Hollywood Film Festival Reveals Opening Night Lineup

My Name is Water - H 2014

My Name is Water - H 2014

Exec director Jon Fitzgerald will spotlight first-time directors in a new Horizons section

Three films will be featured as part of the opening night of the Hollywood Film Festival, which kicks off Oct. 18: Yasu Shibuya’s Pancakes, which follows the lives of three romantically challenged characters that intertwine in Tokyo; Justin Arana’s My Name Is Water, which looks at a college student whose life is altered after a discussion with his Holocaust-surviving grandfather; and Michael Barnett’s Becoming Bulletproof, which centers on a group of actors living with disabilities.

Jon Fitzgerald, the executive director of the festival, which runs through Oct. 19 at the ArcLight Cinemas in Hollywood, announced the opening night films Monday as well as the lineup for a new Horizons section, which will focus on first-time directors.

The Horizons sidebar will include: Shawn Christensen’s Before I Disappear; Andy Landen’s Sequoia; David Lascher’s Sister; Chris Messina’s Alex of Venice; Scott RodgersThe Dramatics; and Jake Wilson's You Must Be Joking.

“New talent continues to be the lifeblood of Hollywood,” said Fitzgerald. “Horizons is a natural fit in providing a platform for emerging directors to be on the industry’s radar.”

This year’s Hollywood Film Festival will have a new focus on socially conscious films.