Top Picks for Pan African Film Festival (PAFF) 2019


by Tom Nguyen

The 27th Annual Pan African Film Festival (PAFF) opened on Thursday, February 7, and continues through Monday, February 18, at the Cinemark Rave 15 Theatres at Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza in Los Angeles, California. The festival is a crown jewel of the African American community in Los Angeles, the largest and most prestigious Black History Month event in the country.

It’s absolutely one of my favorite events of the year and must-see film festivals in Los Angeles. It’s the only opportunity to see so many independent films from the Black diaspora that might not otherwise make it to movie screens here. And it’s more than just a film festival…next door to the theater, inside Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza, are 2 floors of fabulous art, crafts and vendors from all over the country.

PAFF has always been a platform for important discussions to inspire, nurture and elevate Black representation in filmmaking. To “amPAFFify” PAFF’s proud history, the organization recently launched an “#IAMPAFF” Meme Generator, designed to allow festival supporters to share their own stories on social media. Festival supporters can join in the fun by creating a meme here to tell their story. There is also a spoken word fest on Saturday, February 9, from 7pm-10pm.

The festival opened Thursday, February 8, with Amazing Grace concert documentary at the Directors Guild of AmericaSpotlight Feature films include Sew the Winter to My SkinBoss: The Black Experience In Business, and The Robeson Effect.

Here is my list of other great films I’m excited to see. The list is by no means exhaustive, because there are too many worthy films to choose from! You can find the full list of films here. #PAFFNOW is is where I will be movie-binging the next 10 days! Continue Reading →

Guide to Dia de los Muertos 2018 in Los Angeles & Surrounding Areas

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by Tom Nguyen

Here’s my roundup of Dia de los Muertos in and around Los Angeles. As I repeat every year like my first guide, please learn about and honor this respectful celebration of departed loved ones, an important tradition that goes back to indigenous roots, and not turn it into another culturally appropriated Cinco de Mayo.

By no means is this list complete — there are so many great Dia de los Muertos events all over Southern California, I couldn’t possibly list them all. Events below are ALL AGES and FREE, unless otherwise noted. Continue Reading →

Ten Films to watch at LA Film Festival 2018!


by Tom Nguyen

The LA Film Festival (LAFF), kicked off its 24th year last night and will continue through September 28, 2018. Produced by the nonprofit arts organization Film Independent, the festival aims to elevate the conversation about the lack of diversity and inclusion in front of and behind the cameras. For this year’s nearly 200 films, 42 percent of the directors are women and 39 percent are people of color, and there is a series of “We The People” panels, to discuss everything from #OscarsSoWhite to the #MeToo movement to improving inclusion in Hollywood. There really is something for everyone and I gravitate towards foreign cinema and documentaries, so here are 10 films I look forward to seeing at this year’s LAFF! Continue Reading →

Top Picks for Pan African Film Festival (PAFF) 2018


by Tom Nguyen

The 26th Annual Pan African Film Festival (PAFF) takes place this Thursday, February 8 through Monday, February 19, at the Cinemark Rave 15 Theatres at Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza in Los Angeles, California. The festival is a crown jewel of the African American community in Los Angeles, the largest and most prestigious Black History Month event in the country.

It’s absolutely one of my favorite events of the year and must-see film festivals in Los Angeles. It’s the only opportunity to see so many independent films from the Black diaspora that might not otherwise make it to movie screens here. And it’s more than just a film festival…next door to the theater, inside Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza, are 2 floors of fabulous art, crafts and vendors from all over the country.

PAFF has always been a platform for important discussions to inspire, nurture and elevate Black representation in filmmaking. In addition to the Q&As with filmmakers in attendance, PAFF launches a new #Talk4Reel panel series, featuring film industry and community figures, thought leaders and disruptors, for engaging talks you don’t want to miss! There is also a spoken word fest featuring Get Lit-Words Ignite!

The festival opens Thursday, February 8, with the world premiere of Love Jacked, a warm family comedy, and will close on Sunday, February 18, with the US premiere of The Forgiven, starring Forrest Whitaker, who portrays Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Spotlight Feature films include Behind the Movement, about Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott, King of Stage: The Woodie King Jr Story, about the legendary theatre producer who will be present to accept PAFF’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and Nothing Like Thanksgiving, about a dying businessman who tries to groom his replacement.

Here is my list of other great films I’m excited to see. The list is by no means exhaustive, because there are too many worthy films to choose from! You can find the full list of films here and daily schedule here. So this is where I will be movie-binging the next 10 days and if you’re a MoviePass member like I am, you can use it to see one PAFF film a day!

Continue Reading →

Our Picks for NYE 2017 in Los Angeles!


by Tom Nguyen

When I’m considering where to spend New Year’s Eve in Los Angeles, I look for 3 things:

  • Great live bands and dance music we typically cover on this site.
  • It won’t break the bank (Some free, most under $30).
  • Whether big or small events, I’m looking for good vibes, not pretentiousness.

If you’re looking for the same, here are my recommendations (in order of cost): Continue Reading →

Guide to Dia de los Muertos 2016 in Los Angeles

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by Tom Nguyen

Here’s our roundup of Dia de los Muertos in and around Los Angeles. As I repeat every year like last year, please learn about and honor this respectful celebration of departed loved ones, an important tradition that goes back to indigenous roots, and not turn it into another culturally appropriated Cinco de Mayo.

By no means is this list complete — there are so many great Dia de los Muertos events all over Southern California, I couldn’t possibly list them all. For a more complete list, check out this one. Events below are all ages and free, unless otherwise noted. Continue Reading →

Top Summer Events in Los Angeles 2016

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by Tom Nguyen

Summer in Los Angeles is absolutely mind-blowing with the incredible amount of outdoor summer concerts, festivals and cultural activities all over the place! Here’s a list of over 100 events and that’s still just a tip of the iceberg!

This list is focused on world music, Latin indie and cultural events from communities of color and immigrant diaspora that often get overlooked. This is not just a list of free shows either — I don’t want you to miss out on so many great summer concerts at reasonable cost.

Are there shows that should be on this list? It’s a list in progress which I’ll update throughout the summer so feel free to comment below with any must-do events you know about! And if you want a weekly reminder of more awesome upcoming events as well as ticket giveaways to many of these shows, subscribe to our newsletter!

