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Travelin’ Local Film Festivals and Events List

Jun 01, 2009 by Lisa Newton

Los Angeles and Southern California are “Industry Towns.”

That moniker typically refers to the Motion Picture and Television Industry. A curious phenomenon has happened over the years—there has been a virtual—as well as an actual “Virtual”—explosion in Film Festivals throughout the Golden State; and with it–a range, depth, breadth, and width of viewing choices, which until recently nobody would have thought possible.

While the choices where to go and what to do is as difficult as choosing your favorite food, the fact that our entertainment choices while Travelin’ Local has made our free time that much more diverse, is something we are fortunate to both have and celebrate living here.

Whether you’re Travelin’ Local to check out new or student directors, old classics, cinéma vérité, video, digital and interactive, television, anime, animation, ethnic, gender, cultural, city-wide, festivals, to award events, there is never enough places to go and things to see and do in the Golden State for you visual viewing pleasures.

To help you discover where to go, here’s a list of the attractions, sights, sounds, and uniquely Los Angeles and Southern California Film festivals. 

This is an ongoing project, with regular updates. Feel free to email me if you’ve been somewhere that’s not currently on the list, or want to include a place to go or thing to do that you think should be included. My email address is: lisajnewton at gmail dot com.

Upcoming Los Angeles and Southern California Film Festivals

The Los Angeles Film Festival

  • When: Jun 2011 (annual)
  • Where: Landmark Regent Theatre
  • Hours: Various
  • Address: IFP Los Angeles Film Festival, 8750 Wilshire Blvd, 2nd Floor, Beverly Hills, CA 90211
  • Phone: 310-432-1208866 345 6337 (tickets)
  • E-mail:
  • Web site: LA Independent Film Festival

The Los Angeles Film Festival brings the latest US indie offerings to the company town itself. As well as screenings at a variety of cinemas and a competition, there are a number of seminars and workshops for the independent filmmaker. But the biggest attraction (for suits and movie lovers alike) remains the films themselves, and the festival usually offers a wide range of quirky features and documentaries.

The festival screens around 175 features, documentaries, shorts and music videos that attract an audience of around 40,000 film industry professionals, filmmakers and film fans. A prize of $50,000 is awarded for the best narrative feature and another of $25,000 for the best documentary.

The program for 2011 is still taking shape -for full details of screenings, gala evenings and competitions, please visit the festival website, where you can also book tickets.

The American Black Film Festival

The American Black Film Festival is a unique opportunity for black filmmakers, actors, producers, journalists and film fans to get together to watch the best new releases, network and party.

The festival has now moved to LA; it started in Acapulco, Mexico and later moved to Miami. The festival is open to anyone and, with more than 2500 attendees, is normally booked up by May, so bag your place early. Film executives from the major studios such as Walt Disney, Warner Brothers and Miramax regularly attend, so if there’s a script you’re burning to direct or an actor you’re looking for, then this is the place to come.

Chaired panel discussions, writers’ workshops, opportunities to network and plenty of evening activities aim to ensure that everyone gets as much out of the event as possible. On the closing night the Black Film Awards are presented.

Silver Lake Film Festival

Different in mentality from the more commercial film festivals in LA, the annual Silver Lake Film Festival, held at the Vista Theatre and the Los Feliz Cinema, focuses on experimental features, shorts and documentaries, screening around 280 films every year.

With an emphasis on local filmmakers and local history, the event is well worth a visit. Please check the festival website for full details of this year’s program.

Outfest – LA Gay and Lesbian Film Festival

  • When: Jul 2011 (annual)
  • Where: Los Angeles
  • Address: 3470 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 1022, Los Angeles, CA 90010
  • Phone: 213-480-7088
  • E-mail:
  • Web site: Outfest

Outfest is one of the largest gay and lesbian film festivals in the US – a Los Angeles institution that annually screens around 300 films at venues around the city. The programming takes in a wide range of US and international features, shorts, documentaries and videos, and awards are presented in 14 different categories.

Outfest was founded in 1982 by Larry Horne. Over the years the event has steadily expanded to its present size and prominence, annually attracting around 40,000 people. The festival aims to connect audiences, filmmakers and the entertainment industry through showing high-quality gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender-themed films and videos that enlighten, educate and entertain.

The enormous program of screenings is divided into thematic strands; even the pickiest of film buffs couldn’t fail to find something to interest them. The festival awards – the “Outies” – are given to outstanding features, shorts, docs and videos, with separate awards for US and non-US films. There are also awards for actors and screenwriters, as well as a separate screenwriting competition.

