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By Film Threat Staff | May 25, 2007

Film Independent announced today that Curtis Hanson will serve as the Guest Director for the 2007 Los Angeles Film Festival, which runs in Westwood Village from Thursday, June 21 through Sunday, July 1. As Guest Director, Hanson has programmed a special sidebar of films for the Festival that have inspired his work: John Ford’s “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” and Samuel Fuller’s “The Naked Kiss.” The screening of Ford’s “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” will be followed by a Q&A with Hanson. In addition, Hanson will attend the two-day Festival retreat hosted at Skywalker Ranch in Marin County, California.

The Festival also announced that Grammy-winning record producer Pharrell Williams will serve as this year’s Artist in Residence. In his role as Artist in Residence for the 2007 Los Angeles Film Festival, Pharrell has programmed a sidebar of films that have inspired his work: “National Lampoons’ Vacation” and Steven Spielberg’s “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” Pharrell will also participate in a Festival conversation with Elvis Mitchell on Saturday, June 23 at 8:00 p.m. at the Hammer Museum. This free event, presented in cooperation with the Hammer Museum, is open to the public.

“We’re so excited to have Curtis Hanson as Guest Director and Pharrell Williams as Artist in Residence at this year’s Festival,” said Rich Raddon, Festival Director. “Curtis Hanson is a world-class filmmaker with a tremendous body of work and Pharrell Williams is a creative force in the music industry. We are proud to honor them at this year’s Festival.”

Curtis Hanson (Director/Writer/Producer) previously directed, co-wrote and produced the crime drama “L.A. Confidential,” which was one of the most honored films of 1997. The film received nine Academy Award nominations, including three for Hanson in the categories of Best Director, Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay, the last of which he won. “L.A. Confidential” also brought Hanson a Directors Guild of America Award nomination; two Golden Globe nominations for Best Director and Best Screenplay; the Writers Guild of America Award for Best Adapted Screenplay; two BAFTA Award nominations for Best Film and Best Screenplay; and numerous critics groups’ awards for both Best Director and Best Screenplay.

Hanson more recently directed and produced “Lucky You,” “In Her Shoes,” “Wonder Boys,” and “8 Mile.” The latter two films won Oscars for Best Original Song, Bob Dylan’s “Things Have Changed,” and Eminem’s “Lose Yourself.”

Hanson’s other directing credits include “The River Wild,” “The Hand That Rocks the Cradle,” “Bad Influence,” and “The Bedroom Window,” which he also wrote. A noted champion of film preservation, Hanson has served as the Chairman of the UCLA Film and Television Archive since 1999. He was the first recipient of the Film Preservation Award bestowed by the Film Foundation and the Directors Guild of America in 2003.

Pharrell Williams is half of the beat-making duo The Neptunes. He stormed the main stage, lending his voice to create infectious choruses and stealing scenes in the music videos of clients who are pop and hip hop’s brightest lights: Gwen Stefani, Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, Usher, Mary J. Blige, Jay-Z, Mariah Carey and Ludacris. All the hard work won Williams and his Neptunes partner Chad Hugo a Grammy of their own – the 2003 Producer of the Year, Non-Classical award.

Williams is not only a producer, however. He’s also a rock star. With Hugo and childhood friend Shae Thornton, he formed the alternative rock trio N.E.R.D. and proceeded to release two platinum albums. His résumé doesn’t end there. Williams released a solo single, “Frontin’,” on a 2003 Neptunes compilation, and in 2006 released his long-anticipated solo debut, with his album In My Mind to be released on Interscope-distributed Star Trak Records.

Past Guest Directors have included Alfonso Cuaron, Chen Kaige, Mira Nair, Sydney Pollack, and George Lucas. Past Artists in Residence have included The RZA, Neil Young, and Danger Mouse. The Festival is proud to add Curtis Hanson and Pharrell Williams to this list of immensely talented and deserving artists.

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