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LA Film Festival returns to DTLA starting Thursday

By Hayley Fox
Published: Wednesday, June 13, 2012, at 09:32AM
Courtesy of Los Angeles Film Festival

A scene from Woody Allen's "To Rome with Love" which will kick off the festival on Thursday evening.

The Los Angeles Film Festival returns to Downtown on Thursday and will be based out of L.A. Live's Regal Cinemas Stadium 14 for the next ten days. About 90,000 people are expected at the event which incorporates multiple DTLA venues including the Grammy Museum, the still-developing Figat7th and the rooftop pool bar of the Marriott.

The film competition is book-ended by two premieres: Beginning with Woody Allen's "To Rome with Love" starring Alec Baldwin, Penélope Cruz and Roberto Benigni; and ending with Steven Soderbergh flick "Magic Mike," which stars Channing Tatum and explores the world of male strippers.

Other highlights from this year's festival includes the free screening of the original "E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial" at a bike-in event on Fri. June 15. The movie will be shown at Figat7th and include a bike valet, photo booth, food trucks and incentives for dressing in 80s garb.

The Beyond & Retro portion of the festival features "quirky" new flicks or decades-old movies that may have gone unrecognized. Screenings include "Juan of the Dead"-- a film described as "Cuba's first zombie comedy," as well as "The History of Future Folk" -- a movie about music said to be a "sci-fi musical comedy."

There is also an emphasis on conversation and discussion of the film, television and entertainment industry as a whole, and will include speakers such as actor Bryan Cranston from AMC's "Breaking Bad" and writer Jonathan Nolan from "The Dark Knight Rises."

Overall the festival will screen almost 200 features, shorts and music videos from more than 30 countries, and will compete for recognition including the Best Narrative Feature, Best Documentary Feature, and an array of audience awards.

The L.A. film festival moved to Downtown in 2010 after 15 years on the Westside. The event premiered at L.A. Live on the same night that the Lakers won an NBA championship against the Celtics and fans spilled into the streets around Staples Center. This year the NBA season is over for Los Angeles' basketball teams, but the newly crowned Stanley Cup champions the L.A. Kings will have their parade at noon on the day the film festival begins.

For festival tickets or more information go to the L.A. film festival website

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