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Los Angeles Film Festival Opens

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The Los Angeles Film Festival, held annually for ten days in June, showcases the best of American and International cinema. With an attendance of over 60,000, the festival screens over 175 narrative features, documentaries, shorts, and music videos. Now in its twelfth year, the festival has grown into a world-class event, uniting new filmmakers with critics, scholars, film masters, and the movie-loving public.

The Festival attracts a huge spectrum of audiences from Los Angeles and around the world. This year, we anticipate over 80,000 attendees.

Festival passes for the 2006 Los Angeles Film Festival are now on sale. Tickets to individual screenings will be available for purchase beginning on June 1. Passes and tickets can be purchased on this web site or over the phone at 866.FILMFEST (345-6337). Walk up sales of passes and tickets will begin at Festival venues in June.

Approximately 70 features, 60 shorts, and 45 music videos make up the main body of the Festival. This year, Festival programmers will consider over 3,000 films.

Films submitted to the Festival are reviewed by our programming department, which evaluates each film, looking for the best in new American and International cinema.

Last year's films included Wong Kar Wai's 2046, Jim Jarmusch's Broken Flowers, Lodge Kerrigan's Keane, Gus Van Sant's Last Days, Miranda July's Me and You and Everyone We Know, Rodrigo Garcia's Nine Lives, and Sally Potter's Yes. In recent years, the Festival has also presented the World or American debuts of Fahrenheit 9/11, Mayor of the Sunset Strip, Kissing Jessica Stein, George Washington, and I Am Trying To Break Your Heart, among many others.

Lauded filmmaker George Lucas will serve as Guest Director for the 2006 Los Angeles Film Festival. In this role, Lucas will host a two-day Filmmaker Retreat at Skywalker Ranch, and he has also programmed a sidebar of films that have inspired his work.

"Audiences will have access to the wide array of daring and independent films which we are honored to champion at this year's festival," said Dawn Hudson, Executive Director of Film Independent. "In addition, the filmmakers will have access to all that Los Angeles has to offer: a sophisticated arts community, an appreciation for new and original voices, and dedicated filmgoers as diverse as the films themselves."

"We are thrilled to be bringing another wonderful slate of films from around the U.S. and abroad to Los Angeles audiences," said Rachel Rosen, Director of Programming for Film Independent and the Los Angeles Film Festival. "This year, the Festival has something for everyone from charming comedies to heartrending documentaries. Audiences will also have the chance to discuss the films they've seen with some of our visiting filmmakers and guests."

"We are excited to showcase this year's fantastic line-up of films in Westwood Village," said Festival Director Rich Raddon. "With eleven historic theaters dozens of shops and eateries scattered about the streets of the Village, guests will be able to experience the films and our extraordinary panels and events in what we expect to be a truly festive community atmosphere."

David Frankel's The Devil Wears Prada (Twentieth Century Fox) will kick off the 2006 Los Angeles Film Festival as the Opening Night film on Thursday, June 22 at 7:30 p.m. at the Mann Village Theatre. Starring Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, Stanley Tucci, Adrian Grenier, and Tracie Thoms, The Devil Wears Prada is based on the best-selling novel by Lauren Weisberger. In The Devil Wears Prada, aspiring writer Andrea (Hathaway) has just started a new job as assistant to the most powerful woman in fashion and all-around boss from hell, Miranda Priestly (Streep), Editor-in-Chief of Runway magazine. Earnest, naïve, and wearing sensible shoes, Andrea is completely unprepared for what lies ahead. Miranda turns out to be far worse than she could ever have imagined, and the "clackers"-impossibly thin young women whose impossibly high heels click, clack down the hallways-treat her with unmitigated scorn. But after a particularly brutal encounter with Miranda, Andrea decides to beat them all at their own game. However, success in the world of haute couture comes with a price, and soon Andrea realizes she may have sold her soul the day she put on her first pair of Jimmy Choos.

Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland's Quinceañera (Sony Pictures Classics) will screen as the Centerpiece Premiere on Friday, June 30 at 7:00 p.m. at the Mann Festival Theatre. Starring Emily Rios, Chalo González, Jesse Garcia, David W. Ross, and Jason L. Wood, Quinceañera tells the story of Magdelena (Rios) who has been planning every detail of her quinceañera for months-the music, the dress, the floral arrangements, the stretch Hummer-every detail, that is, but one: her unexpected pregnancy. Rejected by her father, Magdelena moves in with her great uncle Tomas (González) and her cholo cousin Carlos (Garcia) in their small back house, nestled in the hills of Echo Park. Surrounded by the mementos of Tomas's vibrant life on Los Angeles's east side, the three find a haven from their problems, but only temporarily. Magdelena's fifteenth birthday is drawing near, as is her due date, and their new landlords, an affluent gay couple, are a bellwether of changes to the neighborhood. Quinceañera is a heartwarming celebration of family, time-honored traditions, and the irrepressible spirit of youth.

Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris's Little Miss Sunshine (Fox Searchlight) will serve as the Closing Night film on Sunday, July 2 at 7:00 p.m. at the Wadsworth Theatre. Starring Greg Kinnear, Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Alan Arkin, Abigail Breslin, and Paul Dano, the film marks the feature directorial debut of the Grammy Award-winning music video directing team. Little Miss Sunshine introduces audiences to the Hoovers, one of the most endearingly fractured families ever seen on motion picture screens. Together, the motley six-member family treks from Albuquerque to the Little Miss Sunshine pageant in Redondo Beach, California, to fulfill the deepest wish of 7-year-old Olive (Breslin), an ordinary little girl with big dreams. Along the way the family must deal with crushed dreams, heartbreaks, and a broken-down VW bus, leading up to the surreal Little Miss Sunshine competition itself. On their travels through this bizarrely funny landscape, the Hoovers learn to trust and support each other along the path of life, no matter what the challenge.

For event information and tickets, call 866.FILM.FEST (866.345.6337) or visit www.lafilmfest.com.

ABOUT FILM INDEPENDENT

Film Independent, a non-profit membership organization for independent filmmakers, cultivates the careers of independent filmmakers, builds the audience for independent films, and increases diversity in the film industry. Film Independent provides its members with more than 250 annual events and screenings, along with professional advice, educational programs, affordable camera and equipment rentals, and discounts to hundreds of industry-related businesses.

Film Independent also offers Filmmaker Labs, giving filmmakers the opportunity to develop their projects, and Project:Involve, a mentorship and job placement program that pairs filmmakers from culturally diverse communities with film industry professionals. Film Independent produces the Independent Spirit Awards and Los Angeles Film Festival, celebrating the best of American and international cinema. For more information, visit FilmIndependent.org.

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