JUNE

5th Annual Hollywood Carnival
Various Locations
Thu. June 23-Sun. June 26, Various prices, 21+ (Sat. parade and festival FREE, All Ages)

Brainstory, Yanga & more
La Cita (Downtown)
Thu. June 23, 9pm, $10, 21+

Dance DTLA: Line Dancing & Two Step
Music Center (Downtown)
Fri. June 24, 7pm-11pm, FREE, All Ages

ATASH
Silverlake Lounge (Silverlake)
Fri. June 24, 7pm-9pm, $12-15, 21+

Chicana Moratorium: Su Voz, Su Canto
Grand Performances (Downtown)
Fri. June 24, 8pm, FREE, All Ages

CuLosAngeles
The Lash (Downtown)
Fri. June 24, 9pm, FREE, 21+

Noche Romantica: La Diabla & more
First Street Pool & Billiard Parlor (Boyle Heights)
Fri. June 24, 9pm-2am, $5, 21+

World Music Caravan: ATASH, Ana Saldaña & more
The Cave (Westlake)
Fri. June 24, 9pm-3:30am, $10-$15, 21+

MAMA Africa Community Festival of Valley Village 2016
Faith Presbyterian Church of Valley Village
Sat. June 25, 10:30am-8:30pm, FREE-$50, All Ages

5th Annual Hollywood Carnival Parade
Hollywood Blvd. (From Western to Highland)
Sat. June 25, 12pm-5pm, FREE, All Ages

Self Help Graphics & Art’s Annual Print Fair & Exhibition 2016
Self Help Graphics & Art (Boyle Heights)
Sat. June 25, 12pm-5pm, FREE, All Ages

11th Annual Celebrating Words Festival: Quita Penas, Ethio Cali & more
Pacoima City Hall
Sat. June 25, 12pm-6pm, FREE, All Ages

Latin Sounds: Quetzal
LACMA Hancock Park (Mid-Wilshire)
Sat. June 25, 5pm, FREE, All Ages

2nd Annual Asian Heritage Jazz Festival
Aratani Theatre (Little Tokyo)
Sat. June 25, 6pm-10pm, $35-60, All Ages

Classical Remix: The Jazz Session
Grand Performances (Downtown)
Sat. June 25, 8pm, FREE, All Ages

Los Tigres Del Norte with Cafe Tacvba
The Forum (Inglewood)
Sat. June 25, 8pm, $39-115 , All Ages

Chico & the Gypsies: Rumba Flamenca
Starlight Bowl Amphitheatre (Burbank)
Sat. June 25, 8pm, $40-80, All Ages

Afrobration: Afrobeat Down, Duain Richmond (FELA! on Broadway)
Los Globos (Silverlake)
Sat. June 25, 10pm, FREE-$10, 21+

626 Golden Streets
South Pasadena – San Marino – Arcadia – Monrovia – Duarte – Irwindale – Azusa
Sun. Jun 26, 8am-2pm, FREE, All Ages

6th Day of the Ancestors: Festival of Masks
Leimert Park Village (South LA)
Sun. June 26, 10am-8pm, FREE, All Ages

Minyo Station
Center for the Arts, Eagle Rock
Sun. June 26, 3pm-6pm, FREE, All Ages Video

La Junta Summer 2016 Kickoff feat. La Chamba
Fronteras Mexican Grill & Cantina (Alhambra)
Sun. June 26, 4pm, $5, 21+

The Three Louies
Grand Performances (Downtown)
Sun. June 26, 7pm, FREE, All Ages

No Te Va Gustar
The Roxy (West Hollywood)
Sun. June 26, 9pm, $18-23, 21+

La Prueba: Test Kitchen + Music Lab: The Altons, Tropi Corillo
Corazon y Miel (Bell)
Mon. June 27, 7pm-10pm, , 21+

The Otherworld Movement
OSSO DTLA (Downtown)
Tue. June 28, 8pm-10pm, $10, 21+

Prince Tribute Show: Mia Doi Todd & more
Echoplex (Echo Park)
Tue. June 28, 8:30pm, $10-12.50, 18+

Nancy Sanchez Monthly Residency
Eastside Luv Bar (Boyle Heights)
Wed. June 29, 9pm, $5, 21+

Madame Gandhi
Hauser Wirth & Schimmel (Downtown)
Thu. June 30, 5pm-9pm, FREE, All Ages

Bridging the Divide
LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes (Downtown)
Thu. June 30, 7pm, FREE, All Ages

Radio Afrique Cinema Night: 50th Anniversary of BLACK GIRL (1966)
The Cinefamily (Fairfax)
Thu. June 30, 7pm, $12, All Ages

Hodgepodge #4: Jeremy Sole, The Gaslamp Killer, Sheila Govindarajn, Jimetta Rose, Joey Altruda & more
General Lee’s (Chinatown)
Thu. June 30, 9pm-2am, FREE, 21+

Dublab Presents: SK Kakraba Band & more
HiHat (Highland Park)
Thu. June 30, 9pm, $8, 21+

JULY

Jai Uttal
Levitt Pavilion Pasadena
Fri. July 1, 8pm, FREE, All Ages

Troker, Kneedelus
Grand Performances (Downtown)
Fri. July 1, 8pm, FREE, All Ages

Dance DTLA: DJ Nights with Money Mark
Music Center (Downtown)
Fri. July 1, 8pm-11pm, FREE, All Ages

La Inedita
Los Globos (Silverlake)
Fri. July 1, 8pm, $10, 21+ Video

SambAmore, Samba Da Mundanca, 3ANTRA
The Mint (Mid-City)
Fri. July 1, 9pm, $10-15, 18+

Los Cafres
The Glass House (Pomona) and Fonda Theatre (Hollywood)
Fri. July 1-Sat. July 2, All Ages

Independence Day Tardeada: Buyepongo, Mariachi Los Camperos, Vilma Diaz y La Sonora & more
MacArthur Park (Westlake)
Sat. July 2, 2:30pm-9:30pm, FREE, All Ages

Latin Sounds: Boogaloo Assassins
LACMA Hancock Park (Mid-Wilshire)
Sat. July 2, 5pm, FREE, All Ages

Alice Bag Record Release Party
The Echo (Echo Park)
Sat. July 2, 5:30pm-9pm, $8-$9.50, All Ages

1 To 3
Grand Performances (Downtown)
Sat. July 2, 8:00pm, FREE, All Ages

The Highland Park Comic Con
Avenue 50 Studio (Highland Park)
Sun. July 3, 11am-4pm, FREE, All Ages

DEEP: “Venice Gets Deep” for InDEEPenDANCE w Marques Wyatt, Jeremy Sole & more
Townhouse & The Del Monte (Venice)
Sun. July 3, 8pm-2am, $20-25, 21+

Riot Grrrl Carnival
The Smell (Downtown)
Sun. July 3, 9pm, $5, All Ages

The Farce of July
Self Help Graphics & Art (Boyle Heights)
Mon. July 4, 2pm, $10, All Ages

4th of July Block Party: Kotolan, 108Hill, Jenny O., Dexter Story, La Junta, Afro Funke’ & more
Grand Park + Music Center (Downtown)
Mon. July 4, 2pm-9:30pm, FREE, All Ages

California Sol • 4th Of July Rooftop Party
Ace Hotel
Mon. July 4, 2pm-10pm, FREE, All Ages

