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Episode 280.1 – 2015 Los Angeles Film Festival – Part 1

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Welcome to Part 1 of our update from the 2015 LA Film Festival.  In this Podcast we discuss:


Shut In

(2015 , 90 min.)

Directed by: Adam Schindler
Screenwriter: David White, TJ Cimfel
Producers: Steven Schneider, Jeff Rice, Lati Grobman, Erik Olsen
Cinematographer: Eric Leach
Editor: Adam Schindler, Brian Netto
Music: Frederik Wiedmann
Cast:  Beth Riesgraf, Martin Starr, Rory Culkin, Jack Kesy

Anna and her older brother share co-dependent lives in their time-worn childhood home. But when her brother passes away, Anna must face her crippling agoraphobia to save herself from a trio of criminals who invade her home. A deadly cat-and-mouse game ensues as the intruders discover the house is not what it first appeared to be. LA Film Fest veterans Adam Schindler and Brian Netto (Delivery: The Beast Within) return to the Festival with a home invasion narrative that explores the detrimental effects of anxiety and trauma and twists it into something truly unexpected.



(2015 , 83 min. )

Directed by: Maggie Kiley
Screenwriter: Marcy Holland
Producers: Jennifer Westin
Cinematographer: Martim Vian
Editor: Vincent Oresman
Music: Matthew Pucket
Cast: Anna Camp, Stefanie Scott, Amelia Rose Blaire, Sam Page

Allie is a dimpled American teen – friendly, hardworking and involved in a secret relationship with a hot older man. Unfortunately, her clandestine beau is married. Even worse, he’s married to Sabrina, a beautiful but wild-eyed suburban housewife who will do literally anything to keep her marriage intact – including kidnapping Allie at knifepoint and keeping her tied to a chair in the attic of her gorgeously decorated home.
Bold and delicious like female-driven, teeth-gnashing dramas of yore – but with more blood and bone – Caught is an exciting departure for director Maggie Kiley, who escalates the tension while ratcheting up the madness. Marital truths and schoolgirl crushes are rarely given this kind of treatment, where camp crashes gleefully into serious suspense.


It’s Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong

Cantonese, English

(2015 , 79 min. )

Directed by: Emily Ting
Screenwriter: Emily Ting
Producers: Sophia Shek, Emily Ting
Cinematographer: Josh Silfen
Editor: Danielle Wang
Music: Timo Chen
Cast: Jamie Chung, Bryan Greenberg

In this sparkling romance, Ruby, a Chinese American toy designer from LA, visits Hong Kong for the first time on business. Finding herself stranded, she meets Josh, an American expat who shows her the city. Meandering through nighttime streets pulsing with energy and possibility, they fall into a winding and carefree conversation, buoyed by an undeniable attraction.  As effervescent as a perfect first date, Emily Ting’s charming directorial debut takes full advantage of the chemistry of its leads, the playfulness of their exchanges, and the magical landscape that is Hong Kong at night.


A Beautiful Now

(2015 , 98 min.)

Directed by: Daniela Amavia
Screenwriter: Daniela Amavia
Producers: Keith Kjarval, Lynn Kressel, Daniela Amavia
Cinematographer: Pat Scola
Editor: Valdis Oskarsdottir, Adam H Mack
Music: Johnny Jewel
Cast: Abigail Spencer, Cheyenne Jackson, Collette Wolfe, Elena Satine, Sonja Kinski, Patrick Heusinger

Romy barricades herself in a bathroom with a handgun and a bottle of champagne on the eve of her birthday. She embodies the easy glamor of a ballet dancer, and is beloved by her friends – but still, she feels alone. Teetering between reality and fantasy over the course of one night, Daniela Amavia’s directorial debut is grounded in a nuanced screenplay about finding beauty even when dreams have spiraled into despair. Supported by an ensemble cast who authentically inhabit the competing neuroses and affection of a group of friends in a moment of crisis, Abigail Spencer’s impassioned performance as Romy lifts the spirit, even as it breaks the heart.


Puerto Ricans in Paris


Directed by: Ian Edelman
Screenwriter: Neel Shah, Ian Edelman
Producers: Joseph Zolfo
Cinematographer: Damian Acevedo
Editor: Justin Krohn
Music: Jonathan Sadoff
Cast: Luis Guzman, Edgar Garcia, Alice Taglioni, Miriam Shor, Frédéric Anscombre, Rosie Perez, Rosario Dawson

Puerto Rican brothers–in-law Eddie and Luis just happen to be NYC’s two best counterfeit detectives. When the latest, must-have “It Bag” from celebrated Parisian fashion designer Colette’s new collection has been stolen, they head to Paris in hopes of cracking the case and collecting a handsome fee.  With clashing sleuthing styles and personality traits, the comedic duo infuses a bit of color into the City of Lights. This hilarious new caper features the incomparable Luis Guzman and co-star Edgar Garcia alongside Rosie Perez and Rosario Dawson.


What Lola Wants

(2015 , 77 min. )

Directed by: Rupert Glasson
Screenwriter: Rupert Glasson
Producers: Monnie Wills, Ayisha Davies
Cinematographer: Eric Leach
Editor: Rupert Glasson
Music: John Gray
Cast:  Sophie Lowe, Beau Knapp, Robert Taylor, Dale Dickey, Charles S. Dutton

17-year-old Lola Franklin, untamed and irrepressible, fools the world into believing she has been kidnapped when in fact she has run away to escape her Hollywood royalty parents. She convinces a charming thief named Marlo to teach her the art of pickpocketing, and soon they tear up the New Mexico countryside like a hyper-stylized ode to Bonnie and Clyde. 
With heightened, poetic dialogue and vividly outsized characters, Sophie Lowe and Beau Knapp inhabit Lola and Marlo with a heartfelt sincerity that embodies their deliciously tragic, dangerous love made especially for the silver screen. Australian director Rupert Glasson’s stylish rendition of a contemporary American western is both cinematically accomplished and delightfully off-kilter.



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