DWF:LA (Dances with Films), the vibrantly independent film festival, announced today it’s going virtual. The 2020 lineup contains over 200 titles including narrative features, documentaries, pilots, web series, music videos, short films and films by young people. The entire festival, running Thursday August 27th through Sunday September 6th, will be in real time, allowing unique interactive experiences including a virtual red carpet, lounges with trivia nights and signature cocktails, panel discussions, Q&A’s and so much more. Ticket prices are lower this year to accommodate everyone’s seat in their living rooms. Pre-sale tickets start at $11 through August 26th and then will go to $15.
Tickets can be purchased on the brand new website www.dwfla.com.
The altered reality the world is living in right now brings an exciting change to its usual way of conducting the 23 year old festival, which normally is hosted at the world famous Chinese Theatres in Hollywood. Instead, the Festival will bring its unique brand of discovery films to the World Wide Web. Filmmakers and film lovers from all over the world will be able to connect as never before to watch and discuss (live!) these curated gems.
PAPER SPIDERS opens the festival on August 27th, starring award winning actress Lili Taylor, Stefania LaVie Owen, Peyton List and Max Casella. The film is directed by Inon Shampanier, and written by Shampanier and Natalie Shampanier. PAPER SPIDERS is a timely and bittersweet coming of age mother/daughter story that centers on the challenges of mental illness. The screening is followed by a virtual panel discussion with the cast, crew and others to bring consciousness to the vast mental health issues the U.S. faces.
BEFORE/DURING/AFTER, directed by Stephen Kunken and Jack Lewars and written by and starring Finnerty Steeves (Orange is the New Black), closes the festival on September 6th. Featuring many familiar faces including Richard Masur, Kristine Sutherland and Austin Pendleton, it’s an inspiring and relatable story of a middle-aged woman coping with a divorce.
Also on tap for the festival:
SIGHTLESS, directed by Cooper Karl and starring Madelaine Petsch and Alexander Koch. The film centers around Ellen Ashland who, after an attack renders her blind, withdraws from the world to recover in a high-rise apartment. But soon she plunges into paranoia, unable to convince anyone of a certainty that shreds her sanity; her assailant has returned to menace her by hiding in plain sight. Ellen must grapple with her newly unreliable senses if she is to uncover a plot against her. But once she reveals the shocking extent to which her enemy deceives her, she stands to lose not just her sight, but her life.
SHE’S IN PORTLAND, directed by Marc Carlini and written by Marc Carlini and Patrick Alexander. The film stars Tommy Dewey, Francois Arnaud and Minka Kelly. The film tells the tale of a family man who recognizes his best friend from college is in a slump and convinces him to travel up the California coast in search of “the one that got away”. But when the road starts to wind, they’re forced to confront their own life choices before it’s too late to change course.
MILLENIUM BUGS, written and directed by Alejandro Montoya Marin, stars Katy Erin, Michael Lovato, Rogelio Ramos and Romy Peniche. Set in the last week of 1999, the film focuses in pn best friends Kelly and Miguel find themselves on the cusp of their future. Kelly has been floating through life after her parent’s death. Drowning herself in alcohol and drugs. When her inheritance money runs out, Kelly is slapped with the realities of her actions. Her best friend Miguel is torn between his immigrant parent’s expectations and his dream to become a comedian. The pressure to pursue his dreams while defying the sacrifices his parents made for him pushes Miguel to the brink. Together, Kelly and Miguel along the rest of the world find themselves wondering what’s next.
For the full DWF:LA lineup of film titles, schedules, ticket information and fun surprises check out dwfla.com
About Dances With Films
In 1998 DWF began as a film festival dedicated to finding tomorrow’s talent today and continues to carry on this mission. With many World and West Coast Premieres, DWF provides a coveted first stop on the festival circuit. With a vast number of submissions, the selection process is based solely on merit and discoverability. DWF continues its dedication to and is a devoted champion of fresh and creative voices. For the past 23 years, DWF has proudly provided access and opportunity to thousands of films and filmmakers from all over the world who diligently work year after year to see their dreams realized.
DWF’s Advisory Board includes: Jane Fleming, Steve Tisch, Cindy Cowan, Jonathan Dana, Steve Elzer, Kevin Kasha, Eriq La Salle, Michael Lehmann, Valerie McCaffrey, Mark V. Olsen, Joel Ordesky, Mark Ordesky, Melissa Orlen, Will Scheffer, Hilton Smith, David Spiegelman, Steve Wegner and Effie Brown.