World Rhythms: La Chamba
Descanso Gardens (La Cañada Flintridge)
Tue. July 5, 6pm, FREE-$9, All Ages

Banda De Turistas
Los Globos (Silverlake)
Wed. July 6, 8pm, FREE-$12, 18+

Mayer Hawthorne with Alina Baraz + KCRW DJ Jason Bentley
Santa Monica Pier
Thu. July 7, 7pm-10pm, FREE, All Ages

Disappear Here: Poolside, Carlos Niño & Friends + KCRW DJ Aaron Byrd
Hammer Museum (Westside)
Thu. July 7, 7:30pm-10:30pm, FREE, All Ages

Dolunay
Chevalier Books (Larchmont)
Thu. July 7, 7:30pm-9pm, $15-20, All Ages

Swing Electrique with DJ Derek Rath
Grand Performances
Thu. July 7, 8pm, FREE, All Ages

AfroLatin Vibrations: AfroCuba Meets AfroPeru: Changüí Majadero with Chacombo
La Cita Bar (Downtown)
Thu. July 7, 9pm, $10, 21+

Outfest Los Angeles LGBT Film Festival
Various Locations
Thu. July 7-Sun. July 17, $15/film, All Ages

Summer of Salsa: Melena and Ladies of Salsa
LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes (Downtown)
Fri. July 8, 7pm-10pm, FREE, All Ages

Dance DTLA: Cumbia
Music Center (Downtown)
Fri. July 8, 7pm-11pm, FREE, All Ages

SuperEverything: A live cinema performance by The Light Surgeons
Grand Performances (Downtown)
Fri. July 8, 8pm, FREE, All Ages

TAIKOPROJECT + Quetzal: Concrete Saplings
Ford Theatres (Hollywood)
Fri. July 8, 8pm, $25-50, All Ages

Into the Night: Summer SOULstice: Gavin Turek, Open Mike Eagle & more
Skirball Cultural Center (Westside)
Fri. July 8, 8pm-11pm, $10, All Ages

Tropi Corillo with xlsrebelsx
Los Globos (Silverlake)
Fri. July 8, 9pm, FREE-$5, 21+

LA Food Fest
Exposition Park
Fri. July 8-Sun. July 10, 11am-11pm, $10-20, All Ages

6th Annual Soulnic Family Festival
Griffith Park
Sat. July 9, 10am-9pm, FREE, All Ages

36th Annual Lotus Festival
Echo Park Lake
Sat. July 9-Sun. July 10, 12pm-9pm, FREE, All Ages

Latin Sounds: Afro Cuban Jazz Project
LACMA Hancock Park (Mid-Wilshire)
Sat. July 9, 5pm, FREE, All Ages

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros + Imarhan plus KCRW DJ Jason Bentley
Annenberg Space for Photography (Century City)
Sat. July 9, 5pm-10pm, FREE, All Ages

Mexrrissey
Grand Performances (Downtown)
Sat. July 9, 8pm, FREE, All Ages

Ford Signature Series: Aloe Blacc
Ford Theatres (Hollywood)
Sat. July 9, 8pm, $30-70, All Ages

Lulu Santos
El Rey (Miracle Mile)
Sat. July 9, 8pm, $75, All Ages

Metro Art Presents: The Floor + The Open Floor Society
Union Station (Downtown)
Sun. July 10, 1pm-4pm, FREE, All Ages

Little Tokyo Concert Series: Sheila Govindarajan
JACCC Japanese Garden (Downtown)
Sun. July 10, 5pm-9pm, $12-15, 21+

Ozomatli
Starlight Bowl (Burbank)
Sun. July 10, 6:30pm, $8-$20, All Ages

World Rhythms: Adaawe
Descanso Gardens (La Cañada Flintridge)
Tue. July 12, 6pm, FREE-$9, All Ages

Dub Club: Africa Meets Reggae with Ras Michael + Mamadou Kelly
Echoplex (Echo Park)
Wed. July 13, 9pm, $10-15, 21+

Adan (Adanowsky) & Xavi Y Los Imanes, Cesar Saez y Los Viajeros, Francisca Valenzuela & more
El Rey Theatre (Miracle Mile)
Wed. July 13, 9pm, $20-25, All Ages

Disappear Here: Peanut Butter Wolf, Mndsgn + KCRW DJ Mathieu Schreyer
Hammer Musem (Westside)
Thu. July 14, 7:30pm-10:30pm, FREE, All Ages

¡Aparato!’s Huastech 3000 Album Release and Music Video Premiere Party!
Eastside Luv Bar (Boyle Heights)
Thu. July 14, 8pm, $10, 21+

Terrace Martin & Robert Glasper
World Stage (Leimert Park)
Thu. July 14, 8pm, FREE, All Ages

Metro Art Presents: Brainstory
Union Station (Downtown)
Fri. July 15, 4pm-6pm, FREE, All Ages

Dance DTLA: DJ Nights with Rashida
Music Center (Downtown)
Fri. July 15, 8pm-11pm, FREE, All Ages

Diana Ross
Hollywood Bowl
Fri. July 15-Sat. July 16, 8pm, $14-182, All Ages

Miles Bonny & Francesca Harding with Anthony Valadez
FIGat7th (Downtown)
Sat. July 16, 4pm-6:30pm, FREE, All Ages

Baaba Maal + Classixx + Brazilian Girls plus KCRW DJ Aaron Byrd
Annenberg Space for Photography (Century City)
Sat. July 16, 5pm-10pm, FREE, All Ages

Chinatown Summer Nights
Chinatown Plaza
Sat. July 16, 5pm-12am, FREE, All Ages

2016 Colorado Street Bridge Party
Colorado Street Bridge (Pasadena)
Sat. July 16, 6pm-11:30pm, FREE, All Ages

10th Annual Summer on Seventh: The Gaslamp Killer, J Rocc & more
7th and Kohler (Downtown)
Sat. July 16, 6pm, $45, 21+

daKAH Hip Hop Orchestra
Grand Performances (Downtown)
Sat. July 16, 8pm, FREE, All Ages

Downtown Stage 2016: WAR and Los Amigos Invisibles
Pershing Square (Downtown)
Sat. July 16, 8pm, FREE, All Ages

(RESCHEDULED TO NOV 20) Mon Laferte
The Roxy (West Hollywood)
Sat. July 16, 8pm, $25-60, All Ages

El Conjunto Nueva Ola
La Cita Bar (Downtown)
Sat. July 16, 9pm, $10, 21+

Soiree Africaine: Magatte Fall & Generation Percu
Lula Washington Dance Theater (South LA)
Sat. July 16, 9pm, $20

Brazilian Night Grand Opening
Couture (Hollywood)
Sat. July 16, 10pm-2am, FREE, 21+

6th Annual VIVA LA VIDA…a Frida Kahlo Fiesta
Mal’s Bar (Downtown)
Sat. July 16, 9am-2am, $5, 21+

Viva! Pomona: Chicano Batman, Shannon And The Clams, Alice Bag, Vanessa Zamora & more
The Glass House (Pomona)
Sat. July 16-Sun. July 17, $20, All Ages

Love Long Beach Festival 2016
Alfredo’s Beach Club
Sat. July 16-Sun. July 17, 9am-9pm, FREE, All Ages

JazzFest West
Bonelli Park (San Dimas)
Sat. July 16-Sun. July 17, 10am-9:30pm, $15-120, All Ages

10th Annual Festival Colombiano
Pico Rivera Sports Arena
Sun. July 17, 10am-10pm, $30-60, All Ages

Little Tokyo Concert Series: Wondem
JACCC Japanese Garden (Downtown)
Sun. July 17, 5pm-9pm, $12-15, 21+

Double G NineNet
Levitt Pavilion Pasadena
Sun. July 17, 7pm, FREE, All Ages

Vanessa Zamora, Marineros, Ela Minus, Brainfreeze
Resident (Downtown)
Mon. July 18, 8pm-11pm, $10, 21+

The Floor Improv Night 8 Year Anniversary “Neon Summer”
The Belasco (Downtown)
Mon. July 18, 9pm-2am, $5-10, 19+

World Rhythms: Eduardo Martinez y Su Palo Cuero
Descanso Gardens (La Cañada Flintridge)
Tue. July 19, 6pm, FREE-$9, All Ages

Mitre, Alih Jey with special guests Francisca Valenzuela and Maria del Pilar
Hotel Cafe (Hollywood)
Tue. July 19, 9pm, $10, 21+

Yes We Can Can: An Allen Toussaint Salute
Hollywood Bowl
Wed. July 20, 8pm, $14-151, All Ages

Very Be Careful Independencia Colombiana 2016
La Cita Bar (Downtown)
Wed. July 20, 9pm-2am, $10, 21+

Marisa Ronstadt & The Know-It-Alls
West Covina Civic Center
Thu., July 21, 6pm, FREE, All Ages

The Psychedelic Furs with Day Wave with KCRW DJ Marion Hodges
Santa Monica Pier
Thu. July 21, 7pm-10pm, FREE, All Ages

JANM Summer Night Concerts—Viva La Taiko: From Tokyo to Los Angeles
Japanese American National Museum
Thu. July 21, 7pm, FREE, All Ages

Disappear Here: Ceci Bastida + KCRW DJ Anthony Valadez
Hammer Musem (Westside)
Thu. July 21, 7:30pm-10:30pm, FREE, All Ages

Sunset Concerts: Thao and the Get Down Stay Down
Skirball Cultural Center (Westside)
Thu. July 21, 8pm, FREE, All Ages

CHURCH Summer Sessions vol.2 – Mark de Clive-Lowe, Ethio Cali Remixed & more
OSSO DTLA (Downtown)
Thu. July 21, 9pm, $10-15, 21+

Theater of Sound Summer Concert with El Haru Kuroi & more
Craft and Folk Art Museum (Miracle Mile)
Fri. July 22, 6pm-9pm, $7, All Ages

Orgone with Special Guest
FIGat7th (Downtown)
Fri. July 22, 7:30pm-10pm, FREE, All Ages

1st Annual Los Angeles Soul Music Festival
The Autry
Fri. July 22-Sun July 24, 5:30pm-11pm, $60-75, All Ages

Dance DTLA: Argentine Tango
Music Center (Downtown)
Fri. July 22, 7pm-11pm, FREE, All Ages

Ginkgoa
Grand Performances (Downtown)
Fri. July 22, 8pm, FREE, All Ages

Metro Art Presents: Changüí Majadero & Son Mayor
Union Station (Downtown)
Fri. July 22, 8pm-11pm, FREE, All Ages

The Root Down Returns
The Echoplex (Echo Park)
Fri. July 22, 9pm-2am, FREE-$10, 21+

Bunny Wailer
The Regent (Downtown)
Fri. July 22, 8:30pm, 18+

Malabomba Eastern Bloc Party with El Haru Kuroi & more
El Cid (Silverlake)
Fri. July 22, 9:30pm-2am, $10, 21+

Mandingo Night
Motherland Music (Inglewood)
Sat. July 23, 12pm-11pm, FREE, All Ages

Low End Theory Festival 2016: Ghostface & Raekwon, Daedelus, The Gaslamp Killer & more
Shrine Auditorium
Sat. July 23, 2pm-2am, $35-60, All Ages

Nas + Wild Belle plus KCRW DJ Garth Trinidad
Annenberg Space for Photography (Century City)
Sat. July 23, 5pm-10pm, FREE, All Ages

En La Noche Featuring Pachamama Estela & Zapoteca Roots
Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA) (Long Beach)
Sat. July 23, 7pm-10pm, $20, All Ages

Panteón Rococó
The Novo by Microsoft (Downtown)
Sat. July 23, 7pm, $25, All Ages

Our Nation Awakens
Grand Performances (Downtown)
Sat. July 23, 8pm, FREE, All Ages

Forever Flamenco at the Ford
Ford Theatres (Hollywood)
Sat. July 23, 8pm, $50-100, All Ages

7th Annual Reggae On The Mountain 2016
Topanga Community Club
Sat. July 23-Sun. July 24, 10am-7pm, $45-175, All Ages

La Junta Summer 2016: Yanga
Don Chente Bar & Grill (Downtown)
Sun. July 24, 4pm, $5, 21+

Little Tokyo Concert Series: Dwight Trible’s Alternate Angles + Carlos Niño & Friends
JACCC Japanese Garden (Downtown)
Sun. July 24, 5pm-9pm, $12-15, 21+

The Fil-Am Collective Music Show
Ford Theatres (Hollywood)
Sun. July 24, 8pm, $28-48, All Ages

World Rhythms: MôForró
Descanso Gardens (La Cañada Flintridge)
Tue. July 26, 6pm, FREE-$9, All Ages

Metro Art Presents: Passing Through
Union Station (Downtown)
Wed. July 27, 8pm-10pm, FREE, All Ages

Nancy Sanchez Monthly Residency
Eastside Luv Bar (Boyle Heights)
Wed. July 27, 9pm, $5, 21+

International Disco and Funk with DJs Joel Quizon & Rani De Leon
Grand Performances (Downtown)
Thu. July 28, 4:30pm, FREE, All Ages

Protoje with Raging Fyah with KCRW DJ Anne Litt
Santa Monica Pier
Thu. July 28, 7pm-10pm, FREE, All Ages

