In perusing the schedule for the 2016 Los Angeles Film Festival, my attention was immediately drawn to the level of diversity in the line up. So many of the films focused on women and people of color both on and off the screen and it’s refreshing to see this shift happening in the world of independent film. If it’s going to happen in Hollywood, independent film is the best place to start. As one director told me, “If I’m not going to be offered directing jobs, I’ll just make my own.”

If the stars had aligned perfectly, I’d have been able to see everything, because I really wanted to. But that just isn’t usually possible with film festivals. There are so many offerings that you have to pick and choose and hope you choose well.

I’ve already shared full reviews of a couple of films: London Town, Don’t Hang Up, and The Conjuring 2 which actually used the LA Film Festival to host its world premiere in Hollywood. Now I’d like to talk about some of the other films I got to see, and to let you know of a few you should look out for along the festival circuit and, in some cases, hopefully in theatrical or video releases soon.