'The Way, Way Back,' 'The Spectacular Now' to Highlight L.A. Film Fest

Steve Pond
The Wrap

"The Descendants" writers Nat Faxon and Jim Rash's "The Way, Way Back" will serve as the closing-night attraction at the 2013 Los Angeles Film Festival, Film Independent announced on Wednesday.

Also on the slate for LAFF: James Ponsoldt's "The Spectacular Now," Nicholas Winding Refn's "Only God Forgives," Ryan Coogler's "Fruitvale Station" and a 20th anniversary screening of Richard Linklater's "Dazed and Confused."

Although past LAFF lineups have included special screenings of such blockbuster offerings as "The Avengers," "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" and "Despicable Me," this year's slate for the most part focuses on independent films and favorites from festivals like Sundance. Additional films and programs will still be announced, though.

The international selection will include Joshua Oppenheimer's chilling documentary "The Act of Killing," Afghanistan's Oscar entry, "The Patience Stone," and Haifaa Al Mansour's "Wadjda," the first film shot in Saudi Arabia by a female Saudi director.

Notable films in the Summer Showcase section include David Lowery's Sundance favorite "Ain't Them Bodies Saints," Lucy Walker's documentary "The Crash Reel," Ava DuVernay's "Venus Vs." and Lake Bell's "In a World..."

In addition to the "Dazed and Confused" showing, community screenings will include a 25th anniversary "dance-along" screening of John Waters' "Hairspray" and Jacob Kornbluth's economic-crisis documentary "Inequality for All."

Although many of the films have premiered at festivals including Sundance and Toronto, the lineup will include more than a dozen world premieres, most in the narrative and documentary competition sections. 

Film Independent, which produces the festival, previously announced that Pedro Almodovar's kinky comedy "I'm So Excited!" will serve as the fest's opening-night attraction.

This year's festival will run from June 13 through June 23 in downtown Los Angeles, with the same home base – the L.A. Live complex, and its Regal Cinemas multiplex – that LAFF has used since 2012.

Producer Stephanie Allain serves as director of the festival, and former film critic David Ansen is its artistic director. Director David O. Russell will serve as this year's guest director and receive the festival's Spirit of Independence Award.

Last year's LAFF films included Woody Allen's "To Rome With Love," Steven Soderbergh's "Magic Mike," the premiere of Pixar's "Brave" and the documentaries "The Invisible War" and "Searching for Sugar Man." 

Additional information is available at the festival website.

The lineup:

Narrative Competition:All Together Now, Alexander Mirecki – USA – WORLD PREMIEREForev, Molly Green, James Leffler – USA – WORLD PREMIEREForty Years From Yesterday, Robert Machoian, Rodrigo Ojeda-Beck – USA – WORLD PREMIEREFour Dogs, Joe Burke – USA – WORLD PREMIEREGoodbye World, Denis Henry Hennelly – USA – WORLD PREMIEREThe House That Jack Built, Henry Barrial – USA – WORLD PREMIEREI.D., Kamal K M – India – NORTH AMERICAN PREMIEREMother, I Love You, Janis Nords – Latvia – NORTH AMERICAN PREMIEREMy Sisterʼs Quinceañera, Aaron Douglas Johnston – USA – NORTH AMERICAN PREMIEREPollywogs, Karl Jacob, Todd Arthur Cottam – USA – WORLD PREMIEREWinter in the Blood, Andrew Smith, Alex Smith – USA – WORLD PREMIEREWorkers, Jose Luis Valle – Mexico/Germany – US PREMIERE

Documentary Competition: All of Me, Alexandra Lescaze – USA – WORLD PREMIEREAmerican Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs, Grace Lee – USA – WORLD PREMIERECode Black, Ryan McGarry – USA – WORLD PREMIEREThe Island of Saint Matthews, Kevin Jerome Everson – USA – WORLD PREMIERELlyn Foulkes: One Man Band, Christopher Quilty, Tamar Halpern – USA – WORLD PREMIEREMy Stolen Revolution, Nahid Persson Sarvestani – Sweden – NORTH AMERICAN PREMIEREThe New Black, Yoruba Richen – USA – WORLD PREMIERERain, Olivia Rochette, Gerard-Jan Claes – Belgium – US PREMIERETapia, Eddie Alcazar – USA – WORLD PREMIEREPurgatorio, Rodrigo Reyes – Mexico/USA – US PREMIERE