Disappear Here: TOKiMONSTA, Ambré with Special Guests + KCRW DJ Travis Holcombe
Hammer Musem (Westside)
Thu. July 28, 7:30pm-10:30pm, FREE, All Ages

Sunset Concerts: Sinkane
Skirball Cultural Center (Westside)
Thu. July 28, 8pm, FREE, All Ages

Girls Rock LA! Madame Recamier, Irene Diaz, Nancy Sanchez & more
Los Globos (Silverlake)
Thu. July 28, 9pm-2am, $10, 19+

Joseph
FIGat7th (Downtown)
Fri. July 29, 7:30pm-10pm, FREE, All Ages

“OVARIAN PSYCOS” Eastside LA Community Screening
Location announced 24hrs before event
Fri. July 29, 8pm-10pm, FREE, All Ages

Dance DTLA: DJ Nights with Alberto Lopez
Music Center (Downtown)
Fri. July 29, 8pm-11pm, FREE, All Ages

Mythili & Aditya Prakash present MARA: A Fantastical Journey to the Far Edges of the Mind
Ford Theatres (Hollywood)
Fri. July 29, 8pm, $25-50, All Ages

Forró in LA
Tropico de Nopal (Historic Filipino Town)
Fri. July 29, 8pm, $10, All Ages

National Dance Day
Grand Park (Downtown)
Sat. July 30, 10am-1pm, FREE, All Ages

De’Anza
Montebello Library
Sat. July 30, 2pm, FREE, All Ages

Like Water for Chocolate
LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes
Sat. July 30, 7pm, FREE, All Ages

Fiesta Mexicana XIV: Inolvidable
Ford Theatres (Hollywood)
Sat. July 30, 7pm, $49-69, All Ages

Tatuaje, a tribute to the Tattoo culture
Plaza de la Raza (Lincoln Heights)
Sat. July 30, 7pm-1am, $10-15, 21+

Se Mueve: Aqui/Here: It Moves
Grand Performances (Downtown)
Sat. July 30, 8pm, FREE, All Ages

Sin Color, De’Anza, Chico Mann
Hecho En Mexico (El Sereno)
Sat. July 30, 9pm, $10, 21+

21st Annual Central Avenue Jazz Festival
Central Avenue between King Blvd. and Vernon Ave. (South LA)
Sat. July 30-Sun. July 31, 11am-7pm, FREE, All Ages

Jerk Food Fest
Ontario Town Square and Guasti Regional Park (Ontario)
Sat. July 30-Sun. July 31, 12pm-8pm, $15-60, All Ages

Sunday Sessions
Grand Park
Sun. July 31, 12pm-7pm, FREE, All Ages

1st Annual Peru Village Festival
Hollywood Rec Center
Sun. July 31, 12pm-8pm, FREE, All Ages

(CANCELLED) Mega Festival Peruano 2016: Victor Manuelle & more
Pico Rivera Sports Arena
Sun. July 31, 12pm-10pm, $20, All Ages

New Songs for Children: A Free Bilingual Concert with Troubadour Yahir Durán
Center for the Arts, Eagle Rock
Sun, July 31, 3pm-5pm, FREE, All Ages

22nd Annual Brazilian Summer Fest: Monobloco & more
The Queen Mary
Sun. July 31, 4pm-10pm, $12-45, All Ages

Little Tokyo Concert Series: The Long Lost
JACCC Japanese Garden (Downtown)
Sun. July 31, 5pm-9pm, $12-15, 21+

Flavour N’abania
333 Live (Downtown)
Sun. July 31, 7pm-1am, $47-182, 21+

Element Band Live
Ford Theatres (Hollywood)
Sun. July 31, 7:30pm, $28-48, All Ages

AUGUST

Jungle Fire*
Pathfinder Park (Rowland Heights)
Tue. August 2, 6pm, FREE, All Ages
*Date changed from Thu. August 4 to Tue. August 2 but website has not been updated.

Emily King
El Rey (Miracle Mile)
Tue. August 2, 8pm, $22.50, All Ages

Gladys Knight • Tower of Power
Hollywood Bowl
Wed. August 3, 8pm, $14-151, All Ages

Natalia Lafourcade with Monsieur Perine with KCRW DJ Raul Campos
Santa Monica Pier
Thu. August 4, 7pm-10pm, FREE, All Ages

Sunset Concerts: Thalma de Freitas
Skirball Cultural Center (Westside)
Thu. August 4, 8pm, FREE, All Ages

The Official 2Mex Benefit Show
The Regent (Downtown)
Thu., August 4, 8pm, $25-50, All Ages

Discostan + Live Egyptian Music by Raafat Boushra, Radi and friends
La Cita Barh (Downtown)
Thu. August 4, 9pm-2am, $8, 21+

Dance DTLA: Salsa
Music Center (Downtown)
Fri. August 5, 7pm-11pm, FREE, All Ages

Tiempo de Morir
Ford Theatres (Hollywood)
Fri, August 5, 7:30pm, $13-100, All Ages

20th Annual Feria Agostina de Los Angeles
MacArthur Park (Westlake)
August 5-7, 10:30am-10:30pm, FREE, All Ages

5th Annual Clitoral Mass
Lou Costello Park (East LA)
Sat. August 6, 9am, FREE, All Ages*
*This ride is open to all womxn, womxn identified, gender-non-conforming, queer, trans, two-spirited folx only!

Buyepongo
Burke-Ham Park (Lynwood)
Sat. August 6, 7pm, FREE, All Ages

Mbongwana Star
Grand Performances (Downtown)
Sat. August 6, 8pm, FREE, All Ages

Rocky Dawuni
Levitt Pavilion Los Angeles (MacArthur Park)
Sat. August 6, 8pm, FREE, All Ages

6th Annual Flypoet Under the Stars
Ford Theatres (Hollywood)
Sat. August 6, 8pm, $75-100, All Ages

Selenamos (Selena Tribute Band)
La Cita Bar (Downtown)
Sat. August 6, 9pm, $10, 21+

5th Annual Latino Comics Expo
Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA) (Long Beach)
Sat. August 6-Sun. August 7, 11am-5pm FREE-$10, All Ages

Feria Agostina Nicaraguense 2016
Lynwood Park
Sun. August 7, 11am-8pm, $13-20, All Ages

Caracol 12 Year Anniversary with Maria Del Pilar, La Victoria
Tropico de Nopal (Historic Filipinotown)
Sun. August 7, 1pm-6pm, FREE, All Ages

Sanubar Tursun
Grand Performances (Downtown)
Sun. August 7, 7pm, FREE, All Ages

Monsieur Perine with Irene Diaz 
Echoplex (Echo Park)
Sun. August 7, 7:30pm, $18.50-22.50, 18+

Sufjan Stevens, Kurt Vile and The Violators, Ibeyi
Hollywood Bowl
Sun. August 7, 7pm, $14-151, All Ages

