Well run, great content, I can’t say enough good things about the Newfilmakers LA monthly festival. Run with the intent to give wider exposure to people trying to break into the business, Newfilmakers LA delivers on its promise while providing an entertaining day of cinema.
Hosted by the Newfilmmakers LA organization and the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, they have the clout to attract the kind of people who could help a young filmmaker trying to start out in the business. In attendance were industry representatives from a truly epic line up of major studios and organizations like Disney, Warner Brothers, Pantelion, Vice Studios, Focus Features, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, United Talent Agency, the Gersch Agency, HBO, and Fox Searchlight.
This month’s theme was Latinx & Hispanic cinema. Some of the stand-out shorts were Something to Believe in (A comedic short about first communion and death), We Vanish (A tense thriller about the millions of women who disappear every year in Central and South America), and La Casita Rosa (A stirring documentary about a group of women dedicated to keeping migrants from starving).
Most film festivals host discussions with the filmmakers between the banks of films. In some instances, this can become a quagmire of tedium as particularly pretentious producers postulate and pontificate on ponderous piles of pooh. However, the moderators kept the conversation focused and entertaining. Instead of trying to show the audience how smart they were, they took a cue from the best interviewers and did everything they could to make the guest shine — allowing director Astrid Dominguez to touch on inherent sexism in Mexican culture allowing for violence against women. Or Fany de la Chica describing the process of directing pre-teens in her horrifying comedy short.
Of particular note was the work of moderator Claudia Puig who, with an effortless charm, steered the conversation expertly. Dear Claudia. Start a podcast.
November’s festival is November 16th and is spotlight Native Cinema–a collection of short films from Native and indigenous filmmakers, the Monster Inside series of shorts, and the world premiere of Up The 5 by filmmaker Gabriel Adams.
If you are an aspiring filmmaker, this is a fantastic opportunity to get your work seen by major studios, and to network with other up and coming professionals. If you are a fan of cinema, it is open to the public, and it is your opportunity to get in on the ground floor of fandom for the next big filmmakers. Though I would suggest buying your tickets in advance as September’s was sold out and the rush line was substantial.