Here’s the rest of Travelin’ Local’s list of Southern California and Los Angeles Film Festivals

Action On Film Festival, Pasedena, July

Adventure Film Festival, Downtown LA, October

AFI Fest: American Film Institute Los Angeles International Film Festival, Hollywood, November

All Roads Film Festival, Hollywood, September

American Film Market (AFM), Santa Monica, November

Amnesty International USA On Campus Film Festival, West Hollywood, May

Angelus Awards Student Film Festival, Hollywood, November

Antelope Valley Independent Film Festival (AVIFF), Lancaster, May

Art in Motion, South LA, January – USC

Artivist Film Festival & Distribution, Hollywood, July

Backlot Film Festival, Culver City, October

Beverly Hills Film Festival, April

Beverly Hills Hi-Def Film Festival, December

Big Bear Lake International Film Festival, September

California Student Media & Multimedia Festival – K-12

Century City Cell Phone Festival, October

Cinecon, Hollywood, August – silent, early talkies

City of the Angels Film Festival, Hollywood, October

Coachella Independent Film Festival, Indio, May

ColCoa Film Festival (City of Lights City of Angels), Hollywood, April

Creepfest, Downtown LA, October – horror

Dance Camera West Film Festival, Downtown LA, June

Dances With Films, Beverly Hills, June – independent

DIY Film Festival, February

FAIF Film Festival, Hollywood, October

FirstGlance, November

Flicker LA – Super 8mm, 16mm

Flickering Image Festival, Chino Hills – shorts

48 Hour Film Project Los Angeles

Freedom Film Festival, Mid-City LA, May – central, eastern Europe

Global Kids, West LA

Golden Star Shorts Fest, Hollywood, March

Hermosa Shorts Film Festival, Hermosa Beach, August

Hollywood Film Festival, Beverly Hills, August

Hollywood Shorts (Women in Filmmaking Short Film Festival), Hollywood, March

Hollywood Underground Film Festival, April

Hummadruz Global Sounds Film Festival, Hollywood, June

Independent Television Festival (ITVF), Hollywood, July

Indie Fest USA, Anaheim, August

International Family Film Festival (IFFF), Valencia, April

International Student Film Festival, Hollywood, November

LA Comedy Shorts, Downtown LA, March

LA Freewave Festival, Downtown LA, November

LA Harbor International Film Festival, San Pedro, April

Lake Arrowhead Celebration of Film, September

Last Remaining Seats, Downtown LA, June – classics in historic Broadway theaters

LATV Fest, Century City, July

Long Beach International Film Festival, October

Los Angeles Film Festival, Westwood, June

Los Angeles Independent Film Festival, Hollywood, April

Los Angeles International Children’s Film Festival, Mid-City LA, October

Los Angeles International Short Film Festival, West Hollywood, September

Lost Film Festival – touring

Malibu Film Festival, February

Media Arts Festival (MAF) – California State University, student

Method Fest, Calabasas, March – Independent

National Geographic All Roads Film Festival, Hollywood, September – independent

The New York International Independent Film and Video Festival

No Dance Film Festival, Hermosa Beach – held in Park City, Utah during Sundance

Newport Beach International Film Festival, April

Ojai Docs, September – documentaries

Ojai Film Festival, October

Other Venice Film Festival, March

Oxnard Independent Film Festival, September

Pacific Palisades Film Festival, July

Palm Springs Film Noir Festival, June

Palm Springs International Film Festivals, January, July

Playhouse West Film Festival (PWFF), North Hollywood

Rad Digital Film Festival, December

Rebel Planet Film Festival, Hollywood, August

Resfest Digital Film Festival, Hollywood, September

Riverside Film Festival, February

San Fernando Education Technology Team (SFETT) iCan – high school student

San Fernando Valley International Film Festival (VIFFI), North Hollywood, March

Scavenger Fest, Hollywood

Screamfest, Hollywood, October – horror

Scriptapalooza, August

Short Shorts Film Festival (SSFF), May – Japanese

Shriekfest, Hollywood, September – Horror, Science Fiction

Slamdance Film Festival, Hollywood, January – held in Park City, Utah during Sundance

