The VFF returns in full force with a five-day festival showcasing more than 75 of the best independent films, from the (818) and from around the world, October 31 – November 4, 2018 at Laemmle NoHo7 in the NoHo Arts District. Tickets are $14 and available now at ValleyFilmFest.com.
The Festival kicks off Wednesday, October 31, with the world premiere of 818, a character driven drama that weaves five stories in one Valley. Directed by Chris Gehrt, Joe Hackett, and Joe Taylor.
Another world premiere closes VFF18: I’LL BE NEXT DOOR FOR CHRISTMAS, Directed by David Willis. A comedy about a family that’s crazy for Christmas, except for the 16-year-old daughter. When her long-distance boyfriend decides to visit for the holidays, she’s determined to spare him her family’s Christmas obsession by hiring actors to play her parents and staging a fake Christmas dinner in the empty house next door. Features: Nicole Sullivan (Mad TV), Atticus Shafer (The Middle), Jonathan Mangum (GLOW), Juliette Angelo (Speechless, New Year’s Eve), Beth Littleford (Crazy Stupid Love), and Kirrilee Berger (One Dollar).
“As a festival programmer I see the universal threads in films from all over the world,” said the Festival’s founder, Tracey Adlai. “From the explosion of cinema coming out of the Middle East to Russia to the 818, the Festival has been very conscious of programming what we, as people, have in common. Our unwritten theme the last five years has been ‘united by film’ and this year it’s front and center. We are united by the same hopes, dreams, conflict, heartbreak, and tragedy, and these are the films we’re sharing.”
Local films with Los Angeles premieres include: THE BROWSING EFFECT, directed by Michael Feinstein. When newly engaged Melissa and James begin to doubt their relationship, they make fake Tinder profiles together, and soon a fun joke turns sour as long-held insecurities begin to surface. CLOSURE, a dark comedy about a woman, Nina, searching for her missing sister following their mother’s death. Directed by Alex Goldberg. WILD HONEY, directed by Francis Stokes, is an offbeat romantic comedy about a down-on-her luck phone sex operator who falls for one of her callers, and flies to Los Angeles to find him.
Foreign feature films making their Los Angeles debuts include:
BLACK SITE (United Kingdom) Directed by Tom Paton.
This 80s-inspired action horror film is set inside an underground military base known as The Artemis Black Site, where a young woman is forced to push past her worst fears and battle to deport an ancient entity back to where it came from.
TARANTA ON THE ROAD (Italy) Directed by Salvatore Allocca.
Set in the weeks after the Arab Spring of 2011, this comedy follows two Tunisian refugees who land on Italian shores and chance upon a rock band still searching for success. Proof that the language of music is universal, the band agrees to help migrants reach France, stopping to play at weddings along the way.
WONDERLUS (South Africa) Directed by Johan Cronje.
A wedding goes awry and the morning after, friends and foes need to piece together the puzzle of the night before. In search of answers, a groom needs to pursue the love of his life, a bride has to untangle herself from the past, and a waitress tries to escape the present.
The Documentary selections highlight struggles locally here, and around the world, anchored by artistic struggle, GEORGE MICHAEL: FREEDOM – THE DIRECTOR’S CUT. Directed by George Michael and David Austin, this deeply autobiographical film is narrated by the late GRAMMY® Award winner. George takes us through his musical life, his thoughts on public life, and openly into his very private life. Ester Brym’s NOT YOUR SKIN, profiles 4 transgender families in the United States, and Chris Cashman’s aptly titled SAN DIEGO GAY BAR HISTORY, both focus on past & present LGBT struggles. IN OUR BONES, directed by Alexandria Kimura, rounds out the program: a young woman with a terminal bone marrow disease decides to try to find a donor match by going on a road trip around America with her sister and best friend. Her crusade to find a hero for herself and for other patients needing transplants forces her to confront her own mortality and sexuality.
The Festival remains fully committed to supporting local independent production by showcasing thirty-nine films made by Angelenos, Vals, and shot in or about the glamorous San Fernando Valley, while continuing to promote diverse films from around the world, with films from Australia, Germany, India, Iran, Italy, Luxembourg, Russia, Serbia, South Africa, Turkey, Ukraine and United Kingdom.
With additional programming to be announced, VFF has dedicated Friday, November 2, to films directed or produced by women.
New and returning sponsors include: First Entertainment Credit Union, Cine Gear Expo, New York Film Academy, ProductionHUB, My Valley Pass, InkTip, NoHoArtsDistrict.com, Creative Handbook, and Décor Art Galleries, with more to be announced shortly.
The Valley Film Festival 2018
Wednesday, October 31 through Sunday, November 4
5240 Lankershim Blvd.
NoHo Arts District
Tickets are $14. For more information and tickets, visit ValleyFilmFest.com.
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