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The Los Angeles Festival of Movies Announces the Lineup for its First Edition

The Los Angeles Festival of Movies Lineup

A brand new film festival is on the horizon. The Los Angeles Festival of Movies, co-presented by MUBI and Mezzanine, announced the full lineup for its first edition which will take place April 4-7, 2024. It will screen 11 titles including one world premiere, three 4K restorations, a documentary series, and a curated short film program. It will also feature an artist talk with writer Rachel Kushner and Sonic Youth frontwoman Kim Gordon.

The festival’s screenings will all take place at three recently opened venues on the east side of Los Angeles: Vidiots in Eagle Rock, 2220 Arts + Archives in Historic Filipinotown, and Now Instant Image Hall in Chinatown.

Opening the festival is Jane Schonbrun’s I Saw The TV Glow, which will have its West Coast premiere on Thursday, April 4. Closing the festival is comedian Connor O’Malley and Danny Scharer’s Rap World, which will also be held at Vidiots. Other highlights include India Donaldson’s Sundance breakout Good One, the West Coast premiere of the Ross Bros’ Gasoline Rainbow, and Eduardo Williams’ festival hit The Human Surge 3.

“This lineup is a snapshot of the past and present landscape of independent cinema, and a group of films we feel very passionately about,” said Micah Gottlieb and Sarah Winshall, founders of the Los Angeles Festival of Movies. We’re really proud to be presenting such a varied group of films that are all ambitious, personal, and self-determined.”

Passes are currently on sale, and single film tickets go on sale March 14.

See the full lineup below.

Official Selection

I Saw the TV Glow | Jane Schoenbrun, U.S.A., 2024, 100m
West Coast Premiere 

A mesmerizing coming-of-age film equally indebted to Buffy the Vampire Slayer and David Cronenberg, Jane Schoenbrun’s sophomore feature is a boldly conceived story of self-discovery, defined by the ecstatic highs and devastating pitfalls of pop-cultural obsession. With its magnetic cast and evocative ‘90s-set production design—set to a sensational soundtrack of original music from Alex G., Sloppy Jane and Caroline Polachek among others—I Saw The TV Glow evinces a depth of feeling that dares to embrace the mournful and abstract, and feels destined to become one of the enduring teen movies.

Dream Team | Lev Kalman and Whitney Horn, U.S.A., 2024, 91m
U.S. Premiere

The films of Lev Kalman and Whitney Horn provide a heady combination of high and lowbrow pleasures: their idiosyncratic blend of cheeky humor, bespoke production design and 16mm cinematography remains singular in the realm of contemporary arthouse cinema. In this sexy, consistently inventive detective-serial romp, Interpol agents No and Chase (Esther Garrel and Alex Zhang Hungtai) look to uncover a conspiracy involving coral and murder, but little is solved, amid their encounters with a promiscuous scientist, a pair of fitness-obsessed interns and an invisible colleague with a vindictive streak.

Gasoline Rainbow | Bill Ross IV, Turner Ross, U.S.A., 2023, 110m
West Coast Premiere

A feat of cross-country filmmaking inspired by Easy Rider, this absorbing and ambitious road movie by the Ross Brothers resists categorization, featuring endearingly raw, semi-improvised performances by a teenage cast of non-actors. The filmmakers—who provided their subjects with a map to the Pacific Ocean, but allowed them to navigate the landscape on their own—have crafted an exceedingly open, freewheeling blend of documentary and fiction, serving as a vibrant paean to the freedom (and terror) of youth on the cusp of adulthood. A MUBI release.

Good One | India Donaldson, U.S.A., 2024, 90m
West Coast Premiere 

Writer-director India Donaldson’s remarkably assured debut evokes Kelly Reichardt’s Old Joy in its depiction of shifting power dynamics set against the rhythms of a long walk in nature. With a subtle hand, Donaldson teases out a complex and deeply resonant dynamic between a teenager and less-than-perfect adults. Featuring a magnetic performance by breakout star Lily Collias and superb turns from indie-film stalwart James Le Gros and NY Theater fixture Danny McCarthy, Good One is an exceedingly rare example of on-screen realism handled with palpable intimacy and care. A Metrograph Pictures release.

Malqueridas | Tana Gilbert, Chile/Germany, 2023, 75m
Los Angeles Premiere

They are women. They are mothers. They are inmates serving long sentences in a prison in Chile. Their children grow up far from them, but remain in their hearts. In prison they find the affection of other inmates who share their same experience. Mutual support among these women becomes a form of resistance and emancipation. Malqueridas reconstructs their stories through the images they themselves shot with cell phones prohibited inside the prison, recovering the collective memory of a forgotten community.