Los Punks: We Are All We Have
USC School of Cinematic Arts
Mon. August 8, 7pm, FREE, All Ages

Viento Callejero
Salazar Park (East LA)
Thu. August 11, 7pm, FREE, All Ages

RÜFÜS DU SOL with Marc Baker with KCRW DJ Anthony Valadez
Santa Monica Pier
Thu. August 11, 7pm-10pm, FREE, All Ages

Sunset Concerts: MAKU Soundsystem
Skirball Cultural Center (Westside)
Thu. August 11, 8pm, FREE, All Ages

Summer of Salsa: The Arsenio Rodriguez Project
LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes
Fri. August 12, 7pm-10pm, FREE, All Ages

Lyrics Born
FIGat7th (Downtown)
Fri. August 12, 7:30pm-10pm, FREE, All Ages

Quetzal
Levitt Pavilion Pasadena
Fri. August 12, 8pm, FREE, All Ages

Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre – FishEyes
Grand Performances (Downtown)
Fri. August 12, 8pm, FREE, All Ages

Dance DTLA: DJ Nights with Anthony Valadez
Music Center (Downtown)
Fri. August 12, 8pm-11pm, FREE, All Ages

An Olympic Carnival: Sergio Mendes & 50 Years of Brasil ‘66
Hollywood Bowl
Fri. August 12-Sat. August 13, 8pm, $14-182, All Ages

Ford Signature Series: Lila Downs with Grandeza Mexicana Folk Ballet Co.
Ford Theatres (Hollywood)
Fri. August 12-Sat. August 13, 8pm, $30-70, All Ages

Natsumatsuri Family Festival
Japanese American National Museum (Downtown)
Sat. August 13, 11am-5pm, FREE, All Ages

Urban Badlands Music Fest
Riverfront Park (Maywood)
Sat. August 13, 1pm-11pm, FREE*, All Ages Video
*Please support this grassroots festival for the SELA community and help donate to their online crowdfunder.

15th Anniversary of the Encuentro de Jaraneros de Los Angeles (CANCELLED)
The Shed (Pasadena)
Sat. August 13, 1pm-12am, FREE, All Ages

Cuicani
Bell Library (Bell)
Sat. August 13, 2pm, FREE, All Ages

Disco Manila
Grand Performances (Downtown)
Sat. August 13, 8pm, FREE, All Ages

A Summer Night’s Reverie with Annabel (lee)
Tropico de Nopal (Historic Filipino Town)
Sat. August 13, 8pm-12am, $10, All Ages

YTN Presents Korean Festival
Levitt Pavilion Los Angeles (MacArthur Park)
Sat. August 13-Sun. August 14, 7pm, FREE, All Ages

76th Nisei Week Japanese Festival
Little Tokyo (Downtown)
Sat. August 13-Sun. August 21, Times vary, Most events FREE, All Ages

CicLAvia – Iconic Wilshire Boulevard
Wilshire Boulevard (Central LA to Downtown)
August 14, 9am-4pm, FREE, All Ages

Metro Art Presents: The Floor + The Open Floor Society
Union Station (Downtown)
Sun. August 14, 1pm-4pm, FREE, All Ages

Rodrigo y Gabriela
Hollywood Bowl
Sun. August 14, 7:30pm, $14-182, All Ages

King Sunny Ade
The Regent (Downtown)
Sun. August 14, 8pm, $27.50-32.50, 18+

The Ultimate Tribute to Ray Charles starring Maceo Parker • Christian McBride Big Band, with special guest Philip Bailey
Hollywood Bowl
Wed. August 17, 8pm, $9-151, All Ages

Mavis Staples with The Suffers with KCRW DJ Gary Calamar
Santa Monica Pier
Thu. August 18, 7pm-10pm, FREE, All Ages

JANM Summer Night Concerts—Electronic and Hip Hop Night
Japanese American National Museum (Downtown)
Thu. August 18, 7pm, FREE, All Ages

Sunset Concerts: Music Maker Blues Revue
Skirball Cultural Center (Westside)
Thu. August 18, 8pm, FREE, All Ages

6th Annual Echo Park Rising
Various venues along Sunset Blvd, Glendale Blvd, Alvarado Avenue and Echo Park Avenue
Thu. August 18-Sun August 21, Varying times, FREE, All Ages (Some venues 21+)

Dance DTLA: Samba
Music Center (Downtown)
Fri. August 19, 7pm-11pm, FREE, All Ages

Mariachi Flor de Toloache
FIGat7th (Downtown)
Fri. August 19, 7:30pm-10pm, FREE, All Ages

The Women Who Score: Soundtracks Live
Grand Performances (Downtown)
Fri. August 19, 8pm, FREE, All Ages

Vaud & the Villains
Ford Theatres (Hollywood)
Fri. August 19, 8pm, $25-35, All Ages

Mariachi Festival
Levitt Pavilion Los Angeles (MacArthur Park)
Fri. August 19-Sat. August 20, 8pm, FREE, All Ages

El Haru Kuroi
First Christian Church (Whittier)
Sat. August 20, 2pm, FREE, All Ages

Carlos Niño & Friends with Anthony Valadez
FIGat7th (Downtown)
Sat. August 20, 4pm-6:30pm, FREE, All Ages

17th Annual Eagle Rock Music Festival
Colorado Blvd. at Center for the Arts, Eagle Rock
Sat. August 20, 4pm-10pm, FREE, All Ages

Kiosk with special guest Ardeshir Farah
Grand Performances (Downtown)
Sat. August 20, 8pm, FREE, All Ages

Zoot Suit
LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes
Sat. August 20, 7pm, FREE, All Ages

Yuval Ron
Levitt Pavilion Pasadena
Sat. August 20, 8pm, FREE, All Ages

English as a Second Language Vol. 3
Ford Theatres (Hollywood)
Sat. August 20, 8pm, $15-45, All Ages

Chinatown Summer Nights
Chinatown Plaza
Sat. August 20, 5pm-12am, FREE, All Ages

En La Noche: Nueva Tropicália Meets Samba
Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA) (Long Beach)
Sat. August 20, 7pm-10pm, $15-25, All Ages

Sunday Sessions
Grand Park
Sun. August 21, 12pm-7pm, FREE, All Ages

Fuzon & Fareed Ayaz and Abu Muhammad Qawal
Grand Performances (Downtown)
Sun. August 21, 7pm, FREE, All Ages

The Silk Road Ensemble with Yo-Yo Ma
Hollywood Bowl
Sun. August 21, 7pm, $14-151, All Ages

Quetzal Guerrero QVLN – Voices on the Veranda Concert Series
Aquarium of the Pacific (Long Beach)
Wed. August 24, 6:30pm-9pm, $15-20, All Ages

