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Jefferson Root Written by Jefferson Root
Jun. 19, 2011 | 6:07 PM

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LAFF 2011 Future Filmmakers Luncheon


There was no shortage of talent on display at yesterday’s LA Film Fest Future Filmmakers showcase.  With over three hundred submissions received, 35 shorts were combined to form two eclectic and engaging 90 minute programs.  With filmmakers from all over the U.S. represented, plus one from Brazil, the work displayed an impressive range of techiques and genres.  There were claymation works (Game Knight) as well as traditional animation (The Balloonist); stop motion work (Paris Is Burning), horror (Teddy) and one longer documentary (Streeters).

Following the screening of the first program, the filmmakers were honored at the 2011 Future Filmmakers luncheon sponsored by Best Buy.  The luncheon provided an opportunity for the directors in attendance to be recognized and to interact with industry professionals.  After opening remarks by LA Film Festival shorts programmer Hebe Tabachnik and Festival Director Rebecca Yeldham, keynote speakers Mark Levin and Jennifer Flackett were introduced.

A rare example of a husband and wife writer/director team, Levin and Flackett offered ample encouragement for the young directors as well as some unexpected advice.  Levin recounted how he had managed through sheer determination to meet a couple of his filmmaking heroes.  Lawrence Kasdan offered a one word directive for fledgling filmmakers trying to break into the industry: “Write.”  A meeting with David Mamet in New York led Levin to follow the playwright’s advice to leave graduate school.  The duo encouraged those present to take advantage of advances in technology that have democratized the filmmaking process. Flackett emphasized the importance of accumulating life experiences which can become fodder for future screenplays. “Go to all your friends’ weddings,” she advised. Levin and Flackett’s credits include Nim’s Island and LIttle Manhattan, and they are currently at work on a new project, The Man’s Guide to Love.

Tabachnik’s enthusiasm for the high school shorts program was evident, and the talent on display in the selected films would seem to indicate that the program will remain a vibrant part of future editions of the festival.  Audiences will have another chance to catch both shorts programs before the festival concludes.  Tickets and showtimes can be found at


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