Film Festivals, Foreign Oscar Entries and Special Screenings Galore! November 11-17

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by Tom Nguyen

Unfortunately, a bout of flu kept me from AFI FEST. If you also missed (or decided to avoid) all the buzz, fanfare and crowds surrounding a lot of new films from around the world, have no fear! As AFI FEST winds down this week, there are multiple more film festivals and special screenings all over SoCal, especially for fans of foreign cinema! It’s one of those weeks where everyone seemed to schedule their festivals on the same week…there are 3 Latin American film festivals alone! Here is a list of notable ones and descriptions from their sites:

FESTIVALS:

19th Annual Arab Film Festival @ Harmony Gold, Nov. 13-15, $10-12/film
AFF is the largest independent annual showcase of Arab films and filmmakers in the country. The festival has an international standing and is considered one of the most important Arab film festivals outside the Arab world. It strives to present the best contemporary films that provide insight into the beauty, complexity and diversity of the Arab world alongside realistic perspectives on Arab people, culture, art, history and politics.

Arpa International Film Festival 2015 @ Egyptian Theatre, Nov. 13-15, $15/film
For the last 18 years Arpa Foundation for FIlm, Music & Art (AFFMA) continues to cultivate cultural understanding and global empathy in the heart of Hollywood, promoting independent filmmakers through its main event – Arpa International Film Festival held annually every November at the Egyptian Theatre. Through the generous support of our donors and sponsors, our yearly film festival event inspires people of all backgrounds and creates opportunities for creative expression. Arpa festival’s dedicated production team is committed to make a difference in fueling the global arena of independent cinema. This year’s festival will feature 45 films from 22 different countries.

1st Annual Central American Film Festival @ USC, Nov. 13-15, FREE
Central American International Film Festival, the West Coast’s first festival to showcase works from the emerging film movement among isthmus-based and emigré Central American communities, proudly announces its launch this November 13-14-15 at Los Ángeles’s USC UNiversity. CAIFF The Festival brings the best cutting-edge and modern Central American films to greater metropolitan Los Ángeles, home to the largest number of Central American immigrants in the US and the greatest number of Salvadoran refugees and emigrés in the world. It will take its annual event on a rotating basis to Central America, and also includes filmmakers from guest countries on a rotating basis. Mexico is the guest country for 2015.

2nd Annual Cinema Culturas Film Festival @ RCC Digital Library and Fox Performing Arts Center, Nov. 13-15, FREE
Cinema Culturas Film Fest Inland Empire is an annual event committed to promoting the artistic, academic, and professional advancement of Hispanics and providing a forum for the richness and variety of all cultures, Spanish-speaking and non-Spanish speaking, in the Inland Empire and Southern California. We showcase award-winning contemporary Mexican films and co-productions with Latin American countries, the U.S., and Europe, providing a local forum with a global vision. The program includes feature-length films, documentaries, shorts, and animated films. A special community component of CCFFIE is its annual student film competition that showcases the best films of local high school and college students while offering film workshops to local youth led by the filmmakers, other film industry professionals, and local academics.

Cinema Italian Style 2015 @ Egyptian and Aero Theatre, Nov. 12-16, $7-$11/film
Presented by the American Cinematheque and Luce Cinecittà each year to showcase the best of Italian Cinema in Los Angeles with opportunities to meet the filmmakers and actors who created the films in the program. Italy’s Oscar entry Don’t Be Bad will screen on Thu Nov. 12.

Latin American Film & Art Festival 2015 @ CSUN, Nov. 12-15, FREE
The Latin American Festival is taking place at California State University Northridge from November 12 through 15, 2015. Sponsored by the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences and UNAM Los Angeles. The four day event will feature lectures, live performances, an exhibit by interdisciplinary artist, Eva Malhotra, as well as a film festival highlighting some of Latin America’s most talented filmmakers. All events are FREE of charge and open to the entire CSUN community and the general public.

SPECIAL SCREENINGS:

Cinefamily special screenings, Nov. 15-16, FREE-$15
Cinefamily always has an eclectic schedule of films, from the obscure and avante-garde, to special screenings like these 2 this week: Sat, Nov. 14: Made in Japan is a documentary about Tomi Fujiyama, a country music singer who was the first Japanese musician to grace The Grand Ole Opry stage when she played the same night as Johnny Cash. She’ll play a special short live set after the film! Mon, Nov. 16: Goodnight Mommy is a dark psychological horror film from Austria…admission for this screening is FREE with RSVP and the filmmakers will be present!

Films @ CAAM: Liberty and Justice for All, Nov. 11 & 18, FREE
This month, CAAM presents weekly free documentaries that explore past and present dilemmas of race, identity, poverty and gender: Wed, Nov. 11: 4 op-docs and panel discussions: A Conversation With White People On Race, A Conversation With My Black Son,  No Guns For Christmas, Verbatim : The Ferguson Case. Wed, Nov. 18: Little White Lie is a personal story about the legacy of family secrets, denial and race.

Grit And Whimsy Vi: The Best Of Recent Belgian Cinema @ Egyptian Theatre, Nov. 16, $7-$11
The monthly Belgian cinema series normally 3rd Wednesdays at Aero Theatre in Santa Monica, is moving to Monday, November 16 this month at Egyptian Theatre to screen Belgium’s Oscar entry, The Brand New Testament, a comedy about God and his rebellious daughter.

Outside the Box [Office]: Fall 2015 @ USC, FREE
USC School of Cinematic Arts’ series of sneak previews, independent film and documentaries throughout the year is one of my favorite places to see new films for free! This week, you can see Freeheld (subject of recent accusations by the screenwriter of Hollywood mainstreaming of queer characters), Mediterranea and Carol (two of my top 10 AFI FEST picks), Daisy & Max (indie doc about the lives of a gang intervention couple turned upside down in South LA), Janis: Little Girl Blue (Janis Joplin documentary) and Iraqi Odyssey (the almost 3-hour documentary that is Switzerland’s Oscar entry).

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