(credit: lafilmfest.com)

Returning to L.A. Live this year is the 2012 Los Angeles Film Festival. This Los Angeles annual event will showcase nearly 200 feature films, shorts and music videos, ultimately representing more than 30 countries in all. With something to do all over town, here is a quick guide to some must see events on calendar for this year.

(credit: lafilmfest.com)

2012 LA Film Fest

800 W. Olympic Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90015
More Info

LA Film Fest runs Thursday, June 14 through Sunday, June 24. The main venue for most screenings, talks, and parties is LA Live. Other events will happen at LACMA, REDCAT, and other locations. See website for full schedule and details.
Festival passes are still available and range in price from $80 for students to $2,500 for VIP’s.

Conversations and Talks

(credit: lafilmfest.com)

LONG STORY SHORT: The Art and Power of Online Storytelling

June 16th, 12:00 PM Regal Cinemas L.A. Live 12
More Info and Tickets (Free)

In a world that is quickly moving to living online, this event will delve into the art and power of online storytelling with Thom Zadra (Head of Business Development for Original Video, Yahoo!), Amber Lawson (Chairman of The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Interactive Media Peer Group Membership), Jake Avnet (COO, WIGS), and Eddie Schmidt (director, Good Bread; executive producer, Beauty is Embarrassing).

Cooking a Contemporary Classic: A Conversation with Breaking Bad

June 16th, 5:30 PM at Regal Cinemas @ L.A. Live 12
Tickets: Rush line only, one hour prior to seating, on a space available basis (Free)

Now entering its final season, the critically acclaimed cast of Breaking Bad will discuss how a show about a high school chemistry teacher turned dangerous drug manufacturer took the TV world by storm. Moderated by Robert Abele, this conversation will host Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn, Betsy Brandt, RJ Mitte, Dean Norris, Jonathan Banks and Bob Odenkirk with series creator Vince Gilligan.

Café Latino

June 17th, 12:00 PM Regal Cinemas L.A. Live 12
More Info and Tickets (Free)

This conversation will highlight the filmmakers of Latin American Films at the LA Film Fest as they explore their roles as storytellers. LA Times Arts and Culture Reporter Reed Johnson will moderate with directors Arturo Pons (writer/director, The Compass is Carried by the Dead Man), Everardo González (director, Drought), José Alvarez (writer/director, Canícula), Dominga Sotomayor (writer/director, Thursday till Sunday), Bernardo Ruiz (director, El Reportero), and Alejandro Brugues (writer/director, Juan of the Dead).

Women of Wonder: A Celebration of Women in Animation

June 17th, 2:30 PM Regal Cinemas L.A. Live 12
More Info and Tickets ($13.00)

In a realm often thought of as a male dominated field, this conversation will highlight contributions of women to the world of animation. It will be an afternoon spent celebrating women’s accomplishments in this field, examine the broader challenges for women in the industry and explore the models that better cultivate and draw on the talents of women as film artists, producers, and executives.

Capturing Ron Howard’s Imagin8ion: A Case Study from Canon U.S.A., Inc.

June 23, 10:00 AM at Regal Cinemas L.A. Live 12
More Info and Tickets (Free)

A look into “When You Find Me”, a short film from Ron Howard and his daughter, actress Bryce Dallas Howard, presented by Canon U.S.A., Inc. It will feature the key creative and technical minds behind such as moderator Tim Smith (Canon Advisor, Film & TV Division) will lead the panel with Andres Lascarsis (Director of Photography), Kevin Chinoy (Producer, Freestyle Picture Company) and Evan Pesses (Chief Lighting Technician).

Must-See Films

(credit: Warner Bros.)

Banishment – Films that Got Away

June 14th, 3:00pm Virgin America Theater/Regal
More Info and Tickets ($13.00)

Russian director Andrey Zvyagintsev made Banishment, an absorbing drama about a family who travels to their countryside home, where a painful secret threatens to destroy their very foundation: the wife is pregnant with another man’s child. Wielding the simple, spare power of an Old Testament tale, Banishment expertly explores guilt and morality.

To Rome With Love – Opening Night

June 14th, 7:30pm Regal Cinemas L.A. Live
Passes Only
More Info

Woody Allen composes a star-studded love letter to Rome. Alec Baldwin is a writer revisiting the scenes of an old love; Jesse Eisenberg is a young man torn between his girlfriend, Greta Gerwig, and aspiring actress and femme fatale Ellen Page; Penelope Cruz is a voluptuous woman of the streets who gives a young bridegroom a lesson in love; Roberto Benigni is an ordinary Roman contending with sudden, inexplicable adoration, and Woody himself is an eccentric opera director who comes to Rome with wife Judy Davis and finds an unlikely new star to promote. To Rome With Love is a breezy, kaleidoscopic comedy about amore, infidelity, the fickleness of fame and the strange consequences of singing in the shower.

