L.A. fest whips out a Dillinger

Depp starrer 'Enemies' is Centerpiece; 30-plus countries represented

Universal's "Public Enemies," starring Johnny Depp as John Dillinger, will screen as the Centerpiece Premiere at the Los Angeles Film Festival, which runs June 18-28.

Directed by Michael Mann, whose "Collateral" screened as a sneak peek at the festival five years ago, "Enemies" also stars Christian Bale and Marion Cotillard. The film opens nationally July 1.

Organized by Film Independent, the fest announced the bulk of its lineup Tuesday, encompassing more than 70 feature films, 70 shorts and 50 music videos drawn from more than 30 countries.

Said Rebecca Yeldham, the festival's new director: "The LAFF is a celebration of culture, cinema and community. We're dedicated to our public, and we're dedicated to our filmmakers. We see ourselves as part of the international community of artists and passionate cinephiles."

Joining Yeldham and programming director Rachel Rosen at the Hotel Palomar in Westwood, actors Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna talked up several selections from their traveling documentary project, the Ambulante Film Festival, now in its fourth year, which will be represented by three films at LAFF: "Born Without," "El General" and "Rehje."

Several popular Sundance titles also made the LAFF mix, including Sophie Barthes' "Cold Souls," Nicholas Jasenovec's "Paper Heart" and Lynn Shelton's "Humpday."

For the first time this year, international films will be included in the narrative and documentary competition categories.

The seven films in the narrative competition are Suzi Yoonessi's "Dear Lemon Lima," Bob Byington's "Harmony & Me," Jason Bushman's "Hollywood, je t'aime," Matt Bissonnette's "Passenger Side," Alicia Scherson's "Turistas," Sam Fleischner and Ben Chace's "What They Do" and Tariq Tapa's "Zero Bridge."

The seven in the doc competition are Hilla Medalia's "After the Storm," Brent Meeske's "Branson," AJ Schnack's "Convention," Jeremy Simmons' "The Last Beekeeper," Michael Palmieri and Donal Mosher's "October Country," Juan Carlos Rulfo and Carlos Hagerman's "Those Who Remain" and Fredrik Gertten's "Bananas!"

While the festival is focussed on the Westwood area, it will branch out to other parts of the city for events including four outdoor screenings at the Ford Amphitheatre in Hollywood.

The fest will mark the 40th anniversary of "Midnight Cowboy" with a screening of the film and a conversation with star Jon Voight. Actor-director Tom Laughlin will also appear to discuss his film "Billy Jack."

The fest will offer free screenings of eight films, ranging from James Frawley's "The Muppet Movie" to Cherien Dabis' new film "Amreeka" and Wang Bing's "Crude Oil," which will receive its North American premiere. (partialdiff)
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