MEGA NOVA featuring Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Cindy Blackman Santana, Marcus Miller and Carlos Santana • Booker T – Stax Revue
Hollywood Bowl
Wed. August 24, 8pm, $9-151, All Ages

Ethio Cali live with DJs & Beatmakers feat. Ras G, Bei Ru, Elusive, Mark de Clive Lowe, Te’Amir and special guests!
Blue Whale (Little Tokyo)
Wed. August 24-Thu. August 25, 9pm-2am, $15, 21+

Quetzal Guerrero QLVN
The Bloc (Downtown)
Thu. August 25, 5pm-8pm, FREE, All Ages

Viento Callejero
Treder Park (Bell)
Thu. August 25, 7pm, FREE, All Ages

Save Ferris with Cibo Matto with KCRW DJ Jeremy Sole
Santa Monica Pier
Thu. August 25, 7pm-10pm, FREE, All Ages

Sunset Concerts: Shai Tsabari and the Middle East Groove All Stars
Skirball Cultural Center (Westside)
Thu. August 25, 8pm, FREE, All Ages

The Comedy Comedy Festival
Various locations
Thu. August 25-Sun. August 28, All Ages

Boleros De Noche:Teo Franco y su Trio San Pedro & Las Colibri
LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes (Downtown)
Fri. August 26, 7pm-10pm, $20-25, 21+

Latin BMI Summer Nights: Los Rakas, Stefano Vieni
Levitt Pavilion Pasadena
Fri. August 26, 8pm, FREE, All Ages

Dance DTLA: DJ Nights
Music Center (Downtown)
Fri. August 26, 8pm-11pm, FREE, All Ages

Juan Gabriel
The Forum (Inglewood)
Fri. August 26, 8pm, All Ages

Venice Beach Music Fest 11
Venice Boardwalk
Sat. August 27, 11am-7:30pm, FREE, All Ages

Latin Sounds: Orquesta Charangoa
LACMA Hancock Park (Mid-Wilshire)
Sat. August 27, 5pm, FREE, All Ages

33rd OG Radiotron
Levitt Pavilion Los Angeles (Westlake)
Sat. August 27, 8pm, FREE, All Ages

Afro Funke with Ethio Cali
Levitt Pavilion Pasadena
Sat. August 27, 8pm, FREE, All Ages

Ford Signature Series: Urban Bush Women and CONTRA-TIEMPO
Ford Theatres (Hollywood)
Sat. August 27, 8pm, $30-70, All Ages

Fela Kuti Day 2016
Townhouse & The Del Monte (Venice)
Sat. August 27, 8pm-2am, $5 before 9:30pm, $10 after, 21+
*Donate at least $5 to the crowdfunder for free entry.

The Cumbia That Wouldn’t Die: Viento Callejero + Palenke Soultribe
La Cita Bar (Downtown)
Sat. August 27, 9pm-2am, $10, 21+

Buyepongo
San Fernando Recreation Park (San Fernando)
Sun. August 28, 6:30pm, FREE, All Ages

Mehmet Polat Trio
The Mint
Sun. August 28, 9pm, $12-16, 21+

Ozomatli, La Santa Cecilia, KING, Rodrigo Amarante
Belasco Theater
Tue. August 30, 6:30pm, $35, All Ages

La Paleta: Buyepongo & Maria Del Pilar
La Cita Bar
Tue. August 30, 8pm-12am, $5, 21+

The Black Movie Soundtrack II
Hollywood Bowl
Wed. August 31, 8pm, $9-151, All Ages

Fer Uli & The Mexican Standoff with Aparato!
Eastside Luv Bar (Boyle Heights)
Wed. August 31, 9pm, $5, 21+

SEPTEMBER

Unknown Mortal Orchestra with Steady Holiday, with KCRW DJ Dan Wilcox
Santa Monica Pier
Thu. September 1, 7pm-10pm, FREE, All Ages

Cambodia Town Film Festival
Art Theater Long Beach
Thu. September 1-Sun. September 4, $7-12/film, All Ages

Samba Society
Levitt Pavilion Pasadena
Fri. September 2, 8pm, FREE, All Ages

Dance DTLA: Disco
Music Center (Downtown)
Fri. September 2, 7pm-11pm, FREE, All Ages

Latin Sounds: Ricardo Lemvo & Makina Loca
LACMA Hancock Park (Mid-Wilshire)
Sat. September 3, 5pm, FREE, All Ages

Mariachi Divas
Levitt Pavilion Pasadena
Sat. September 3, 8pm, FREE, All Ages

(CANCELLED) 8th Annual Leimert Park Village African Art & Music Festival + Hair, Health & Beauty Expo
Leimert Park Village (South LA)
Sat. September 3-Mon. September 5, 10am-7pm, FREE, All Ages

Pete Escovedo
Levitt Pavilion Pasadena
Sun. September 4, 7pm, FREE, All Ages

Carlos Vives
Hollywood Bowl
Wed. September 7, 8pm, $12-151, All Ages

Ohio Players with KCRW DJ Aaron Byrd
Santa Monica Pier
Sun. September 8, 7pm-10pm, FREE All Ages

Summer of Salsa: The Echo Park Project
LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes (Downtown)
Fri. September 9, 6pm-10pm, FREE, All Ages

Chicano Internation Film Festival (ChIFF)
Plaza de la Raza (Lincoln Heights)
Fri. September 9-Sun. September 11, $8/film, All Ages

Ankara Festival Los Angeles 2016
Avalon Hollywood
Fri. September 9-Sun. September 11, Daily Times Vary, $20-$100, 21+

Shoreline Jam 2016
The Queen Mary (Long Beach)
Sat. September 10, 2pm-11pm, $45-100, All Ages

52Blend Presents Afro-Latino: I Am The Root
Ford Theatres (Hollywood)
Sat. September 10, 8pm, $25-45, All Ages

Weekend In Polynesia
Long Beach Recreation Park
Sat. September 10-Sun. September 11, 9am-10pm, FREE, All Ages

Sunday Sessions
Grand Park
Sun. September 11, 12pm-7pm, FREE, All Ages

15th Annual Little Ethiopia Cultural Street Festival
Little Ethiopia
Sun. September 11, 12pm-8pm, FREE, All Ages

Latin BMI Summer Nights: El Conjunto Nueva Ola, Sin Color
Levitt Pavilion Pasadena (Pasadena)
Fri. September 16, 8pm, FREE, All Ages

Artista + Activista = ARTIVISTA
Ford Theatres (Hollywood)
Fri. September 16, 8pm, $15-50, All Ages

Changüí Majadero Album Release Party
Grand Annex (San Pedro)
Fri. September 16, 8pm-11pm, $20-120, All Ages

The Romeros, Pepe Romero, Daniel Ho
Aratani Theatre (Little Tokyo)
Fri. September 16, 8pm, $28-45, All Ages

Maylee Todd & Aaron Parr with Anthony Valadez
FIGat7th (Downtown)
Sat. September 17, 4pm-6:30pm, FREE, All Ages

Versa-Style Dance Company: Box of Hope
Ford Theatres (Hollywood)
Sat. September 17, 8pm, $15-50, All Ages

Fiestas Patrias
Placita Olvera (Downtown)
Sat. September 17-Sun. September 18, 11am-6pm, FREE, All Ages

Cuicani
Glendale Central Park (Glendale)
Sat. September 17, 8pm, FREE, All Ages

Brainfeeder at the Hollywood Bowl: Flying Lotus, Funkadelic featuring George Clinton and Parliament, Thundercat, Shabazz Palaces, The Gaslamp Killer
Hollywood Bowl
Sat. September 17, 8pm, $20-56, All Ages

9th Annual Los Angeles Brazilian Film Festival
LAFS Theater (Hollywood)
Sat. September 17-Tue. September 20, FREE, All Ages

Armenian Independence Day Festival
Verdugo Park, Glendale
Sat. September 18, 11am, FREE, All Ages

24th Annual Thai Cultural Day
Barnsdall Art Park (East Hollywood)
Sat. September 18, 11am-5pm, FREE, All Ages

Kraftwerk 3-D
Hollywood Bowl
Sun. September 18, 7pm, $14-151, All Ages

A Century of Samba
Beyond Baroque (Venice)
Sun. September 18, 8pm, Free with RSVP, All Ages

Common Culture: Across the Water
Ford Theatres (Hollywood)
Sun. September 18, 8pm, $15-45, All Ages

Carla Morrison
The Novo (Downtown)
Tue. September 20, 8pm, $30-40, All Ages

LA Korean Festival
Seoul International Park
Thu. September 22-Sun. September 25, 10am-10pm, FREE, All Ages

Grupo Fantasma with Buyepongo
El Rey Theatre (Miracle Mile)
Fri. September 23, 8pm, $25-30, All Ages

135th Annual Watts Towers Day of the Drum
Watts Towers Arts Center Campus
Sat. September 24, 11am-6pm, FREE, All Ages

La Tocada With Cafe Tacuba, Bunbury, Molotov, Natalia Lafourcade, Carla Morrison, Leon Larregui & more
Observatory OC
Sat. September 24, 12pm, $85, All Ages

Divine Vibrations of India: Melody, Rhythm and Dance
Ford Theatres (Hollywood)
Sat. September 24, 7pm, $15-50, All Ages

Sigur Rós
Hollywood Bowl
Sat. September 24, 8pm, $14-151, All Ages

40th Annual Simon Rodia Watts Towers Jazz Festival
Watts Towers Arts Center Campus
Sun. September 25, 11am-6pm, FREE, All Ages

¡Viva la Tradición! La Mujer y El Mariachi
Ford Theatres (Hollywood)
Sun. September 25, $25-75, 7pm, All Ages

Top Picks for Los Angeles Greek Film Festival, LA Film Festival, and Dances With Films

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by Tom Nguyen

After Memorial Day weekend, the first week of June has always been my marker for when LA’s summer really starts: the calendar kicks into high gear, filling up with too many great cultural events nonstop between now and Labor Day. Plenty of music, dance, art…and film is no exception as June greets us with not one, not two, but three great film festivals: 10th Annual Los Angeles Greek Festival, 22nd Annual LA Film Festival which both opened last night and 19th Annual Dances With Films opening today.

All 3 festivals offer a wide swath of narrative features, documentaries and short films. With so much to see and so little time, I tend to skew towards documentaries. Here are my top 3 films for 3 festivals:

10th Annual Los Angeles Greek Festival (June 1-5)

“Suntan” – A lonely middle-aged doctor who gets a second chance at long-lost youth becomes obsessively fixated on a beautiful tourist.

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8th Annual Hola Mexican Film Festival: Top 10 Picks and Interview with founder Samuel Douek

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by Tom Nguyen

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©2015 WilkiIMAGE Photo By Wilki W.K. Tom

The 8th Annual Hola Mexico Film Festival which showcases the most recent cinema from Mexico opens this Friday, May 13 and runs through Sunday, May 22, in downtown Los Angeles. I had a really enlightening conversation with founder Samuel Douek who gave me a frank, honest insider look at the challenges of putting this festival together and marketing it beyond just the Mexican American community in Los Angeles. As daunting as it is, Douek and his hard-working team have put this festival on 8 years strong and I hope you come out and support it! My top 10 picks follow our interview:

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Top Picks for Pan African Film & Arts Festival 2016 Feb. 4-15

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by Tom Nguyen

Pan African Film & Arts Festival (PAFF), the largest, most prestigious Black film festival and largest Black History Month event in the US, is one of my most anticipated events of the year! The 24th annual event is February 4-15 at Cinemark/RAVE Cinemas 15 in the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza and features a staggering lineup of 150 films from around the world on Black life and culture.

PAFF co-founder, actor and activist Danny Glover recently criticized the Oscars and Hollywood for its lack of diversity. In a Variety interview, he remembers growing up in the 60s and 70s and being able to see great films from around the world in cinemas. “It would widen my whole sense of myself and my relationship to the rest of the world. That’s what the movies and art is supposed to be about!” Glover says and that’s been PAFF’s mission for over 2 decades: to showcase films from the Black diaspora from around the world that usually don’t get a chance to be watched by wider audiences.

The other half of this grand event is the large arts & crafts festival, featuring over 100 artists and vendors, showcasing fine art, crafts and fashion from around the world. So give your eyes a rest between films and head over to find great unique gifts and fashion. Support artisans and small businesses like Amaechina Doreen of ByouBnatural, who will be featuring her handcrafted Art Doll artwork and Wamuhu Waweru of Infinite Miss, featuring crafts and fashion from her travels to her native Kenya, South Africa and most recently Indonesia.

There are also special events and programs for everyone, including special screenings for children and seniors, a fashion show, community forums and talks. Don’t miss the special conversation with Nate Parker, whose film Birth of a Nation made recent headlines at its Sundance premiere and got acquired by Fox Searchlight.

So without further ado, here are my film recommendations (and yes I really do make an effort to see 20-30 films every year here!)…let the film marathon begin! Hope to see you there and let us know what you think of this year’s films and festival, using #PAFFNow on Twitter and Instagram!

Dramatic Features

Narrative films including the opening and closing films of PAFF. I’m really impressed with the films from South Africa this year!

America Is Still The Place (LA premiere): PAFF’s opening film is based on the real life story about a giant oil spill on the beaches of northern California and the institutional racism that Charlie Walker has to overcome in order to finally achieve the “American Dream.”

Miles Ahead: The PAFF closing film is about legendary Miles Davis, portrayed, written and directed by Don Cheadle.

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