People Like Us – Summer Showcase

June 15th, 8:00 PM at Regal Cinemas L.A. Live 12
Tickets: Rush line only, one hour prior to seating, on a space available basis ($13.00)

The directorial debut of screenwriter Alex Kurtzman, People Like Us stars Chris Pine as Sam, a fast-talking, headstrong salesman. When his famous — and famously difficult — music impresario father dies, Sam returns home for the first time in years, where he is tasked with fulfilling his estranged father’s last wish — delivering an inheritance he believes is rightfully his to the sister he never know he had, played by Elizabeth Banks. Torn between anger at his father and a growing sense of responsibility for his sister and her son, Sam must come to terms with the family he thought he knew in this moving drama based on a true story. In other words, bring tissues.

Reportero – Summer Showcase

June 16th, 7:40 PM Regal Cinemas L.A. Live
June 18th, 7:50 PM Virgin America Theater/Regal
More Info and Tickets ($13.00)

Bernardo Ruiz’s powerful portrayal of dedicated reporter/photojournalist Sergio Haro and Zeta, the political weekly for which he works, is a disturbing look at the role of the free press in modern Mexico. Haro and his fellow writers must endure constant threats as they expose the corruption that permeates every level of the Mexican judicial and political systems and incur the wrath of the narco-traffickers. Not even the brutal (and unsolved) murders of several colleagues can deter these brave men and women from their principles as journalists and their unflagging efforts to expose the truth, no matter what the cost.

The Last Elvis – International Showcase

June 17th, 9:20 PM Regal Cinemas L.A. Live 8
June 23rd, 7:00 PM Regal Cinemas L.A. Live 12
More Info and Tickets ($13.00)

John McInerny, a real life Elvis impersonator, gives a staggering performance in this poignant story of a talented but delusional Buenos Aires Elvis impersonator who only feels truly himself when he dons the King’s bejeweled clothes and performs for an adoring audience. He hates his dead-end factory job, insists everyone calls him Elvis though his real name is Carlos Gutierrez and is emotionally unavailable to his estranged wife and daughter Lisa Marie, who can’t live inside his fantasies. Then an accident forces him to think of something other than himself. Director Armando Bo, a bold new talent, never mocks his deluded hero, allowing us to see the grandeur inside his mad dreams of glory.

Brave – World Premiere Gala

June 18th, 7:00pm Dolby Theater(passes only)
June 19th, 7:30pm Regal Cinemas L.A. Live
More Info and Tickets ($13.00)

Set in the rugged and mysterious Highlands of Scotland, Disney•Pixar’s Brave follows the heroic journey of Merida (voice of Kelly Macdonald), a skilled archer and headstrong daughter of King Fergus (voice of Billy Connolly) and Queen Elinor (voice of Emma Thompson). Determined to change her fate, Merida defies an age-old custom sacred to the unruly and uproarious lords of the land, unleashing chaos in the kingdom. When she turns to an eccentric Witch (voice of Julie Walters), she is granted an ill-fated wish, and the ensuing peril forces Merida to harness all of her resources to undo a beastly curse and discover the meaning of true bravery.

Magic Mike – Closing Night

June 24th, 7:00pm Regal Cinemas L.A. Live
Passes Only
More Info

In Steven Soderbergh’s sexy, yet touching Magic Mike, Channing Tatum plays a male stripper (who actually was one himself) who mentors a novice stripper, played by Alex Pettyfer in all the tricks and tips of the trade. Matthew McConaughey co-stars as the money hungry boss and fellow stripper. A movie about male strippers starring some of the hottest men in Hollywood right now should make this closing night screening one that will make all women (and some men) swoon.

(credit: Lionsgate)

Shorts and Free Screenings

Festival Film Guide

The Festival is also hosting collections of short films, including a young director series which will feature short films by high school students. In a true celebration of all things film, there is also a Music Video series and a special look at films selected by guest artists such as Danny Elfman, Raphael Saadiq, Michael Voltaggio and William Friedkin.

There will also be a number of free community screenings, including the Dirty Dancing Dance-A-Long (!!) and 30th Anniversary screenings of E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Some screenings require advance (free) tickets.

Yolanda Machado is the Sassy Mama in L.A. An LA Native and valley girl for life, when Yolanda isn’t stuck in traffic, she enjoys movies, wine, food and discovering new places to take her family throughout LA while avoiding the 405.