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Movies to See in L.A. This Week: Film Festivals in Highland Park, Venice, Hollywood

Friday, Oct. 10

So many film fests, so little time.

For the independent route, there’s the Highland Park Independent Film Festival at the Highland Theatre, which continues through tomorrow. Two blocks of shorts start at 12:30 p.m., including Alma, a thriller about an agoraphobe who’s threatened by her sister’s desire to move out, and Highland Park Is ___, in which more than 100 people were asked, “What is Highland Park?” The night ends with last year’s Scenic Route, starring Josh Duhamel, about two friends who confront one another about their life choices when their truck breaks down in the middle of the desert. Tickets and info at hpifilmfest.com.

Over at Beyond Baroque, indie works are featured in the Other Venice Film Festival. Opening night of the weekend film fest starts at 7 p.m. with 1%ERS, a short film that follows famous actress Olivia (Michelle Rodriguez) from the glitz and glamour of Hollywood into a local dive bar; Rodriguez is scheduled to make an appearance. That’s followed by doc FreeDumb, about six local artists who call Venice home. There will be a Stella Artois–sponsored beer garden for $30; otherwise, screenings are $10 each. The full lineup is at othervenicefilmfestival.com.

If free outdoor screenings are your thing, head over to the Santa Monica Pier at 6 p.m. to watch Gravity, the movie that made folks everywhere abandon their dream of becoming an astronaut. Every Friday night this month, Front Porch Cinema will showcase popular films along with food, movie-themed drinks and music. Lawn chairs are available to rent. More info at frontporchcinema.com.

See also: More L.A. Weekly Film Coverage

Thursday, Oct. 16

The Hollywood Film Festival returns with its new focus on social issues. Running through Oct. 19, the fest will showcase shorts, narratives and documentaries by filmmakers from around the world at the ArcLight Hollywood, culminating in the festival honors ceremony at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. The lineup includes Love Thy Nature, a call to renew the relationship between man and nature, narrated by the dulcet tones of Liam Neeson; and #chicagoGirl, about an American teen who uses Facebook, Twitter, Skype and other social networks to coordinate the revolution in Syria. Festival passes start at $250. Tickets and schedules are at hollywoodfilmfestival.com.


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