If Ojai, Whittier and Santa Clarita can host film festivals, so can our congested, unnavigable but artistically rich downtown Los Angeles. With events taking place from Bunker Hill to Little Tokyo, the inaugural Downtown Film Festival boasts hundreds of screenings, from shorts to feature films (many were shot in downtown) — including a documentary on photographer Cindy Sherman (Guest of Cindy Sherman) and the forthcoming thriller starring Don Cheadle and Guy Pearce (Traitor) — plus lots of parties and prefestival workshops and readings. Various locations, Wed.-Sun., Aug. 13-17; film screenings $10. www.dffla.com.
Ah, the future of journalism. No, no, you needn’t worry about yours truly. I’m living with my mother. But the 150 reporters and editors laid off from the L.A. Times last month might not be so lucky. The panel discussion Los Angeles Without the Los Angeles Times? will ask whether the esteemed publication’s days, and pages, are numbered, bringing together various community leaders, reporters and bloggers, including: Robin Kramer, chief of staff to Mayor Villaraigosa; Geneva Overholser, director of USC’s School of Journalism; Kevin Roderick, former L.A. Times writer and founder of laobserved.com; and Los Angeles magazine editor and moderator Kit Rachlis. I should also mention that I graduated from USC’s School of Journalism. So, really, you needn’t worry. Los Angeles Central Library, Mark Taper Auditorium, 630 W. Fifth St., dwntwn.; Thurs., Aug. 14, 7 p.m.; free, resv. suggested. (213) 228-7025.