Today the Los Angeles Film Festival, in conjunction with Presenting Media Sponsor the Los Angeles Times and Host Partner L.A. LIVE, announced Academy Award-winning director William Friedkin as Guest Director for the 2012 Festival. Legendary musician and composer Danny Elfman, award-winning Los Angeles chef Michael Voltaggio and Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter and record producer Raphael Saadiq will be the Artists in Residence. Intimate conversations will be held with filmmakers and talent from AMC’s acclaimed Breaking Bad, HBO’s long anticipated series The Newsroom, which includes a screening of the premiere episode, and a series of panels on Women of Wonder – A Celebration of Women in Animation.
Additional films screening at the Festival include a Film Independent members-only screening of The Do-Deca-Pentathlon, the North American Premiere of The King of Pigs in the Beyond section, Easy Money in the International Showcase section and Question Bridge: Black Males in the Free Community Screenings section. There will also be an Exclusive Sneak Preview held on June 17, so follow us @LAFilmFest on Twitter for clues and additional details. The LA Film Festival Keynote Speaker, Coffee Talks, Poolside Rant and additional panels will be announced later this month.
“Los Angeles is the center of entertainment, so it’s befitting that the LA Film Fest is hosting a broad spectrum of talent across all disciplines. We look forward to sharing screenings, conversations, music events and surprises with everyone this summer!” said Festival Director Stephanie Allain.
In his role as Guest Director, Friedkin will be screening his latest film Killer Joe at LACMA’s Bing Theater on Friday, June 15 at 7:30 pm, preceded by an onstage interview.
The film follows 22-year-old Chris (Emile Hirsch) in debt to a drug lord and he must hire a hit man to dispatch his mother, whose $50,000 life insurance policy benefits his sister Dottie (Juno Temple). Chris finds Joe Cooper (Matthew McConaughey), a creepy, crazy Dallas cop who moonlights as a contract killer. When Chris can’t pay Joe upfront, Joe sets his sight on Dottie as collateral for the job. An iconoclastic filmmaker with a fiercely independent spirit, William Friedkin has bravely forged his own path through the American cinema of the past forty years. Hollywood is still reeling from Friedkin’s one-two punch of The French Connection and The Exorcist, two films that heralded a new era of filmmaking. Raw and visceral, with an authenticity that cannot be denied, Friedkin’s movies—including The Boys in the Band, Sorcerer, To Live and Die in L.A., and Cruising—are bold, exciting works that have frequently courted controversy, only to go on to become contemporary classics. LD Entertainment will release Killer Joe on July 27.
As an Artist in Residence, Danny Elfman will present hand-picked film clips featuring his favorite scores on Saturday, June 16 at 8:00 pm. He’ll discuss how the medium’s music has shaped him into one of today’s most celebrated film composers. The award-winning composer has always had a particular affinity for connecting with directors with distinctive points of view, such as Sam Raimi, Caroline Thompson, Gus Van Sant, Peter Jackson, Ang Lee and, of course, Tim Burton, starting with the director’s feature debut, Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, and extending to his latest, Dark Shadows. The evening is sponsored by Regal Entertainment Group.
Michael Voltaggio will present a screening of Bob Giraldi’s Dinner Rush (2000) on June 20 at 7:50 pm, followed by a conversation. After his award-winning tenure as Chef de Cuisine for The Bazaar by José Andrés, Chef Michael Voltaggio went on to become a household name after winning the sixth season of Bravo’s reality cooking show Top Chef. From there, Voltaggio opened his immensely popular and highly praised restaurant ink. in West Hollywood, which was named “best new restaurant in America” by GQ Magazine this year.
Raphael Saadiq will present a screening of his choice on Friday, June 15 at 7:30 pm. followed by a conversation with KCRW’s Chris Douridas. Recently lauded as one of the 100 most influential people in the world by TIME Magazine, the Grammy Award-winning Saadiq is one of today’s most highly regarded recording artists. Since his early days with the groundbreaking soul trios Tony! Toni! Toné! and Lucy Pearl, he has carried the torch for old school-futuristic R&B.
Currently gearing up for its final 16 episodes, AMC’s Breaking Bad has boldly and relentlessly tested the boundaries of television, developing an antihero never before seen. In his portrayal of anxiety-ridden, recession-burdened provider Walter White, Emmy Award-winning actor Bryan Cranston skillfully evokes a man’s riveting, complex descent from good to bad. Join Cranston, AaRon Paul and Anna Gunn with series creator Vince Gilligan on Saturday, June 16 at 5:30 pm as they discuss how a show about a high school chem teacher wit ha mobile meth lab in the New Mexico desert has evolved into what many consider the best hour on television.
On the eve of Aaron Sorkin’s long-anticipated HBO series The Newsroom, join the Festival on Friday, June 22 at 8:00 pm for an exclusive screening of the series premiere episode and a dialogue with Sorkin, executive producer Alan Poul and director Greg Mottola. The three men will discuss what it took to develop the show, assemble the amazing cast, which includes Jeff Daniels, Emily Mortimer and Sam Waterson, and bring their behind-the-scenes look at the intricacies of the fast-paced 24-hour cable news world to air.
This year, the Los Angeles Film Festival shines the spotlight on the contributions of women to the world of animation. At Women of Wonder – A Celebration of Women in Animation, join us on Sunday, June 17 from 2:30-5:00 pm for an afternoon celebrating women’s accomplishments in this field, examine the broader challenges for women in the industry and explore the models that better cultivate and draw on the talents of women as film artists, producers executives. Panelists include Kristine Belson (Executive Producer of Dreamworks Animation’s How to Train Your Dragon), Karen Rupert Toliver (Twentieth Century Fox Animation’s VP of Production), Katharine Sarafian (Producer of Pixar’s Brave), Michelle Murdocca (Producer of Sony Pictures Animation’s Hotel Transylvania) and more to be announced. The event is sponsored by the Loyola Marymount University School of Film and Television and includes a luncheon hosted by FOX Audience Strategy.