek, SAGindie and Writers Guild of America West. Additional support provided by National Endowment for the Arts. Stella Artois is the Official Beer. IMDbPro is the Official Industry Resource. CITI is the Official Credit Card. The LINE, NoMad Los Angeles and Freehand LA are the Official Hotel Partner. Essentia Water is the Official Water. Hillersden Estate Wines is the Official Wine. Getty Images is the Official Photographer.