There are plenty of film festivals to choose from, especially in L.A., but few take their independent spirit to heart the way that Dances With Films has and does. The 24th annual installment has been going off at the TCL Chinese Theater the past week and you still have a chance to catch some exceptional celluloid now thru Sept. 12. There’s also a smattering of panels that aspiring filmmakers and cinephiles don’t want to miss, covering topics such as writing for TV, spotlighting inclusion and diversity, distribution and financing, casting and more. There lots of screenings for shorts, pilots (Shepherds on Sat. looks good) and of course, full-length films ranging from narrative to documentary, midnight movies to kids films. Just some of screening highlights this week: Brian Cranston in Trumbo (led off by a discussion with writer John McNamara and producer Michael London); POPOVICH: Road to Hollywood, about a fired circus clown and his jolly journey (opening with a live performance by the star and the trained rescue animals from the film ); and Glitterbox Presents Where Love Lives, a doc about club music’s power to unite featuring Billy Porter, Honey Dijon, John ‘Jellybean’ Benitez and more. See full schedule for this week and next at

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