International Showcase: The Act of Killing, Joshua Oppenheimer, Christine Cynn – Denmark/Norway/UK (Drafthouse Films) • Black Out, Eva Weber – UK – NORTH AMERICAN PREMIEREBoxing Day, Bernard Rose – UK • Dormant Beauty, Marco Bellocchio – Italy • Drug War, Johnnie To – China • Ernest & Celestine, Stéphanie Aubier, Vincent Patar, Benjamin Renner – France (Gkids) • The Expedition to the End of the World, Daniel Dancik – Denmark • The Fifth Season, Peter Brosens, Jessica Woodworth – Belgium/Netherlands/France • House with a Turret, Eva Neymann – Ukraine • The Moo Man, Andy Heathcote, Heike Bachelier – UK • Nobodyʼs Daughter Haewon, Hong Sang-soo – Korea – NORTH AMERICAN PREMIEREThe Patience Stone, Atiq Rahimi – Afghanistan/France/Germany/UK (Sony Pictures Classics) • Wadjda, Haifaa Al Mansour – Saudi Arabia/United Arab Emirates/Germany (Sony Pictures Classics) • When I Saw You, Annemarie Jacir – Palestine/Jordan/Greece/United Arab Emirates/USA • The Women and the Passenger, Valentina Mac-Pherson, Patricia Correra – Chile – US PREMIERE

Summer Showcase: • Ainʼt Them Bodies Saints, David Lowery – USA (IFC Films) • Brothers Hypnotic, Reuben Atlas – Netherlands/USA • Casting By, Tom Donahue – USA (HBO Films) • Concussion, Stacie Passon – USA (RADiUS-TWC) • The Crash Reel, Lucy Walker – USA (HBO Films) • Crystal Fairy, Sebastián Silva – Chile (IFC Films) • Europa Report, Sebastián Cordero – USA (Magnolia Pictures/Magnet Releasing) – US PREMIEREFirst Cousin Once Removed, Alan Berliner – USA (HBO Films) • Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction, Sophie Huber – Switzerland • In a World…, Lake Bell – USA (Roadside Attractions) • Our Nixon, Penny Lane – USA (Cinedigm) • Our Vinyl Weighs A Ton (This is Stones Throw Records), Jeff Broadway – USA – WORLD PREMIEREShort Term 12, Destin Daniel Cretton – USA (Cinedigm) • The Spectacular Now, James Ponsoldt – USA (A24) • Venus Vs., Ava DuVernay – USA (ESPN) – WORLD PREMIERE

Community Screenings:Brasslands, Adam Pogoff, Jay Sterrenberg, Bryan Chang – USA – FIGat7th Screening • Dazed and Confused (1993), Richard Linklater – USA – 20th Anniversary Screening – FIGat7th Screening • Hairspray (1988), John Waters – USA – Grand Park Dance-A-Long – 25th Anniversary Screening • Inequality for All, Jacob Kornbluth – USA – Grand Performances Screening • Life of a King, Jake Goldberger – USA– Project Involve Screening – WORLD PREMIERE

The Beyond: Delivery, Brian Netto – USA – WORLD PREMIERELesson of the Evil, Takashi Miike – Japan – US PREMIEREYouʼre Next, Adam Wingard – USA (Lionsgate)

Retro:Amarcord (1973), Federico Fellini – Italy – 40th Anniversary Screening • Between Two Worlds (2009), Vimukthi Jayasundara – Sri Lanka/France – LAFCAʼs The Film That Got Away • Two Men in Manhattan (1958), Jean Pierre-Melville – France (Cohen Media Group) – 55th Anniversary Screening

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