Smogdance Film Festival, Pomona, November

South Bay Films Film Festival, Torrance, November

Tarfest, Mid-City LA, October

Temecula Valley International Film Festival, Temecula, September

Topanga Film Festival, An open air festival taking place in August

3D Film Expo, Hollywood

Transdimensional Short Film Festival, Westwood

UCI Screenplay Festival of Staged Readings, Irvine, June

Valley Film Festival, North Hollywood, September

Very Short Movies Festival, Hollywood, March

WideScreen Film Festival, Long Beach, September

Women’s Image Network (WIN) Femme Film Festival, Hollywood, August


Anifest, Eagle Rock, July

Anime Expo, Anaheim, July – international animation and comic exposition

Anime Los Angeles, Burbank, January

California SUN International Animation Festival, Northridge, March

World Animation Celebration, Hollywood, June

Ethnic – Minority

African-American Film Marketplace, Hollywood, November

Chanoma Film Festival, West Hollywood, October

Cine Sin Fin, Alhambra, September – Chicana/Chicano, Latino

Danish Film Fest, Hollywood, NovemberDesert Jewish Film Festival, Palm Desert, November

Hollywood Black Film Festival, Hollywood, February

Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles, Hollywood, April

Israel Film Festival, Hollywood, March

Los Angeles Amazigh Film Fesiival, Hollywood, January

Los Angeles Greek Film Festival, Hollywood, June

Los Angeles Italian Film Awards (LAIFA), Westwood, October

Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival, West Hills, April

Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival (LALIFF), Hollywood, July

Los Angeles Korean International Film Festival, West Hollywood, October

Pan African Film Festival, Ladera Heights, February

Pasadena Cinco de Mayo Chicano Film Festival, May

Polish Film Festival Los Angeles, West Hollywood, April

Reel Rasquache Film Festival, East LA, May – latino, Cal State L.A.

VC Filmfest, West Hollywood, May – Asian

Ventura County Jewish Film Festival, Ventura, March

Reel Pride, Palm Desert, April

Awards/Contests/Critic Choices

American Cinema Editors ACE Eddie Awards, Beverly Hills, February

American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) Awards, Hollywood, February

ASIFA Hollywood Annie Awards, Glendale, November – animation

DGA (Directors Guild of America) Awards, Hollywood, July

Filmmakers Alliance Annual Screening and Vision Award Presentation, Hollywood, October

Golden Raspberry Awards Foundation (Razzies), Artesia – bad/worst films

Hollywood Awards, October

Hollywood Walk of Fame

IDA Documentary Awards (International Documentary Association), West Hollywood, December

International Angel Awards, Palm Springs – Excellence in Media

Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards

Producer’s Guild of America Golden Laurel Awards, Century City, March

Saturn Awards – Science Fiction, horror

Screen Actor’s Guild (SAG) Awards, Downtown LA, March

Spirit Awards, Film Independent’s, Santa Monica, February

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Entertainment, Film, SoCal

6 Responses to “Travelin’ Local Film Festivals and Events List”

  1. Travelin’ Local Film Festivals and Events List | Arts says:

    [...] Los Angeles and Southern California are “Industry Towns.” That moniker typically refers to the Motion Picture and Television Industry. A curious phenomenon has happened over the years—there has been a virtual—as well as an actual “Virtual”—explosion in Film Festivals throughout the Golden State; and with it–a range, depth, breadth, and width of viewing choices, which until recently nobody would have thought possible. While the choices where to go and what to do is as difficult as choosing Original post by Travelin’ Local Film Festivals and Events List [...]

  2. Paisley (Paisley Thoughts) says:

    This was interesting and I will be looking at the film sites listed.

    There’s a lot of interest in the film industry in SA because more and more international film makers are using this location due to the diversity of landscape, fabulous lighting and very good value for money due to the exchange rate. This industry is generating a lot of jobs this side as well.

    Paisley (Paisley Thoughts)’s last blog post..The Last Word


  3. Lisa's Chaos says:

    It must be great to live so close to all of that. Will you attend them all? ;) What a huge list!

    Lisa’s Chaos’s last blog post..Meeting the parents


  4. David says:

    What an absolutely amazing list. Talk about all things visual and film for all kinds of people.

    I had no clue. Great research and even better display for your readers to choose. Problem is there are too many choices!



  5. Patricia says:

    wow, it might be hard to live your life if one went to all of these options! We have a high school local film festival that is astounding and worth the effort.

    Thanks again for this little vacation journey into your world

    Patricia’s last blog post..And The Winner Is!


  6. karen linderman says:

    Our film festival is in its 5th year and is one of the only open air festivals in California. We would love to be listed here.

    I will send you our press release if you would like to list us.

    Hope to hear from you.




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