AEG Chief: LAFF can be as big as Sundance
We got a chance to catch up with Tim Leiweke, president and CEO of AEG, about the company's aims for the Los Angeles Film Festival.
On Thursday morning, the LAFF announced that it would move nearly all of its events out of Westwood and into various AEG-operated venues downtown. On Thursday evening, Leiweke told 24 Frames that he hopes to grow festival attendance to 250,000 (last year it hovered around 85,000)."This should rank up there with the great film festivals of the world, with Toronto and with Sundance," Leiweke said. "We want to be in a situation where some of the biggest events in the film world take place at the Los Angeles Film Fest."
Leiweke acknowledged that those goals lean grandiose. "It's not something that's going to happen tomorrow," he said, adding "it's going to take years." The festival has years, though not that many of them; the deal between LAFF and AEG runs for three festivals.
At this year's gathering, events will be scattered throughout downtown, at venues such as L.A. Live, the Nokia Theatre, the Orpheum and the Regal Cinemas. Organizers hope the shift away from the Mann Village and its neighbors will provide the festival with a burst of momentum. "At the end of the day, we want to remind people that life [in Los Angeles] started here," Leiweke said. "We're the entertainment capital of the world. We've got to figure out a way where we can have one of the best film festivals in the world."
-- Steven Zeitchik