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The LA Film Festival may have shuttered last year after an 18-year run but the organizers of the 11th annual DTLA Film Festival are hoping to keep the downtown Los Angeles film scene buzzing with a showcase of 38 feature films this year, including documentaries on Quentin Tarantino and Kathy Griffin.
Director Tara Wood’s QT8: The First Eight will open the festival that runs Oct 23-27 at downtown LA’s Regal LA Live venue. The long-awaited and much-delayed documentary, which chronicles the making of Tarantino’s first eight films with interviews from his cast and frequent collaborators, will finally be seen by audiences after the filmmaker faced a legal battle to regain control of her movie.
Wood had initially produced the film with The Weinstein Co. but cut ties following the sexual assault allegations against its co-founder Harvey Weinstein in 2017. Things got complicated when TWC fell into bankruptcy and Lantern Entertainment acquired the Weinstein Co. library, from which Wood reacquired the rights to her film.
Wood then re-edited QT: The First Eight to reflect the Weinstein scandal and others surrounding Tarantino, including Uma Thurman’s notorious car crash during the shooting of Kill Bill, but the filmmaker said the main focus of the film is the celebration of a revered director. The doc screened for buyers at the Cannes Film Festival this year, where Tarantino also premiered his ninth film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
The DTLA film festival will also host a special presentation Oct 26 for documentary Kathy Griffin: A Hell of a Story and present Griffin with the Independent Film Pioneer Award, which has previously been bestowed on industry veterans such as Laura Dern, Mark Ruffalo, William H. Macy, Virginia Madsen and John C. Reilly.
Filmmaker Lesli Linka Glatter will also receive the Independent Film Pioneer Award on the closing night presentation of her seminal 1995 film Now and Then.
The festival’s lineup of 19 narrative features and 11 documentaries include films that explore the impact of the #MeToo movement on industries — docs Bias, Pioneers in Skirts and Seeing Is Believing: Women Direct — and will be screened in conjunction with panel discussions. Two films will cover L.A.’s homeless crisis — documentary The Advocates and Lost Transmissions, a narrative film starring Simon Pegg — which will both be screened at special presentations in downtown’s Skid Row.
Out of the 38 feature films showcased at the festival, 74 percent —28 films — are directed by women. “While our festival is content driven, the fact that we ‘over-represent’ female filmmakers in our lineup is gratifying on many levels,” Karolyne Sosa, the festival’s director of programming, said in a statement.
The DTLA film festival, a nonprofit organization, was established in 2008 and aims to promote underrepresented voices in filmmaking as well as reflect the neighborhood of downtown Los Angeles. Film Independent’s LA Film Festival also used to be held in downtown L.A. from 2010 to 2015. It moved to Culver City before shuttering last year.
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