Commence the countdown, we’re only one day away from the 2016 LA Film Festival! In anticipation, we’ve made a list of the seven best things happening at this year’s fest.1Courtesy of Edric Silla for ArcLight Cinemas

1. New Year, New Venue
So long Downtown, and hello Culver City! This year, the LA Film Festival takes place in the Westside’s newly-built ArcLight Theatre, the eighth location for the Los Angeles-based company. The best part? $2 parking!

Sundance Institute Shorts Lab LA: DocumentaryKirby Dick in Sundance. Courtesy of Araya Diaz/WireImage

2. Coffee Talks: Documentarians
These talks are always a highlight for us, and this year we’ll sip a flat white among some of our favorite documentary directors, including Kirby Dick (The Hunting Ground, The Invisible War) and Lucy Walker (The Crash Reel, Waste Land).

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Ryan Coogler and Ludwig Göransson. Courtesy of Black Film

3. Ryan Coogler: Crafting the Sounds and Score of Creed
On Saturday, June 4th, LA Film Festival Guest Director Ryan Coogler will present clips from Creed and  Fruitvale Station (a LA Film Fest alum) and talk with composer Ludwig Göransson and sound designer Steve Boeddeker about how the perfect soundscape can be achieved, no matter if it’s at the studio or the indie level.

img1585Courtesy of Cambio

4. The After Party
After a full day of watching films, what better way to unwind than with a drink under the stars? The LA Film Fest after parties are always a great way to meet filmmakers and cinephiles alike, and with this year’s venue change, I’m anticipating them more than ever.

emilyEmily Robinson. Courtesy of Rogers and Cowen

5. Transparent Actress, Emily Robinson’s directorial debut
At just seventeen-year-old, Robinson is already making a name for herself in Hollywood. She stole the screen in the Amazon award-winning series Transparent, and now Robinson is taking a turn in the director’s seat. Her self-funded short film Virgin Territory, which she wrote, directed, produced and stars in, will have its world premiere on Thursday, June 2nd. 

OpeningNight_FeaturedImageTopher Grace in ‘Opening Night’. Courtesy of Film Independent

6. Opening Night
Director Isaac Rentz is a friend of ours, and we can’t wait to see his feature film debut Opening Night hit the big screen on Friday, June 3rd. Starring Topher Grace and Lauren Lapkus, this comedy/musical is centered around a failed Broadway singer, working as a production manager, who must save the opening night of his new production by wrangling his eccentric cast and crew.

DESIERTOGael García Bernal in ‘Desierto’. Courtesy of  Cinefila

7. The Closing Night Film: Desierto
From Jonás Cuarón and his dad Alfonso Cuarón, the acclaimed filmmakers of Gravity, comes a unique, modern vision of terror. Desierto is a visceral, heart-pounding suspense-thriller packed with tension from start to finish, starring Gael García Bernal (Mozart In the Jungle, The Motorcycle Diaries, and Y Tu Mamá También) and Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Watchmen). With music accompanied by Woodkid, this is sure to be the perfect way to end an awesome week.


To follow our LAFF adventures in real time, be sure to follow us on twitter (@cinemacyspeaks) and instagram (@cinemacy)!