Naked Acts | Bridgett M. Davis, U.S.A., 1996, 90m
4K Restoration

Novelist and filmmaker Bridgett M. Davis originally self-distributed her first narrative feature, a remarkably layered and incisive exploration of Black female sexuality and identity that recalls the revelatory personal filmmaking of antecedents like Kathleen Collins’s Losing Ground. Set in a detailed milieu of the NYC creative class–with evocative intrigues on independent film sets and in video stores–Naked Acts is a resonant and defiant tale of self-discovery. Arriving in a beautiful new restoration, it can now be appreciated as one of the key Black independent films of the ‘90s. A Milestone / Kino Lorber release

The Human Surge 3 | Eduardo Williams, Argentina / Portugal, 2023, 121m
West Coast Premiere 

Among the major talents to emerge in international cinema in recent years, Argentinian filmmaker Eduardo Williams returns with a breathtaking new feature: a globetrotting, playfully disorienting and utterly rewarding feat of experimental cinema. (First of all: it’s not really a sequel.) Shot entirely with a 360-degree camera, Williams follows a group of 20-something friends across three continents (Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Peru), all played by an assortment of nonprofessional actors, who drift and exist in constant motion amid the film’s expansive, contorting visuals. Taking the concept of virtual reality into otherworldly directions, The Human Surge 3 is among the few films in recent years that seems to point toward cinematic paths not yet taken, using hypnotic abstraction to make our familiar world newly spectacular. A Grasshopper Film release.

Ren Faire, Episode One | Lance Oppenheim, USA, 2024, 56m
West Coast Premiere

Documentary wunderkind Lance Oppenheim (Some Kind of Heaven) brings his maximalist style and arch sense of humor to his largest canvas yet, following the working lives and foibles of the aging founder and dedicated staff of the Texas Renaissance Festival. As they battle through a tense succession plan that will determine the future of the festival, Oppenheim’s frenzied “docu-fantasia” reaches increasingly operatic heights. An HBO Documentary Films series.

Rap World | Conner O’Malley, U.S.A., 2024, 56m
World Premiere

The feature directorial debut of comedian Conner O’Malley and director/editor Danny Scharar is a riotously entertaining mockumentary—a 2009-set period satire comparable only to the duo’s previous Youtube oeuvre, but is also perhaps their most rigorous work yet. A divorced cinema worker and rapper (O’Malley) dedicates himself to recording an album, passing the camera back and forth with fellow aspiring artists (played by Jack Bensinger and Eric Rahill) over the course of a long picaresque night. Written by leads O’Malley, Bensinger and Rahill and shot on a DV handycam from the era, this fuzzy portrayal of after-hours Midwestern suburban life captures both sides: the inescapable boredom as a catalyst for bad decisions, and an appreciation for simple pleasures. After all, some of the best nights of your life can be had in parking lots.

New Strains | Artemis Shaw & Prashanth Kamalakanthan, U.S.A., 2023, 78m
Los Angeles Premiere

The debut feature by Artemis Shaw and Prashanth Kamalakanthan is a raw, hilariously neurotic comedy that is among the most authentic depictions of pandemic life, and announces two multi-hyphenate talents who display as much invention behind the camera as charisma in front of it. The two filmmakers star as a couple visiting New York City on vacation, whose pent-up pettiness gets inflamed by the onset of lockdown as a series of chaotic and intimate confrontations ensue. Semi-improvised and shot on a Hi8 camcorder, the film’s grainy VHS footage nails the frustrations of personal and creative helplessness in quarantine.

Toute Une Nuit | Chantal Akerman, France, 1982, 90m
4K Restoration

An enchanting, richly textured mosaic of fleeting romantic encounters, Chantal Akerman’s masterpiece is one of her most beautiful and original films. Set over the course of a long summer night in Brussels, numerous characters (played by both professional and non-professional actors, including Aurore Clément and Tchéky Karyo) experience various forms of seduction, repetition and rejection, as a succession of pop hits play faintly on the radio in the background. Akerman’s poetic lyricism—aided by roving, graceful camerawork by Caroline Champetier—gives the sum total of episodes the feel of a musical. In evoking romantic longing and isolation, per Akerman herself, Toute une nuit is a film that “makes you want to go out…and live strongly (vivre fort).” A Janus Films release.

