Actor-comedian Wayne Federman is a guy you know. He was Garry Shandling's brother on The Larry Sanders Show and he was Dean Weinstock (the neighbor who really wanted to meet Julia Louis-Dreyfus) on Curb Your Enthusiasm. He's also known for appearing in a single scene in a series of high-profile films, a phenomenon he calls the “Federman-and-out.” He's also an exceedingly likable guy who five years ago had the good idea to get fellow comedians to present their favorite films at Cinefamily for a thing called the Wayne Federman International Film Festival. “Two of my favorite things in life are stand-up comedy and motion pictures,” Federman says.
The fest's fifth incarnation kicked off last night with two screenings — Tig Notaro presented Urban Cowboy and Upright Citizens Brigade's Matt Besser presented Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band — and culminates Saturday night with a Walter Matthau double feature (Bad News Bears and The Taking of Pelham One Two Three) presented by Patton Oswalt. (The rest of the schedule, which features Zach Galifianakis, Rob Corddry, John Mulaney and others, is also very good and you can see it here.)
Federman says that having Oswalt host a screening this year sort of feels like the fest has come full circle because Oswalt helped him come up with the idea in the first place.
“I went to see a movie called The Foot Fist Way, the Danny McBride film, at the New Beverly and all of a sudden Patton walks out and is like, hey, I want to introduce this movie because I love it. He starts talking about this movie and he’s really funny and articulate, and I just said, this is interesting. Usually when people are introducing a movie, it’s a movie they're in, so there's always a self-serving part to it. This is different.”
Not all the movies are funny. For instance, this year, Galifianakis is presenting the brutal, stripped-down revenge picture Blue Ruin.
And the very first screening at the very first fest in 2012 was Martin Scorsese's black comedy The King of Comedy hosted by Garry Shandling, who died just last week. Federman recalls, “I told [Shandling] that I had this idea and asked him what he thought. We were kind of friends, but I didn't want to impose on him, but he said that’s a great idea and he knew exactly what he'd show.” The movie was meaningful to Shandling because watching it, he'd had an epiphany about how to film The Larry Sanders Show.
It's cool, Federman says, because “fans of the comedians get to see the comedians geek out on something.”
The fifth annual Wayne Federman International Film Festival continues through Saturday night at Cinefamily, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., West Hollywood; screenings are $14 each. cinefamily.org/films/the-5th-annual-wayne-federman-international-film-festival.