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`Devil Wears Prada' will open L.A. Film Festival

Lineup includes more than 265 films, shorts and videos over 11 days.

May 31, 2006|From a Times Staff Writer

A documentary about a pedophile priest, a dramedy about a dysfunctional family, a searing look at the rating system that rules Hollywood and a fashionista sendup take center stage when the Los Angeles International Film Festival raises its curtain June 22 mostly in and around Westwood.

Film Independent unveiled the lineup Tuesday for its 11-day festival, which gives movie buffs an early glimpse of films being released later this year. It begins with "The Devil Wears Prada," directed by David Frankel and starring Meryl Streep as a fictional character who seems a lot like Vogue magazine editor Anna Wintour, and Anne Hathaway as her beleaguered assistant (who seems a lot like Lauren Weisberger, ex-Wintour assistant, who wrote the novel upon which the movie is based). The film will screen at the Mann Village Theatre.

The festival's centerpiece premiere is Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland's "Quinceanera," grand prize winner at this year's Sundance Film Festival, about a pregnant teen who turns to her great-uncle and cousin for shelter and family support in a rapidly gentrifying Echo Park. It screens at the Mann Festival Theater June 30.

After screening more than 265 films, shorts and music videos, the event wraps July 2 with first-time feature directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris' "Little Miss Sunshine," another Sundance fave, which covers the travails of a family that hits the road in a VW bus for a pageant for aspiring beauty queens and their stage parents. It stars Gregg Kinnear, Toni Collette, Alan Arkin, Steve Carell, Abigail Breslin and Paul Dano and screens at the Wadsworth Theatre.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Saturday June 03, 2006 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 0 inches; 28 words Type of Material: Correction
Film festival: An article in Wednesday's Calendar about an upcoming film festival mislabeled it as the Los Angeles International Film Festival. It is the Los Angeles Film Festival.

Among titles selected from "emerging filmmakers" for the narrative competition are several world premieres, including writer-director Mike Ott's "Analog Days," a coming of age film; director and co-writer Sarah Kelly's "The Lather Effect," sort of an '80s reunion of thirtysomething friends; and "Swedish Auto," writer-director Derek Sieg's story of a pair of loners who seek refuge in each other and escape in a Volvo coupe.

World premieres also get a showcase in the documentary section, where audiences can see provocative movies such as "Deliver Us From Evil," Amy Berg's look at the Catholic hierarchy's role in shielding a pedophile priest in California, and James Moll's "Inheritance," in which the daughter of a Nazi meets one of her father's victims. Although not a premiere, another documentary getting attention is Julie Anderson's "Mr. Conservative: Goldwater on Goldwater," a look at the late Republican senator from Arizona.

Titles in the international showcase include French entrant writer-director Gela Babluani's "13 Tzameti," a noirish, violent thriller about a guy who assumes the identity of a dead man; "Crossing the Bridge: The Sound of Istanbul," director Fatih Akin's look at that city's music scene; and "Sisters in Law," a British documentary from Kim Longinotto and Florence Ayisi about a judge and prosecutor who undertake to bring abusers of women and children to justice in a town in Cameroon.

Previews of upcoming releases that may be under the radar include another Sundance entry, "Half Nelson," director Ryan Fleck's exploration of the relationship between an addicted inner-city teacher and one of his students; "Old Joy," Kelly Reichardt's bittersweet look at the reunion of a pair of longtime friends whose paths have irreversibly diverged; "Man Push Cart," director Ramin Bahrani's story about a New York bagel vendor; and Kirby Dick's scathing look at the Motion Picture Assn. of America's rating system, "This Film Is Not Yet Rated."

Also in the preview section are Werner Herzog's "The Wild Blue Yonder" and the documentaries "Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple" and "Who Killed the Electric Car?"

The festival this year has shifted its base to Westwood from West Hollywood, largely because of the concentration of theaters, eateries and parking structures.

Winning entrants in the narrative film and documentary categories will each receive unrestricted grants of $50,000, funded by Target, which as in years past also will host a Red Room filmmaker lounge. The Los Angeles Times is presenting the festival.

Outdoor screenings at the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre include Richard Linklater's "A Scanner Darkly," which was in competition at Cannes; "Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man," director Lian Lunson's chronicle of a tribute to the legendary songwriter-singer; and "Monster House," Gil Kenan's animated film from producers Robert Zemeckis and Steven Spielberg.

For those who want to hear what prominent filmmakers have to say on the state of the art, the festival once again will host "Poolside Chats" with filmmakers at the W hotel and "Coffee Talks" at the Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater at the Geffen Playhouse.

Intriguingly, the last item on the announced agenda is something called "Kodak Speed Dating," in which filmmakers accepted into the major categories at this year's festival can get up close and personal with "industry heavyweights." This one, alas, is not open to the public.

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