LA Film Festival to Move Into Awards Season in 2018

Courtesy of Los Angeles Film Festival
LA Film Festival director Jennifer Cochis

The 24th edition of the fest, presented by Film Independent, is shifting from its traditional June date to late September.

In a bid to join the fall awards-season conversation and raise its profile, the LA Film Festival, presented by Film Independent, will move to late September for its 2018 edition. The 23-year-old fest had traditionally been held in June.

Next year's event is set to run Sept. 20-28, which puts the festival in between the Toronto International Film Festival, which kicks off just after Labor Day each year, and the New York Film Festival, which begins toward the end of the month.

While the LA Film Festival in recent years has focused on spotlighting Los Angeles-centric films and diverse filmmakers, it hasn’t featured many of the high-profile awards contenders that either debut at the Cannes Film Festival in May or the Venice-Telluride-Toronto trifecta in the fall.

"The secret to dramatically changing something is to change it," Jennifer Cochis, LA Film Festival director, said Wednesday in announcing the move. "My passion for this festival is unwavering and the time for an evolution has come. Film Independent is so proud of the work we’ve done in showcasing new American and international cinema that embraces diversity, innovation and unique perspectives, but the fact is that summer is a challenging time for artist-driven films, and fall is where we clearly belong. This shift in our dates is an important step in enacting my aim to further develop the LA Film Festival. I sincerely look forward to better serving filmmakers, film lovers, the city and the industry in the fall of 2018 and beyond."

“We are proud to be the home of the LA Film Festival. The festival has been a staple for filmmakers and cinephiles in Los Angeles," said Gretchen McCourt, executive vp at ArcLight Cinemas, whose Culver City cinema served as the festival headquarters this past summer. "L.A. is an entertainment mecca and has been home to ArcLight for over 15 years. It is partnerships like this that continue to make our programming unique. We couldn't be more thrilled to be with them on this journey."

Creators can submit their work to the LA Film Festival for consideration beginning Jan. 1 exclusively on Withoutabox.