Comedy Shorts festival lineup announced

Event also sets panels with Bryan Cranston, 'Reno 911!' stars

The L.A. Comedy Shorts Film Festival, which runs April 15-18 at the Downtown Independent Theater, announced its lineup Tuesday.

Included in the program are "The Action Hero's Guide to Saving Lives," directed by Justin Lutsky and starring Patrick Warburton; "Russell Fish: The Sausage and Egg Incident," directed by Terence Heuston and starring "Glee's" Chris Colfer; and "Reunited," directed by and starring Dax Shepard.

Now in its second year, the shorts fest will feature 74 films, including comedy shorts from Norway, the U.K., Australia and Canada. The four-day event also includes panels such as "Famous People Talkin' About Sh*t," featuring Bryan Cranston and Mark Hamill, and "I Write, I Produce, Therefore I Am -- Tips on Creating Your Own Product," featuring "Reno 911!" writer-stars Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant.

"They say laughter is the best medicine," said festival director Jeannie Roshar. "With all the uncertainty about our nation's health care, we are literally saving lives here."

Julie Bowen ("Modern Family"), Aisha Tyler ("Ghost Whisperer"), Dave Koechner ("The Office"), Mike Farah (Funny or Die), Missi Pyle ("Dodgeball"), J.C. Spink (BenderSpink), Kenan Thompson ("Saturday Night Live"), Debra Skelton ("Mad TV") and Aaron McGruder ("Boondocks") will also attend with films or panels.

Filmmakers and screenwriters compete for more than $30,000 in cash and prizes in the categories: Funny or Die Best-of-Fest Grand Prize; Best Comedy Short Film (30 minutes or less); Best Comedy "Shortie" Short (five minutes or less); and Best Animated Comedy Short (30 minutes or less). There is also an audience choice award.

The awards will be announced at the closing-night ceremony at Elevate Lounge on April 18.
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