Un Rêve Plus Long Que La Nuit | Nikki de Saint Phalle, France, 1976, 82m
4K Restoration

In a dream, a little girl wishes to become a grown-up and finds herself in a world of sorcery, violence, exploitation and extended drum solos in renowned artist Niki de Saint Phalle’s surreal allegory. An underseen gem of 1970s French avant-garde cinema, de Saint Phalle’s second feature deconstructs fairy tale narratives and imagery through the lens of psychoanalysis. Underscoring the Freudian overtones, de Saint Phalle’s daughter Laura Duke Condominas (who was also cast as a princess in Robert Bresson’s LANCELOT DU LAC) plays the spellbound protagonist, while the artist plays both her mother and the madame who employs her in a magical kingdom’s brothel. The film expands on de Saint Phalle’s preoccupation with the eternal conflict between female independence and patriarchy’s alliance with the war machine evinced in her previous feature, DADDY (1973), co-directed with Peter Whitehead, who composed the music for this film. (The astonishing costumes worn by de Saint Phalle were designed by Marc Bohan, couturier for Dior, the fashion house that funded this restoration.) A Film Desk release.

Preceded by: Realms | Maximilla Lukacs, USA, 2022, 5m
Poofy-sleeved dresses and mischievous star puppets playfully populate this fashion film conceived by Maximilla Lukacs for indie designer Samantha Pleet.


Kim Gordon & Rachel Kushner 
Musician and visual artist Kim Gordon and writer Rachel Kushner will discuss their personal relationships to the city and cinema of Los Angeles.

More details to come.


Part-Time is a short film program organized by Andrew Theodore Balasia, Ted Gerike and Sam Raphael of Now Instant Image Hall in Chinatown.

Holographic Will | Mike Stoltz, U.S.A., 2023, 5m
Los Angeles Premiere
A structuralist interpretation of the constant crisis of increasing home rental prices. The film swirls through the filmmaker’s apartment, flickering frame-by-frame through the halls and rooms of his rent-controlled apartment in Los Angeles. Filmed while the building was being sold to new owners, the destabilizing visuals and relentless percussive rhythm create sensations in the body similar to those caused by housing precarity.

History as Hypnosis | Alison Nguyen, U.S.A., 2024, 25m
West Coast Premiere
A speculative road movie that unfolds through cultural memory of the US war in Vietnam, it follows three women, recently reprogrammed by an artificial intelligence that has wiped all traces of their previous lives, as they journey through an uncanny desert landscape to a nearby metropolis. In Nguyen’s hands, these figures without memory or history become a cinematic use case for themes of alienation, assimilation, and refusal. Freely combining genre, fact, and fiction, the film draws on its Southern California locations’ postmodern glass facades,mimetic architecture, and roadside infrastructure-markers of car culture’s entanglement with American expansionism and cinema history alike-to uncover the more ineffable links between collective consciousness and the Cold War military-industrial complex.

Sola La Luna Comprenderá | Kim Torres, Costa Rica/U.S.A., 2023, 18m
Los Angeles Premiere
As a magical moon creeps in the twilight, different timelines entwine in the town of Manzanillo, located in the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. The youth and the elderly unite and collide in a tale where the town is able to exist as it is: both beautiful and abandoned, mysterious and monotonous. As if in a dream or a memory, mixing a documentary style and science fiction, this story is a search for the complexities of what it means to grow up in a place like Manzanillo.

In a Nearby Field | Laida Lertxundi and Ren Ebel, USA, 2023, 16m
North American Premiere
A man, a woman and their young daughter live together in an apartment in the Basque Country. Domestic chores and everyday gestures are superimposed onto lush, green landscapes. The filmmakers and their stand-ins reinterpret fragments of a diary. Music fills the house while children’s drawings come to life. Combining quiet observation and moments of fantasy, In a Nearby Field is a film about support, heredity and the invisible little labors which sustain us.

Lemon Tree | Rachel Walden, U.S.A., 2023, 18m
West Coast Premiere
It’s Halloween in America and a father is taking his son to the funfair. To impress him, he steals a magician’s rabbit, and off they go on a wild frantic car ride. As the drive progresses, the big kid shoots up, while the son, a quiet little adult, must hold things together. There is a trade-off for the power of magic.

Otherhood  | Deborah Stratman, U.S.A., 2023, 3m
West Coast Premiere
Mother and child confront the other. Meanwhile, some ladies are thinking.

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M.J. O'Toole began writing for HtN in early 2021 during the Sundance Film Festival. An NYC native and lifelong cinephile, his favorite films include Chungking Express, The Three Colors Trilogy, Hiroshima Mon Amour, Lovers on the Bridge, and Midnight Cowboy. He is the Digital Marketing Manager for the agency 3rd Impression - working alongside Editor-at-large Matt Delman - that specializes in digital marketing for independent film. He holds a BA from Adelphi University and a Masters in Digital Photography from the School of Visual Arts. You can check out his portrait and street photography on Instagram.

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