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What To Watch At The 2013 LA Film Fest

(credit: LA Film Fest)

Downtown LA welcomes back the 19th annual Los Angeles Film Festival. For the fourth year, the fest will take place at L.A. Live, beginning June 13 and running through June 23. During the festival attendees will have the opportunity to see nearly 200 films, shorts, and music videos from over 40 countries.

LA film festival
(credit: LA Film Festival)

2013 LA Film Fest

800 W. Olympic Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90015

Tickets are available at every price point, from free individual screenings to all access passes at $2,500. Online, go to or call 1 (866) FILMFEST (1-866-345-6337). While most of the Los Angeles Film Festivals screening and events take place in venues at L.A. Live several are at other locations, please see the Los Angeles Film Festival site for addresses and further information.

Opening Night

(credit: LA Film Fest)

"I'm So Excited"

Regal Cinemas 1, June 13, 7:30 p.m.

The Opening night screening is the North American premiere of Pedro Almodovar's "I'm So Excited." When a passenger jet headed for Mexico -- which you are free to take or leave as a metaphor for Spain today -- develops dangerous mechanical problems, all hell breaks loose in business class. Here we meet an amazing assortment of Almodóvarian characters, including a psychic, a chic dominatrix, a crooked businessman and a soap star. Tending to their peculiar, increasingly frantic needs are a trio of high camp stewards who react to the crisis in ways only the mischievous director could dream up--like lacing their passengers drinks with mescaline. Fasten your seat belts as this bawdy, pointed farce takes us up, up and away.

Must-See Films

Ain't Them Body Saints LA Film Fest
(credit: LA Film Fest)

"Ain't Them Bodies Saints"

Regal Cinemas 8, June 15, 7 p.m.
Regal Cinemas 12, June 17, 4:50 p.m.

This film is a tale about Bob and Ruth Guthrie, an outlawed couple that becomes separated by prison. During a shootout with police, Ruth injures a cop, but Bob takes the blame, which lands him in jail. After being prisoned for four years, Bob escapes and embarks on a journey to reunite with the love of his life. The film is supported by incredible performances from Casey Affleck, Rooney Mara and Ben Foster.

"American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs"

American Airlines Theater/Regal 11, June 16, 1:30 p.m.
DIRECTV Theatre/Regal 9, June 17, 7:20 p.m.

Grace Lee Boggs has lived her life fighting for social justice and equality for all people. She became an activist in the 1930's after she saw the vast inequalities in American society. She soon became an icon and hero of the African American movement. At the age of 97, Grace is still educating young and old American's to fight for the change they believe in. The documentary is an inspiring journey of Grace's activist life.

"Black Out"

Regal Cinemas 14, June 15, 5 p.m.
Regal Cinemas 13, June 21, 9:50 p.m.

"Black Out" takes the viewer to the lives of school children in the Republic of Guinea. It focuses on the children's struggle to find needed light in a time of darkness. When the sun sets, these children travel far to find electricity that provides light for them to study for their final exams. In this time of a new democracy, the director uses this struggle for light as a metaphor for a brighter future for the entire country.

Conversations and Talks

Music in Film Nights at the GRAMMY Museum at L.A. LIVE returns with the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, showcasing their unique brass band sound and in conversation with KCRW DJ Dan Wilcox. This evening will feature a lively performance, discussion and clips from the documentary Brothers Hypnotic. There are also a variety of highly anticipated Master's Classes.

"The Way, Way Back" Portraits - 2013 Sundance Film Festival
(credit: Larry Busacca/Getty Images)

Maya Rudolph : The Business of Being Funny

American Airlines Theatre/Regal 11, June 14, 8 p.m.

From her early days in "The Groundlings" and Saturday Night Live to her recent work in "Bridesmaids" and "The Way, Way Back," multi-talented musician, actor and comedian Maya Rudolph might have picked up a few tricks along the way for generating a collective laugh. Join us as she shares some of her favorite comedy scenes of all time and reveals how physical comedy, comic timing and the perfect joke align to create "funny." This is your chance to learn from one of today's masters of comedy.

Gustavo Santaolalla: Music Scores That Move Us

The GRAMMY Museum at L.A. LIVE, June 15, 8 p.m.

What do the "The Motorcycle Diaries," "Brokeback Mountain" and "Babel" have in common? Memorable musical scores by two-time Oscar-winning film composer Gustavo Santaolalla. In this Master Class, Santaolalla will discuss the art of composing music for film. Moderated by Elvis Mitchell, Curator, Film Independent at LACMA; Host, KCRW's The Treatment.

"IN CONVERSATION" with David Mamet and Ricky Jay

Regal Cinemas 8, June 18, 8 p.m.

Magician/actor/author Ricky Jay, one of the foremost sleight-of-hand artists of our time, sits down with his pal and collaborator, filmmaker and Pulitzer prize-winning playwright David Mamet, for a discussion of magic, movies and whatever else strikes their fancy.

Gala Screenings

LA Film Festival Ryan
(credit: LA Film Festival)

"Only God Forgives"

Regal Cinemas 1, June 20, 7:30 p.m.

Nicolas Winding Refn reunites with his "Drive" star Ryan Gosling for this audacious piece of cinematic bravura about an American expat in Bangkok's brutal underworld who is forced to deal with his mother's obsession for vengeance after his brother's murder.

"Fruitvale Station

Regal Cinemas 1, June 17, 7:30 p.m.

First-time feature filmmaker Ryan Coogler brings cinematic grace and maturity to the tragic true story of Oscar Grant, a young African-American man, on the fateful day he was killed by Oakland's BART transit police.

"Levitated Mass; The Story Of Michael Heizer's Monolithic Sculpture"

Leo S. Bing Theatre at LACMA, June 20, 7:30 p.m.

Captivating the attention of a metropolis, the journey of earth artist Michael Heizer's 340-ton boulder from concept to quarry to caravan to LACMA inspired passion, aggravation and awe along the way.

Closing Night

(credit: LA Film Festival)

"The Way, Way Back"

Regal Cinemas 1, June 23, 5 p.m.

The festival will close with the film "The Way, Way Back," which was written and directed by Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, starring Steve Carell, Toni Collet, and Allison Janey. "The Way, Way Back" is the funny and poignant coming-of-age story of 14-year-old Duncan's (Liam James) summer vacation with his mother, Pam (Toni Collette), her overbearing boyfriend, Trent (Steve Carell), and his daughter, Steph (Zoe Levin). Having a rough time fitting in, the introverted Duncan finds an unexpected friend in gregarious Owen (Sam Rockwell), manager of the Water Wizz water park. Through his funny, clandestine friendship with Owen, Duncan slowly opens up to and begins to finally find his place in the world - all during a summer he will never forget.

Elise Crane Derby also writes about entertainment at her blog Elise's Ramblings.

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