It’s not often that a festival closes up shop immediately after it concluded. Yet that is the case with the LA Film Festival, hosted by the Film Independent. The festival has often trailed behind the other festivals in Los Angeles, and this year’s move to the Fall did not help matters. For many, AFI Film Festival and others in the area have been seen as stronger choices. This ultimately doomed the festival, and Film Independent will now shift its focus moving forward.
According to Josh Welsh, the President of Film Independent,
“While we are very proud of what we’ve accomplished with the LA Film Festival over the past eighteen years, the truth is that it has struggled to thrive, and the time has come for us to try something new.”
The move to something new feels like it has been in discussion for a while. Rather than waiting to begin their new programming schedule, the organization rolled out a plan today. Rather than short running, but intensive festivals, the Film Independent hopes to put on a variety of smaller events throughout the year. The organization will also spin-off various aspects of the festival into their own activities. Among these events will be the Future Filmmakers events, which put high school films in the spotlight. The Fast Track, a marketplace for film projects, and The Portal, a virtual reality expo, will also receive individual events.
This may come as sad to many, but the Film Independent still has plenty of events in the area. In addition to their more hands-on approach, they already hold the Indie Spirit Awards, several curated film series, and labs and workshops throughout the year. The move to a more present and year-round schedule should be a great way to engage the local community.