Some of the best new discoveries of the year come out of Dances With Films. (Their brilliant lineup of shorts is to die for.) It’s a festival you should never sleep on. Here is a preview of a few titles you can catch from June 22nd to July 2nd.
DANCES WITH FILMS (DWF: LA & DWF: NYC), now in its 25th year, champions the unflinching spirit at the very core of the independent film scene. While the vast majority of film fests rely heavily on celebrity, we have relied on the innovation, talent, creativity, and sweat equity that revolutionized the entertainment industry. And that reliance continues to prove successful with alumni moving on to write, direct and produce celebrity-studded vehicles, star in blockbuster movies and television series, produce multi-million dollar films, and create hit TV shows. Oh…. and we even have several OSCAR® nominees… In a world of homogenized, formulaic film festivals, DWF: LA continues to defy the rules.
THE MAD WRITER– LA Premiere Documentary
SYNOPSIS: This music documentary by Zach Kashkett takes us on both the mental and physical health journey of hip-hop beat writer L’Orange as he faces a medical condition that could affect his career in music. The Mad Writer premiered at Slamdance Film Festival in Park City in January, and this is their Los Angeles Premiere. Zach’s most notable projects include: Shawn Mendes: In Wonder (documentary), Always Jane (TV Series), Sins of The Mother (TV Mini Series).
Monday, June 26, 2023—7 pm-Mann Chinese Theater- Hollywood/Highland
FAREWELLING– World Premiere Narrative
SYNOPSIS: In the midst of the pandemic and aftermath of her best friend’s overdose, Jenna finds herself in crisis as she reunites with those still around her. Questions of her own ethics and morals surface as she grapples with the “why” of everything, eventually discovering what it takes to truly break us. This is the World Premiere for the film at Dances with Film 26th Annual Film Festival. Writer/DIrector: Rodes Phire
Lead Actress: Cristen Coppen (Shameless)
(93 minutes) Farewelling Trailer
Saturday, June 24, 2023—9:30 pm- Mann Chinese Theater-Hollywood/Highland
THE BLACK GUELPH– US Premiere (Ireland) Feature
SYNOPSIS: Irish actor turned director John Connors brings the US his latest film. This film was inspired by Dante’s Inferno and the seventh terrace of Lust. The symbolism of unresolved sexualized trauma permeates down through the generations and flows deep within the psyche. The film based on the Irish Traveller’s Group community, creates a cathartic social question in the way that it addresses toxic masculinity in the context of unresolved childhood trauma. The film ultimately throws a lens at the human spirit and the capacity to overcome adversity, when it seems utterly hopeless. (125 minutes)
Friday, June 30, 2023—9:30 pm- Mann Chinese Theater- Hollywood/Highland
ABLED- THE BLAKE LEEPER STORY– LA Premiere Documentary
SYNOPSIS: This Documentary by Director Einar Thorsteinsson documents paralympian Blake Leeper’s story using candid interviews, incisive reporting, and rigorous scientific testing, to reveal the deliberate biases faced by disabled athletes who want to compete against the able-bodied, and the dubious science and deceptive publicity used to bar them from cross competitions. The film just had its World Premiere at Seattle International Film Festival in May and this is their Los Angeles premiere through Dances with Films.
Saturday, July 1, 2023—12:30 pm-Mann Chinese Theater- Hollywood/Highland
MERMAID’S LAMENT– World Premiere
The film follows two women: Oee (Dayva Summer Escobar) a traumatized woman who has lost her voice and may or may not be a mermaid. Her therapist, Dr. Nell Jamison (Justina Mattos) battles with anxiety herself, and attempts to help Oee overcome her delusions and connect with reality.