LA Film Fest 2015: 15 Films to Watch

15 Film Picks
by Tom Nguyen

The 21st Annual Los Angeles Film Festival (LAFF) opened last night at Regal Cinemas L.A. Live and runs through June 18. Looking at the list of films, I had to do a double take: there are a lot more documentaries and foreign cinema than ever before, my two favorite film genres! The LAFF site says they’ve made a new effort this year to include a “diverse selection of documentary films from around the world; and a smaller round-up of exceptional international films” and festival director Stephanie Allain made it a personal mission to make sure this was the most diverse festival yet: “About 40 percent of the films [at LAFF] are directed by women, and 35 percent by filmmakers of color,” Allain tells NBC News. “That doesn’t just happen…I so believe in this and the difference it makes in the lives of so many artists…We want to be the change we’re looking for. That is our mission.”

I recently attended a talk at CSULA Pan-African American Studies department featuring Selma director, Ava DuVernay, who said it’s absolutely vital to have more diverse perspectives in film-making and it’s heartening to see a big festival like LAFF setting a visible example showcasing films by women and people of color. After the preview are 15 films I want to see with summaries provided by LAFF. There are also free screenings at nearby FIGat7th and Metro Union Station and a free cultural event Guangzhou Traditional Arts Extravaganza hosted by Sister Cities of LA. Find a printable festival schedule here.

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3+ Subsuelo Parties this Week June 19-22!

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Subsuelo just got done celebrating their 2nd anniversary last month and within the last year, they’ve quickly grown from an underground monthly event in a small intimate bar in Boyle Heights to throwing big special events with partners like Mad Decent and Nickodemus. The Subsuelo crew have a quickly growing, glowing reputation for collaborating with other great artists to create something genre-defying and with such a unique blend of world-crossing music all in one night, it’s no wonder they seem to be everywhere in LA these days! If you thought 3 Subsuelo parties in one month was intense — can you handle THREE+ of THEM…this WEEK?!? (Why the +? Keep reading….)

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