Alright, so this festival was downtown (http://www.lafilmfest.com/), but it's surprisingly (to me) close to Silverlake, and I actually knew people who had movies in competition this year, so I feel really super cool and need to tell all 13 of you about it. Also, today is the last day of the festival, so if you're reading this right now, stop and go see an actual film. The first event I went to was a series of short films being shown at the Downtown Independent, which is a very sleek-looking movie theater that is located...downtown, duh. Here:
Also, it looks like this:
I am aware this is the world's tiniest picture. I do not know how to make it larger and do not want to spend the time trying to make it larger. Anyway my friend Jacqueline's (gorgeous to an unfair degree, sings like an angel) Italian boyfriend Antonio (kind, gorgeous to an unfair degree) had a friend in town who directed one of the shorts and so I went. The film, Story of Nobody, was really great. I don't want to give away the plot, but this movie was really beautifully edited and some of the shots were so clever that I had to catch my breath. Also, there was this other short they showed called Blind Date done by a British man named Joe Rosen and it looked like it was shot for five dollars, but the writing and acting was so fantastic that I was completely charmed. I left before the series ended, which I admit is rude; I am sure the other shorts were very interesting.
Then Friday I went to see this documentary that my friend Erika's (she is a groovy Stanford Business School grad who wears feathers in her hair) boyfriend David Fine (lovely, obviously talented gentleman) did called Salaam Dunk. The film follows the girls' basketball team at the American University in Iraq for 6 weeks. I don't think I have to tell you guys that I wept through the entire thing, but I did. I went with Anna (she went downtown! It was special!) and actually felt like I had to apologize to her afterwards because I was sniffling and sobbing all over myself. The movie really is wonderful though. On the one hand, these girls are typical college students, experiencing academic stresses, dating and friendship like anyone in any other country but on the other, they have been through some of the most horrific experiences you can imagine (bombings, the murder of family members, genocide) and they are still just so strong and positive. The doc also pays close attention to their coach Ryan, who was an English grad student who went to Iraq for two years and it changed his life (and the lives of the girls on the team) forever. He was actually at the screening and the after-party, but of course I was too much in awe to talk to him. I took a picture of my ticket though! Look:
Awesome, I know. Also the after-party was at the Hotel Figueroa, which is kind of a fun Moroccan-themed place to have some cocktails (I cannot speak for the rooms, I did not go upstairs). I liked it. Check it out: