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Ready to travel? These films will transport you

September 27, 2007|Susan King | Times Staff Writer

ALL roads lead to Hollywood this weekend as the fourth annual National Geographic All Roads Film Festival comes to the Egyptian Theatre. The four-day festival, which begins this evening, showcases features and shorts that spotlight indigenous and underrepresented international minority cultures. Films made in India, Mongolia, Turkey, Nigeria, Canada, Tonga, Ethiopia, Australia, Iran and Finland are among those included.

Opening the festival is "Sonam: The Fortunate One," Indian director Ahsan Muzid's fiction film debut -- a 2006 drama set among Himalayan Monpa yak herders. Scheduled for Friday is Arturo Perez Torres' 2007 Mexican entry, "Super Amigos," about five ordinary men who don the costumes of lucha libre wrestlers and become superheroes in modern-day Mexico.

The program "Short Trip Around the World," set for Saturday afternoon, features several short films, including the U.S. premieres of "Tavake" from Tonga, New Zealand's "Taua," Canada's "Land and Airwaves" and Australia's "My Brother Vinnie."

Following is the double feature "Four Sheets to the Wind," about a Seminole Indian who fulfills his father's rather unusual burial wishes, and the award-winning documentary "Miss Navajo." Rounding out the evening is the L.A. premiere of the 2006 Turkish production "Dol," directed by Hiner Saleem, who was born in Iraqi Kurdistan but now lives in Paris.

Another short film program, titled "Ancestors, Elders & Land," kicks off Sunday's events, followed by the U.S. premiere of the 2006 Canadian production "Waban-Aki: People From Where the Sun Rises," director Alanis Obomsawin's portrait of the Abenaki people, and her 2007 documentary short "Gene Boy Came Home."

Over at the ArcLight Cinemas this evening, is presenting its 10th annual Extreme Filmmaker 48 Hour Film Festival, in which participants had just two days to make their films. Twelve short films will be screened, including Greg Benson's "Swappin' Heads," Jim Menza's "Man Alive" and Johnny G and Rhonda Vision's "To Has Been or Not to Has Been."

The second annual Malibu Celebration of Film is highlighting films that won awards at some of the world's top film festivals in 2007. Friday evening's opening feature is the drama "Man in the Chair," which played the Method Fest earlier this year. Christopher Plummer and Robert Wagner are among the stars of this Hollywood tale. Other films in the three-day festival include "Grace Is Gone," starring John Cusack; "Bella," with Tammy Blanchard; and "Little Heroes" from Israel. The celebration also has a strong documentary lineup, including the Netherlands' "Buddha's Lost Children" and Rob Stewart's "Sharkwater."

The Ford Amphitheatre will be rocking Sunday when the Latin American Cinemateca of Los Angeles and the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. present "Mexico! Mexico! Rock! Rock! Rock!" The centerpiece of the evening is the screening of the 1962 rock musical "A Ritmo Del Twist," directed by Benito Alazraki, and featuring many of the top Mexican rock acts of the era, including the Crazy Boys, Los Rebeldes del Rock and the Beatniks.

The international flavor continues on Sunday with the return of classic Japanese films to Little Tokyo. In conjunction with the "Bugu: The Spirit of the Samurai Warrior" exhibition, the George and Sakaye Aratani Japan America Theatre presents four films by Japanese director Hideo Gosha -- "Three Outlaw Samurai," "Bandits vs. Samurai Squadron," "Samurai Rebellion" and "Throne of Blood."

Elsewhere: UCLA Film and Television Archive's First Monday showcase -- which presents an advance screening of a new release -- features Tony Kaye's documentary "Lake of Fire" at 7:30 p.m. The documentary, 15 years in production, examines both sides of the abortion debate. Note: The film has graphic footage of abortion procedures.



National Geographic All Roads Film Festival

Starts at 7:30 tonight; runs through Sunday, Egyptian Theatre,

Extreme Filmmaker 48 Hour Film Festival

8 tonight, ArcLight Cinemas,

Malibu Celebration of Film

Friday through Sunday, various locations,

'Mexico! Mexico! Rock! Rock! Rock!'

"A Ritmo Del Twist": 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Ford Amphitheatre,

Japanese films

Start at 11 a.m. Sunday, Japan America Theatre,

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