Good Day L.A.

LAFF's new director wants the film community to get involved

It's been a smooth transition for Rebecca Yeldham since she took over the Los Angeles Film Festival in the wake of Richard Raddon's controversial departure. But she's still had to grapple with the peculiar challenges inherent in nurturing a festival at the film industry's ground zero, as she explained to Todd Longwell for The Hollywood Reporter.

The Hollywood Reporter: You've been on the job since March now. Any surprises?

Rebecca Yeldham: It surprises me on an industry level that a number of people I know to be film lovers at agencies, studios and what have you have not yet had a direct experience with the festival. But just in my own dialogues with people since I started, I've seen that there is a desire to know more about the festival and support it. L.A. has been evolving. It's almost like the origins of Toronto. It's a great community festival, and I'm hoping that this is the year that the industry will as strongly embrace the festival as the community has.

THR: Is one of the problems the fact that Hollywood industryites see festivals as something to be experienced out of town?

Yeldham: If you go away to Sundance, you're stuck on that mountain for a period of time with nothing else to do but see those movies, participate in those panels and go to bars and talk about movies. In L.A., the city itself presents a challenge, but it also presents an opportunity. I would love to think in the future -- while Westwood is our home -- that we could find ways to find satellite homes for this festival around the city so that we can embrace audiences for whom a journey to Westwood might be an inconvenience.
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